| Everything’s Coming Up Rosen

Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: The sun will come out tomorrow

Posted on 07 June 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



It was one of those endless rainy May days — this one, and at that particular moment, especially torrential. It was the kind of day that anyone who had a slight inclination towards depression could latch onto as an excuse to inhibit a smile or a warm hello. And there I was waiting for an elevator in the lobby of Boca Regional Hospital shaking out my soaked umbrella and shivering as my wet clothes were assaulted by the icy air conditioning. My ultimate destination: a visit with a friend who had experienced a series of orthopedic screw-ups landing her here for the second time in two weeks, and, she was a legitimately unhappy “camper.” What’s more, the elevators were operating on a “don’t-rush-me-I’ll-be-there-eventually” current.

You’re one smart lady,” said the 60-ish-year-old tall well put-together gentleman sitting on the waiting-bench, in clothes that looked like they hadn’t reached the washing machine rinse cycle, evidently unprepared for the sudden deluge.

Uh — you mean the umbrella?” I asked

Yeah. I usually keep about a half dozen of them in my car. And, dummy that I am, they are all still there,” he said in mild self-deprecation.

Well, here, would you want to use this to get one from your car – and I’ll wait at the entrance for you to return it?” I asked.

No, no, no, thanks. I’m going to visit my mother. I will probably be here for hours. Maybe the rain will stop by then, but thanks anyway,” he responded.

The elevator arrived and we entered together and, as it creeped vertically at a horse and buggy pace, this stranger, whose last name, “Friend,” I could read from the hospital ID pasted to his jacket — made my day.

Ya know,” he told me, “I buy a bunch of umbrellas at Walmart for a couple of bucks, cheap, ya know … and every so often, when it rains, I give them to people I see in the street — some of them homeless, others just caught in a mess of rain getting battered and wet. They are so surprised and grateful — and I just keep on driving.”

What a great thing to do!

Then, “Friend” exited from the elevator on the floor below mine — poof and gone!

I had just enough time to reconfigure my negative thoughts for the day. By God, the “good people” are going to win. Assaulted day and night in all venues by the ugliness and selfishness, and corruption and veniality, that seemingly has overtaken our social norms, we tend to forget — or not be exposed to — the inherent good that goes on behind the pages of newspapers and the cable newsrooms. And I reminded myself, as I so often have to do lately, that good and evil have been in conflict since the beginning of time. Nor is that conflict ever likely to abate. And, by my calculation, “good” still had the statistical edge.

And with an extra bounce, I entered my friend’s hospital room with this story on my tongue noting the quick change of expression on her face – from a deep frown of physical pain to her old smile. We both know that the sun will come out tomorrow — well, maybe the next day — but eventually.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Another birthday – OMG … so many!

Posted on 04 April 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Well, I am having another birthday this month. It‘s a biggie plus one — not a big deal. But, here’s the thing … after all these years, I’ve learned so much, not only about living, but living well. And now, I would like to start all over again.

But would I?

Mistakes, I have made, of course. Who hasn’t! But that’s part of the mix, and “starting all over,” with the aim of perfection, is destined to become a life without pain or challenge, kind of Barbie and Ken life. I’m not into boring.

So what’s my secret and what have I learned? My secret is not a secret. I have been blessed with just plain luck and the willingness to acknowledge that fact. I was born to two loving parents in the U.S.A., a minute before the great depression, at a time when unimagined evil was brewing in Europe. I didn’t know we were poor because all the people we knew were enduring the same economic struggle. We weren’t poverty-poor, just walk-instead-of-paying-for-a-bus poor.

And I was blessed with many genetic assets — none of which came to me as a result of any struggle or effort on my part, most importantly, good health for which I do take some slight responsibility in the sense that I adhere to the rules … in full recognition that some others who also adhere to the rules are just not as lucky. I have an even, calm temperament. It comes without effort. I am not even sure that I own a temper. I don’t crave sweets, alcohol or caffeine, and the one time I inhaled a cigarette at age 16, I choked with such fury that I swore I would never do it again, which inhibits my ability to get any of the oft-touted results of weed. By some standards, this could make me a bore. Luckily (again) I was born a good listener and most people need to feel heard. “Feeling heard” trumps being bored.

And, although I never knew it until someone pointed it out to me, my personal life philosophy is in direct compliance with the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. My own version of this is layered on the concept of expectations.

And this is the most important thing I have learned in all my many years … I am easily able to recognize the difference between reasonable expectations, as in it is reasonable to expect my friend to check her e-mail messages at least every few days, if not more often. She always promises to do so, but often it takes weeks … and realistic expectations, as in she simply will not check her messages frequently; to recognize that it is reasonable to expect your husband to join you at a family event but, in some cases, the reality is that he believes he has reasons for refusing.

I have learned to train myself to expect only what’s realistic, which eliminates a whole range of toxic emotions: disappointment, hurt, anger, rage and down the line from there. Sounds simple but too many people cannot distinguish the difference between reasonable and realistic, especially in their personal relationships. It’s worth working on.

Actually, I learned a lot more, so far, in this lifetime. For instance, I learned how to make a really good quiche today — my first. Every day, I learn something new. Life is good.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Join my club

Posted on 08 March 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



I am the self-appointed president/dictator of “The Bleeding Tongues” club. We (“I”) do not yet have a sophisticated organization and so I am acting in my additional capacity as membership chairperson.

Here is the very simple criteria for membership. Listen up, young people. You may soon be one of us.

1) You must be the parent of an adult child. This entitles you to a Category One membership.

2) As a parent of a married adult child, you become a Category Two member. Dues decrease as your category number increases, because – I said so.

3) The parent of a married adult child with children of his or her own hits the jackpot as a Category Three member, with dues deferment.

Adult children, of course, refers to anyone over the age of 18, until which age you have nominal and legal control (responsibility) over some very specific areas of their lives – namely – money! Beyond 18, we are talking (legally) optional. Until that age they behave as if they believe themselves to be adults. At 18, they know they are adults and separation from parents is the nirvana many of them seek.

This is when you have lost control. Sure, a nice “let me tell you why I believe there is a better way to handle this” sometimes works. But, when it doesn’t and the “adult kid” is determined to do something that is nuts (which may actually not be nuts, but I’m on your side here), that’s when it’s time for the tongue to go back in its cage, possibly with a slight nip.

As your adult children with children of their own (especially, but not limited to – teenage kids) wrestle with the unbridled spirits who have absolute certainty that their parent (your child) is a bloomin’ idiot who has never been their age and surely has no sensitivity or understanding of their feelings, (never meander into a dangling sentence like this) — then these adults in their crazed state will inspire you to tell them a thing or two about raising kids.

The bottom line is watch it all happen and keep your mouth shut. Put your tongue back in your head, bite a little harder and somehow manage to say “yes, dear.” He or she has enough trouble from the other end and doesn’t need any mouth from you, much as you have wisdom on your side.

You will want (here, I am conjecturing) to maintain the most respectful and loving relationship possible with your own progeny. You do not accomplish this by criticizing, or by suggesting that they don’t know how to parent, and that if they would only do it your way, it will transform the kids (your grandkids) into – what’s the English word for “Mensch?” And if you start to notice a bit of blood oozing from your tongue [as you bite it], well, so be it.

For those of you in categories 1 and 2 – you’ll be dealing with your child’s choice of college, career, friendships, lifestyle and — oh, Lord! — choice (or non-choice) of spouse.

This, of course, will give you a head start on hauling in the tongue, especially the last one. With the discipline you’ve learned from these experiences, you will be eligible for Category Three Membership in the Bleeding Tongues Club wherein we provide shoulders to cry on, plenty of free tissues, and pathways to a free-er life wherein you will learn to find joy and fulfillment without giving your kids the benefit of your infinite wisdom — at which time, the bleeding will stop.

Applications at my email address.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Cyber-stuff

Posted on 31 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



This will meander around cyber-stuff – in some of its iterations – finally landing on love. Be patient … It comes at the end. It is, after all, February.

Decadent as this may sound, I am an e-mail person, a throwback to actual letters in an actual mailbox. Ancient people like myself have a hard time keeping up with the speed of modern written communication. And truth is, it was not very long ago — you might even remember the days — when you could be fairly certain that an e-mail you sent would be received and read within about 24 hours or even sooner.

But, alas, today, if you want your e-mail to be read, you need to Facebook, (that’s become a verb) tweet, text, message (also a verb) or, God forbid, make an actual telephone call to remind the recipient to check her email. And, by then – why bother? Just repeat the content of the message on the phone. But which phone? Landline? Cell? WhatsApp? and the dozens more free phone call apps that I don’t know about. Is this all part of “You can’t be too thin or too rich” and now it’s too “cyber-social?” Or is this the definition of “excess?” Are we really in a contest to find out who has the most “friends” or a contest to label the person with the most cyber social outlets?

I really need to vent at people who “message” me on Facebook. Why can’t they simply e-mail the message to me directly? Once I go to Facebook — and please don’t encourage me to do that — I lose hours meandering all over the place, collecting information about people I mostly don’t much care about. It’s becoming a kind of voyeurism … and a local version of the famous gossip page 6 of the New York Post. Don’t you just love those baby pictures?

And finally, I will tackle the angst of finding love in cyberspace, as this is “love month.” I recently gave a workshop for people interested in writing a profile for a dating site — a kind of combination of getting to “know who you are” before knowing how to find the person you want as a companion. To the many of you who have infiltrated this segment of society, your stories are worthy of publication. Matches don’t come easily and the mismatches can be disappointing, but also hilarious.

And the number and variety of dating services seem to be increasing exponentially … and now available in several apps — Bumble, Tinder, Hinge. It won’t be long before someone will open a website as a “Cyber Navigator” to help those of us to come to these “newbies” way behind everyone else. But, sooner or later, we get there. It helps to have “kin” in their teens and early 20s.

So have fun in cyber space and come down to Earth every once in a while where love still abounds in massive doses – and I wish it to you all.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Bye Bye 2017

Posted on 04 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



A year of transition was 17 — unlike any year I remember

Polarization to the max, right through the end of December.

Snuggling each in corners apart, the Rs and the Ds stood their ground

Playing the game of political chess, or more like kids on a merry-go-round.

For some quick reminders these names I will cite, lest they fade from the memory scene

I’ll add some events only because they’re germane to “17.”

The “coronation” of Donald Trump as our 45th Pres-i-dent

The proliferation of “tweets” from him, displaying his child-like bent

The March of Women the following day, a clue that dissension was real

And the staunch support he received from his base, a sign of the strength of their zeal.

Will the following folks still be around as part of our “household” names

As “18” rolls on and filters them out — and brings us some “midterm” games?

Bannon, Comey, Rosenstein, Flynn, Manifort, Papadopoulos

Kaepernick, Spicer, Huckabee-Sanders, but not the turtles in the Galapagos.

Preibus, Kelly, Conway and Kushner, Junior, Ivanka and more

Life at Mar-a-Lago, where the lingo begins with “fore”

Harvey, Irma, Maria, Mayor Cruz of old San Juan

Non Hero” McCain kills healthcare “reform;” he recognizes a “con.”

Bob Mueller, Neil Gorsuch and Vladimir P. and “Little Rocket Man” too

Las Vegas and Charlottesville (shades of the Klan) and Weinstein producing “#metoo”

Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer, no-jokin’ Al Franken, and others caught up in the web

The grabs and the touches, the lack of respect will hopefully be on the ebb.

Will we move our Israeli embassy or was that merely meant to alarm?

And what to do about “alternate facts?” Do they cause societal harm?

Is the “Free Press” only doing its job or is a “witch hunt” underway?

Will the Russian investigations finally end some day?

The Dreamers still are dreaming and the Muslim Ban engenders fears

No wall yet — but hark! It looks like there’s still 3 more years

The “tax cut” passed by a hair — and one of the winners was Don

And the stock market’s racing skyward. How long can that go on?

Surely, the year’s entertainer was President Donald J. Trump

But the character of our nation — underwent a significant bump

Presidents should role-model values — of love, respect and peace

And language is how that translates — as a country we can’t let that cease.

So bye bye to 17 — May 18 bring us together

All of us love our country — and that makes us birds of a feather.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Goodwill to all

Posted on 07 December 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



I had never met David Eller in person; despite that, I’ve been writing a column for this paper since — actually I lost count, but my guess would be since the early 2000s when Judy Wilson was the editor. I’ve written about everything under the sun, except the thing I am most passionate about — politics. Pretty nearly early on, it was clear that my political beliefs were at the opposite pole from Mr. Eller’s and I was very politely asked to [refrain from expressing my personal opinion], which presented me with two options: to write about other “stuff” or to walk away on my “high horse” telling myself that I was standing up for my ‘principles.’ But, what was my most basic principle?

In truth it didn’t take long for me to come up with an answer, and the main belief that I had in common with Mr. Eller was that it is a good thing that we live in a capitalist society – and that citizens still had the freedom of choice. He owned the newspaper and had the right to set the rules. I was free to stay on his terms or go. I respected his wishes and stayed. I was free to express my opinions in other venues.

And in reading his obituary this past week, I was privileged to meet the human being who was more than his politics and who was such a positive and important influence on his community. This got me to thinking — continue thinking — how important it is for us, in this era of such turmoil, distrust and insidious vituperation on both sides — to cool it, to listen to opposing views as they are expressed with the same sincerity and passion as my own views and to respect our differences, without inserting the element of hatred. It is the “hatred” that is poisoning us.

We’re living in a cement mixer of societal changes and daily we are witnessing major differences between what is acceptable today and what was “then.” Some of it will be seen as good and some as bad, and even within that framework people will differ. And I so much believe that it is our differences that make us strong and innovative and creative as a society. A monolithic belief system creates a staleness that leads to decay. It is no accident that we are not a planet of clones.

And so, as the “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men” season descends once again, it is the last part of that prayer that we need especially to heed, before the first part will ever become a reality i.e. “goodwill,” especially, toward the humans with whom we have what seems to be incompatible belief systems. We need to understand that people aren’t all one thing. Let’s look for other qualities that make up their character, qualities we can admire and respect.

I send my deepest condolences to the Eller and Observer family, and my everlasting hope for “Goodwill towards men” and that includes a heartfelt Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and good holiday time to all.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Carrots

Posted on 01 November 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



November is calling, and perhaps I should be writing about turkeys or stuffing, or pumpkins, but I’m not. I’m writing about carrots. Stick with me here. I’m about to make my case, i.e. carrots as a symbol of what’s wrong with society. Well, it’s one of the symbols.

I remember when carrots were just in the produce department with the good earth still clinging to each bunch. Then someone came along with the brilliant idea of cleaning them up a bit and inserting them into a plastic bag; but that wasn’t good enough for the fast food nation and TV dinner families. We still had to peel them, or else we might ingest some of the residue of the good earth. So the next someone came up with the idea of baby carrots, sculpted out of the big ones or some sort of mutation — all peeled and washed, and cut and plastic-packaged. The consumer was relieved of all carrot responsibility, save having to chew and swallow. It comes in just the right size for good dipping, if you happen to be a dipper, conscious of avoiding the carbs one finds in crackers or bread.

But folks, I challenge you to compare the taste of an out-of-the-earth carrot to the ersatz orange, nutrition-drained elf-like, thumb-sized “things” packaged as carrots. However, if you want to substitute them for the traditional Thanksgiving yam (to save calories), the taste won’t matter too much when you add brown sugar or maple syrup, or even a marshmallow to it.

Okay, so this is not as tantalizing a subject as recent corroborating information about Harvey Weinstein, or as the thunderous danger of our relationship with the leader of North Korea, but indeed, it says something important about society.

It says that we, as a nation, prefer to have things “peeled” and “cut” for us and we kind of don’t really care about the quality of the final product. We can swallow it, become somewhat conscious of its inferior taste, accept “the deal,” giving up something (taste) to get something more valuable (convenience), and we go on with our lives, just as long as someone else does the “peeling.” It’s the long standing “let’s do stuff that’s easy-peasy” school of thought.

Of course, it’s not just carrots when it comes to “easy-peasy.” There’s a whole world of “bots” (robots for the uninitiated) out there waiting to do everything for us …Yes, pretty nearly everything …

It will soon be too late for us to consider how much of this is really good for us as opposed to how much we might still prefer to do things for ourselves.

I may be the only person in the world using baby peeled carrots in a plastic bag as a metaphor for a society that eschews the value of “doing the work and being rewarded with the flavor.”

Well, the good news is: We’re still eating turkey for Thanksgiving. Most people are still celebrating with family and friends, and maybe even dipping baby carrots into a dip; and, most importantly, actually sitting down at a table, and maybe even having face- to-face conversations. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Mindfulness

Posted on 05 October 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



Check out mindfulness on Google; and, if you print out the results, you could use your entire ink cartridge. Read Emily’s 600 or so word essay and you can wrap up the whole subject and be on your way to your next life activity — mindfully.

Let me first assure the meditators, and the 30 minute (or 30 second) exercisers in the practice, that I am in hearty approval of whatever helps you live stressless-ly, healthfully and happily.

For me, it all started with the best gift I ever received — my car accident. There I was, “mindlessly” driving in slow traffic, east on Linton Boulevard approaching Federal Highway. My head might have been in Publix, or Paris, on my bicycle, preparing for my next memoir writing class, planning dinner and/or listening to a book on CD. It sure wasn’t on the car creeping in front of me — that is, until I felt the bump. And dear jurors, that’s all it was – a bump. But it caused the hood of my car to fold up like an accordion, stopping just before it hit my windshield. My mechanic told me it was designed to do that to protect the windshield from shattering all over the driver.

Happily, no one was hurt. The three occupants of the car that was bumped did a jack rabbit out of it to inspect the damage, as did I. The usual police report was filed, I was towed to a body shop, my insurance paid the outlandish cost of repair and my premium skyrocketed by more than three-fold.

I eventually sold the car, and bought my dream of a yellow car.

But I will never forget the feelings and thoughts I had as I experienced the “bump.” How I berated myself in language unfamiliar to my own tongue. The curses and the stupidities I hurled as I became so aware of my own culpability. Where, where, where was I?

And in the simplest of terms, that’s how I learned mindfulness. Ever since that incident, my car will always lag a car’s length behind the one in front of me – despite the horns and vulgar expletives of disgruntled drivers who love to tailgate and still believe women belong in the kitchen.

But this kind of mindfulness extends way beyond my driving. As I hear about more and more of my peers, and the children and even grandchildren of my peers falling, tripping, toppling and toe-stubbing, and as I hear about broken ribs, hips, knees and crania, I have become fanatically aware of my surroundings, talking to myself incessantly about all that could happen if I let up on my consciousness.

The ground is uneven, watch your step.”

It’s okay to change that light bulb, but be conscious about it when you do.”

Yes, get back on your bike but be aware of the stones and debris on the ground.”

Hold that knife away from you when you cut – and be aware that your fingers can slip with the force of it and cut your hand.”

If you can’t reach it, yes, use the step stool – but make sure you have places to hold on.”

The parking lot is slippery. Remember that when you take the garbage to the dumpster.”

It’s fine to take a deep breath, and check out your chakras, but when you’ve finished doing that, don’t forget to watch out for the hole in the ground and the unexpected curb on the sidewalk and the throw rug in your living room that you could easily trip over and the frying pan that is still sizzling.

Happy Mindfulness.  

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: From stress to less

Posted on 07 September 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



I’m sitting at my computer about to call Comcast — again. I feel pins sticking in my scalp and worms creeping around my stomach. I have spent the better part of a month almost daily (I’ve actually added the hours … between 30 and 35) on several different issues, most of which have more or less been attended to – finally. My frustration level hit the ceiling weeks ago, and my sense of helplessness in being trapped by corporate bureaucracy, incompetence and robotic responses, has taken its toll on my psyche. And now, after concentrating totally on service and technology, I am about to engage again, this time on the subject of my astronomical bill (and still more other stuff) which far exceeds that which was quoted to me on contract. My hand is on the phone, but the thought of another conversation literally makes me dizzy and nauseous.

This brings me to the affirmation of my belief in the significance of the mind-body connection and the physically destructive power of stress. And surely, I realize that in the larger scheme of life, this is a relatively ant-like stress, especially as I watch the physical and psychic tortures of people all over the world who have insoluble problems.

Some people need Yoga, mindful meditation, Tai Chi, massages, a walk in the woods, deep psycho-therapy, drum retreats, and who knows how many legitimate and successful treatments for stress reduction there are … and how truly valuable it is to society that they all exist (except for the scams). I am always in awe about the many ways there are for folks to find the ability to cope.

For me, it’s very simple and inexpensive. In my most stressful moments, I find crazy relief in the gratitude I feel for not having to endure anything worse, something I’d often had disagreements about with a good friend. She always insisted to me that someone else’s worse troubles did nothing to diminish her own lesser ones. I guess people diverge on many different levels.

Though I very rarely go to Facebook, I did just indulge in my once in awhile time there where I discovered one of the best reminders I have ever heard of on how to live well, other than the “Serenity Prayer.” This one goes, “Anything you can’t control is teaching you to let go.”

I’m not quite ready to let go of my Comcast issues. However, Labor Day is over. Fall is settling in; it’s back to routines and soon the end of year holidays will challenge our stress quotient. So I will hang loose when Comcast tells me, again, this call may be recorded for quality assurance – and I will refrain from bringing up the previous 26 (recorded by me) calls of the past few weeks. I have a new glitch in my programming, sigh, sigh — in addition to the bill — and I can’t believe I did this to myself. I switched voluntarily from AT&T because I was not satisfied and the gods have punished me; but, I am thankful I do not live in Houston, and hopeful that Irma will find her way out into the ocean. And I’m practicing to live without TV.

It’s not so bad at all. I am not stressed. Ten, nine, eight, seven ……..

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Character and morality

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



I have stuff on my mind and gotta say it – respectfully. I’ve been writing for this paper for, I guess, more than 10 years. I am a politics freak and have been asked not to write about politics. I have complied, even as I have often had to tie my hands behind my back before sitting down at my computer to write a piece of fluff.

I write this, not as a democrat or a republican, but as an American who cares above all, about character, morality, integrity, civility, compassion and respect for belief systems that differ from mine. I believe strongly that I can learn from people who don’t agree with me and I am, therefore, open to listening, with respect, to other points of view. I see this as an admirable quality passed on from parent to child and from the people we choose as leaders expressed by them, not with words, but with behaviors.

I have witnessed in my long life leaders on both sides of the political spectrum whose position as national role models have fallen way short of ideal, whose influence on national consciousness and character have given a subliminal pass to those who give credence to the mantra “I believe it is okay to do whatever I can get away with, regardless of consequences to others, or its inherent immorality, as long as it enhances my quality of life.”

And I have witnessed enough people who wanted a better quality of life for themselves, who wanted all the fantastical life improvements that were promised to them. They voted for the whole package.

The person who now has claim to the White House has indeed expressed with words and behaviors – very openly, and unapologetically, that very mantra. I will give him the benefit of what I do not know about him, that perhaps he has extended many kindnesses to people with whom “quid pro quo” was not the ruling motive. But what is open to the public is a cesspool of actions and relationships based on his philosophy of life…“what’s in it for me.”

Have I missed it? Is he on record showing some quality of inherent goodness or kindness that hasn’t been predicated on this principle?

Granted, goodness and kindness may be wimpy characteristics, and not ones we consciously seek in a leader. But the blatant and complete absence of them trumps whatever strengths are demonstrated when we evaluate what has come to be known as our national character. And folks, I really worry about our national character.

Our country was built by people of strong character and principles that extended beyond the me-me-me image reflected every time our president opens his mouth or thumbs a tweet. Do we want the persona he presents to be a role model for our kids and future generations?

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