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The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla in the Room


The Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla in the Room

Many of us can ignore the rumblings. Some of us don’t mind being embarrassed on a world platform.  This writing here today is not about the latter. It’s about the former. And speaking of ignoring the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the room. Actually, in every United States household, perhaps. I’ll be the lioness here. That is how I was tested psychologically many years, decades ago. I’ll do what needs to be done. And I won’t care who’s toes I step on. Even the team will hate me, but we’ll get the job done.

I wondered last night why I could not sleep. Unusual, for me to say the least. I know. I’ll start with, my now deceased husband was an educator.  As much as he was math, he also read a ton on history. Granted, among other things. We had our debates. We thought nearly opposite on ninety percent of everything. A marriage like any other marriage is filled with compromise and it should also be filled with reason, forgiveness, and commitment. That doesn’t happen all at once. It takes patience too.

Patience, something lacking in America. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it’s not. What I want to know is, has anyone thought about how educators today... This very day, January 6th, 2022; will possibly, courageously, carefully address the anniversary of perhaps our country's worst moment EVER?

I can say, quite a few people may do as my husband, and I did back in December 2000. We both shrugged our shoulders. I didn’t like either candidate. My vote for either was a coin toss, literally. My husband disliked Bush, Sr. because he failed at his claim that he would be “The Education President”. And he felt his son Bush, Jr. was no better. As well, my husband was all about women’s rights.

Yes, the 2000 presidential race was tight. There was a ton of tension in the air afterwards. Unsettling to say the least. My husband agreed we had to be patient. By early December 2000 we knew Gore probably had lost the election. Gore conceded on December 13th, 2000.  Although dismayed, he didn’t conjure up violence, nor try and stop the transfer of power from happening. He conceded, although discontented. He contained himself. Why? Because he cared about US, US, U.S.! And I can say I never really thought much of Gore. But I realized, he cared about US, U.S. And as he should have.

Trust me, there were plenty of people questioning and quite upset with Gore conceding, the loss.  Yet, I have to say what I heard. We’d giggle and say, “…hopefully it’s only four years.” Yes, we’d hear, “What if it’s eight. What if he overturns Roe V. Wade?” I assured people that wouldn’t happen, with that current situation we had. Not that it would be perfect, nor to our liking, perhaps. But it was a peaceable transition of the presidency as it should be. It kept the people calm, yet not passive, nor complacent. Watchful.

I especially was watchful. Concerned that if we had a radical leader. One who put themselves way ahead of the people. One who was consistently obsessed with their popularity, it would bring about tragedy to our nation. A democracy, we would have no more. Women’s rights would begin to deteriorate. And so other’s would too.

Freedom, is the eligibility we have to speak our minds in the United States. To calmly debate our differences, and sometimes debate vigorously. Will we be upset if something doesn’t go our way? Yeah. Maybe. But that is being an adult. To accept the things and move along in business as usual. Especially, when it comes to our leaders.  That is how they’re supposed to act. They are a reflection of US. Of U.S.

I told my husband quite often, that I would not want a person who had been divorced to be President of the United States. I still stand by that. Yes, I do. The divorce rate in my family is technically about eighty-three percent, that’s on my side of the family. On my husband’s side, it’s probably no higher than three percent. Yeah. Quite the difference. And I have my reasons. They are reasonable. Let me start out by stepping on more toes. Toes educators cannot step on, nor even attempt it. For they would get fired or be placed on the hotseat for saying or even implying such to their students. I’ll just come right out and say it. Most people are lazy, overly self-righteous, and don’t know how to apologize.

Right there, I think that is our issue as a nation. Parents aren’t so frank with their children. I am. By the time our children were eight and six years of age they were being taught by me their rights. Yes, they were reading the constitution in the mornings, four days a week or so for a few minutes before school. That was after a five minute religious lesson, and a three minute reading on the biology of being human. That, I would give them four to five mornings per week. Yes, all the way into their high school years.

When you’re lazy, you get pushed around, and you feel out of control. If you drive yourself, remaining self-motivated. It’s possible to feel pushed around or even allow being pushed around, because you’ve developed patience. But then, you realize what you can control. And you work on it. You do your very best. That is called discipline. That is called commitment. That is called, seeing the bigger picture. Taking all into account. It is NOT stamping your feet and whining. Because you can’t accept the fact that you lost.

And so, you’re going to burn down the good marriage. Although flawed, because we are human. You’re taking it so personally, that just as you have wielded hatred in your first campaign towards a multitude of people.  You don’t care about US, U.S.! And, you’re going to make the children suffer. Because you have to be right. Don’t worry I know about this. I’m soon riding into my seventh decade on this earth. I’ve been around, military, corporate, own my own business, freelancer, professional athlete in more than one sport, working-mother, wife, victim of violence. I’ve survived many things. Came from not much. Came from suffering. Had great losses, but always knew and acknowledged others had worse. Why? Because I know where I’ve been. I know where I’m standing. Let me remind you.

So, US, U.S. are willing to suffer at the hands of a man who had practically everything handed to him? As he was not ever in the military and was suspiciously deferred from being drafted. Divorced not once, but twice. And as well, a proven misogynist and a bigot. No friend to the disabled as well. Cumulatively, a royal bully. We got rid of royalty a long time ago. It is contrary to the foundation of fairness. It is contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is contrary to the reasons why I joined the Marines.  Why I still hold that oath to heart. It’s about US. U.S.!!!!

And anyone involved inciting the violence as was displayed a year ago today, needs to be penalized. Sent to jail. That’s ANYONE. And in this case, words matter. Which includes words not said on that day to inhibit hatred and violence that thusly occurred. ---Jody-Lynn Reicher


  1. Thank you for writing this reflection. Indeed, and I hope the truth will be seen by all one day soon.


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