FRIDAY IS WORLD KINDNESS DAY!!

Not sure I can make it that far. And I hear a few people mutter the same.

We all know, deep down, dang it, that there lies the only possible path out of this mess of devisiveness. To reach out, at least mentally, a spiritual adjustment, a cosmic shift perhaps — to those we have come to despise and badmouth over these last four years, or 12, because of their politics. Not just politics, but deadly, damaging politics. To begin the seemingly impossible task of making this one nation under… anything. Or one city moving into the future together.

But please, do I have to think of that now? I’m still dancing. I’ve been waiting for so long, for this moment.

I say, dance away, raise your glass and raise your voice in the joy of relief, because that is a very real emotion that should not be quashed. But don’t gloat. Don’t rub it in. Those on the other side felt jubilation when the tide went their way, and experienced the same despondency we felt when it slipped away. Reach out with an open hand, not a raised finger.

IT’S A MYSTERY

Isn’t it? I’ll admit I haven’t entirely figured it out. How the “other side” thinks and does what they do, if you’re not taking the easy explanation of assuming evil intent (follow the money). And you do know I’m talking about both national and local politics, right?

My given is that all people are good, deep deep sometimes really deep down, and want to be loved or at least liked. It’s just that some are… misguided. Very misguided. Mao was misguided, Hitler, Jack the Ripper, Attila the Hon. (I try to humanize him. He was somebody’s hon, I’m sure.) Of course, there is a line where misguided crosses over into serious mental illness, and we do have to protect ourselves from that when it gets dangerous.

If you want to get airy fairy about it (OK, some of you can skip to the next paragraph), I believe it is a false sense of separation that leads people to do things that other people consider bad. Do you feel you are alone against the world, that there can be only one “winner”? Or do you realize that we are all one, the human family, all brothers and sisters, so you won’t do anything to harm your other selves, which is everyone. (Yes, I realize that means I have to love Pam O’Connor. This stuff is not easy.) If you can manage a universally loving frame of reference, you don’t necessarily have to understand people’s reasoning.

BUT UNDERSTANDING

Can definitely help bridge the divide. You don’t have to agree, to understand. For my part, I do have some understanding of what the people who voted for Trump wanted as far as a very different kind of president. But for God’s sake, people, you hired the wrong guy, the worst guy in the universe. If you want to drain the swamp, you don’t vote for Solomon Grundy.

And of course the disturbing issue for most of us is, how much are you willing to overlook to get a presient who will give you humongous, deficit-crippling tax cuts (and by you, I mean corporations and millionaires), a court system packed for the next 40 years to win your culture wars for you (and they are ugly, racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic class wars), and, emotionally most important, take away women’s right to control their bodies. Ridiculously self-labeled as “right to life.”

Tsk. OK, so maybe I’m not so good yet, at this reaching out thing. But it is the backdrop that is so important to all this. Can we understand and come together on such volatile issues? Probably not. The whole notion may actually be impossible since we seem to have reached a point where no one can agree on “facts,” and words have lost their meaning.

BUT WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT

Now that you don’t have to think about losing our democracy in the next four years and the U.S. sucking the whole planet into an escalating environmental black hole, is this wonderful gem of a city you live in.

Some election, huh? Whoo-hooo!!

Santa Monica, oh, Santa Monica, you pulled off a miracle. An election for the history books. Three incumbents from City Council not returned to their seats, three candidates running on a slate of “residents first” replacing them. Huge congrats and kudos to Oscar de la Torre, Phil Brock, Christine Parra, and the fourth slate member who did not get quite enough votes but would have also made a great Council member, Mario Fonda-Bonardi.

And let me also offer congratulations to the one incumbent who did win re-election, Gleam Davis, and acknowledge the three who fell short, Ted Winterer, Ana Maria Jara and Terry O’Day, because you all put in very long hours for basically no pay, just your dedication to Santa Monica. Your vision for SM is about 170 degrees different than mine, but we all know you love this city too.

Let me repeat it: three incumbents lose, in one election — impossible! Certainly unheard of, in our small (former) fiefdom so controlled by insider politics the last 50 years. The “slate of eight” had a couple of PACs totaling maybe $120,000 — for eight candidates — while the four incumbents were aided by PACs funded to nearly a million dollars. David surely slew Goliath in Santa Monica Nov. 3rd.

So now comes the tough part. We have so many huge problems to solve here, but the total game changer is that now we have at least three Council members who will work for solutions for the benefit of the residents, not outside interests or people we think will move here in 10 years.

Three is not a majority but Sue Himmelrich has shown a propensity for being on the right side of things. Now that she knows she won’t be voted down 6 – 1 every time, she may become a very valuable piece of the equation. And while newcomer Kristin McCowan has so far thrown her lot in with the former power brokers, she might now see things differently.

It’s a new day, and we need to give these victorious political fighters our best support.

RESPECT TO ALL VETERANS TODAY

By next Veterans’ Day we will have a commander-in-chief who respects and honors them.