Stephen King, Nicholas Kristof, and Guilty Me

The last thing I did before going to bed last night was watch the news with my husband. He can watch it before bed without his sleep being affected – no doubt one of the ever-lasting byproducts of his West Point training. But I’m not that way at all, so I usually head to bed when the news comes on. Last night was different; I just felt like watching, only to hear again, as had been reported earlier, about North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong-un’s  statement that the Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times, and President Trump’s tweeted response: “…will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works.”  I moaned; my husband looked up at the ceiling, shook his head and took a deep breath.

This morning I turned my phone on and thoughtlessly scrolled right to twitter (again, not my usual routine) and one the first tweets I read was author Stephen King’s: “Legislators, you need to impeach Blabbermouth Don or force him to resign before he kills us all. He is no longer competent to serve as Chief Executive, if he ever was.”  Thank you, Mr. King, I thought.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for articulating exactly how I feel.  And then somehow (I have no idea how) I landed on a Youtube entitled From Korea with Dread featuring the journey of one of my favorite New York Times reporters, Nicholas Kristof.  If it had featured anyone other than Mr. Kristof I may not have watched it, but I have tremendous admiration for the man, so I did watch it ( ) and you should, too. It is chilling.

So, you may think something like well, (in a sarcastic tone) Happy New Year to you, too, Catherine McCall! That’s a fine thing, you telling me that I should watch a chilling video. But my retort then is please, watch it. It’s a much-needed dose of reality. And it was created by a man who has earned the right to show us that reality. He’s earned it over and over, just google Nicholas Kristof  and you’ll see. Or begin with a look at two of his books: A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity (with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn) or Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (again, with Sheryl WuDunn). Stephen King has earned the right too. The man has been writing best-selling books about sadistic, sociopathic human beings and the horrors they inflict for decades. He knows what very sick people are capable of. Silence of the Lambs, the book or the movie, is proof enough. And then there’s me. If you’ve read my memoir Never Tell you know that I, too, have earned the right to urge you to watch the Youtube.* In fact, my father was a sadistic narcissistic personality, lacking any ability to empathize, and  unwilling to be treated for his bipolar disorder. One of my primary goals in writing it was to show the horrors a sick human being is capable of  inflicting on others unless treated or restrained and held accountable.  In a few recent news clips the timbre of President Trump’s voice reminds me of how my father would sound at the outset of a manic phase of his mental illness. I don’t know if Donald Trump has that mental illness, but I do know that there is a significant impairment going on and I do know that he is not fit for office.

So, what am I getting at? I’m getting at the fact that our elected representatives should be getting Donald Trump out of the oval office; out of the presidency. He needs to be impeached or resign or be taken away. The man is incapable and dangerous and congress is doing nothing about it. They are wasting our hard- earned money,  and leaving us and the world at risk. They get a high salary and have voted themselves a very generous pension package and, I’ll say it again, are leaving us and the world at risk. We should be calling them every day and asking them to get him out of office. After reading Stephen King’s tweet and watching From Korea With Dread I felt scared and I felt guilty. Scared because we are on the brink of nuclear war and guilty because I have avoided doing anything proactive about it. We keep a list of our elected representatives in Washington and their phone numbers by our phone in the kitchen and we call about things from time to time. But I can tell you this, I have never called and said that I wanted Trump out of office. I’ve told my family and friends that, many a time, but I have never told one of my elected representatives. Never. And I feel guilty about it, and I should feel guilty about it, because I should be calling every day, every single day, beginning with today: Senator Johnny Isakson, 202-224-3643; Senator David Perdue, 202-224-3521; 1st District Congressman Buddy Carter, 202-225-5831.  There, 9:59 pm and  ‘just called all three. Now it’s your turn.










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