Hear her, hear her

Dear President Trump,

Happy Veteran’s Day. You’ve had a rough go of it the last few days in terms of showing up to honor military people’s contributions but maybe you pulled something out of somewhere today to atone for your weekend lameness. I didn’t bother checking because I’m sick of reading about you (and honestly, of writing to you, but that’s another issue altogether), but perhaps there was a miracle and our pouty bone-spur-hindered President rose to the occasion. Perhaps.

In the interest of doing something useful for veterans today, I spent some time on a grant we are submitting in December. If it’s funded we’ll compare a mindfulness intervention to a cognitive-behavioral one for veterans suffering from chronic pain. Reducing veterans’ need for opiate pain medications is clearly important and we have strong preliminary data so I think we have a pretty good chance of getting it funded. It always feels weird to work for the VA and to have Veteran’s Day off so it was nice to have a concrete way to give a little extra today.

No big surprise, but I also read a bunch of political commentary today and the two pieces that stood out were both about Stacey Abrams. The first was a WP editorial arguing that should Abrams end up losing the Georgia governorship as (unfortunately) expected, the House should make her their Speaker. I had no idea that the House Speaker doesn’t have to be an elected member, but apparently this is true. The authors, Meredith Meisenheimer and Sue Altman, argue that Abrams would be a great choice because she would provide a “dynamic, popular, and promising (leader) from a state in the South …. and would (be) a leader who has the communication skills to go toe to toe with Trump.” I know it’s about as likely to happen as you becoming a decent human being, but it’s sure an appealing thought. The other editorial is in the HP and is by Kimberly Foster who lauds the fact that Abrams is not politely conceding but is insisting that all the votes be counted and that democracy be served. Foster says “Abrams embodies the ethic of those voices in the Democratic Party who say civility is not more important than justice.” Hear, hear (and here I mean “hear her, hear her” not “hear him, hear him)!

May we all be safe to stand up for what is right.
May we be happy to welcome those who challenge the status quo.
May our country be healthy and strong enough to handle real changes that serve the people.
May we all make peace with the inevitability of change.

Tracy Simpson

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