We shouldn’t have to work twice as hard

Dear President Trump,

Thirteen more people (including the shooter) are dead from yet another mass shooting. Apparently if you target a very crowded dark place and use smoke bombs, you can kill and wound scores of people with a handgun, which indicates it’s really not enough to just ban assault rifles let alone simply send thoughts and prayers.

Lucy McBath of Georgia is doing more than sending thoughts and prayers. After her son was murdered in Florida by someone who thought he could hide behind their asinine “stand your ground” law, McBath ran for Congress on a strong gun control platform and won. It obviously does jack for those poor people who were killed, wounded, and traumatized (some of whom also endured the Las Vegas mass shooting last year), but McBath’s win in Georgia sends a strong, hopeful message in support of meaningful gun reform. We need dozens more people in Congress like her to stand up to the gun lobby. Maybe she’ll be able to help the closet gun control proponents in the House and in the Senate come out of the shadows and stand up for what is right.

You know the quote “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good”? Charlotte Whitten said this in 1963. She capped it with the quip “Luckily this is not difficult”, which is amusing and cheeky (and often true) and may be why the quote has endured. I wish, though, that she hadn’t added that bit since it pulls for a laugh when the substantive part of what she said is dead serious. The seriousness of this is reflected in the fact that here we are 55 years later super excited about women having gained 2% more seats in congress over the 2016 count to get us to a whopping 22%. This is seriously f*cked up and likely why we have not had a real conversation about gun reform in Congress for as long as I can remember.

There is a parallel to the issue of women having to do twice as much as men to be thought half as good playing out for Democrats relative to Republicans. The HP published articles this week laying out how congressional representation, even without gerrymandering, is very badly skewed in favor of Republicans because sparsely populated rural states have two Senators the same as densely populated urban states. They point out that the Senators who voted to affirm Kavanaugh represented 37.5 million fewer people than those who voted against him. I don’t know what the remedy for this is as minority groups (including rural white males) need adequate representation, but this degree of skew, which is compounded by gerrymandering, voter suppression, and insidious social media borne lies, is also seriously f*cked up.

Because I’m worried about her, I’m going to send today’s blessing to Ruth Bader Ginsberg for a speedy recovery after her fall yesterday.

Dear Justice Ginsberg, may you be safe.
May you soon be back to enjoying your life’s work.
May you soon be healthy and strong, back to your indomitable, sturdy self.
May the rest of us do all we can to not need to rely so much on you.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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