Adolph Hitler had a fondness for pretty young girls. Eva Braun was seventeen when they met and she became his mistress. He was forty. It was said that he adored her. For sixteen years she stood faithfully by him, enjoying their life together as he went about the daily business of destroying of millions of people. At the end, forty hours before they both bit into thin glass vials of cyanide, he awarded her for her loyalty by giving her what she’d always longed for. He made her his wife.
I can’t help but think that, had she wanted, Eva Braun could have made a difference. She could have interceded and perhaps, things may have turned out differently. A ripple in the water slowly fanning out, changing the course of time. It was said, however, that she empowered him to do more evil by enhancing his emotional needs.
I am always astounded by women who choose, unquestionably to follow men as they inflict their obscene beliefs on others. In 1978, when the Rev. Jim Jones told his followers the time had come to commit suicide, Odell Rhodes, the only survivor of the massacre, described how they started with the babies. “Mothers gave their own children the Kool-Aid mixed with cyanide before taking it themselves.” Four hundred and five souls died that November day in Jonestown. More than three hundred of them were seventeen or younger.
As I watch the crowd of people on stage at trump rallies, I’m particularly struck by the frenzied exuberance of the women – the signs they display; their laughing faces. The unfettered glee with which they jammed their fists into the air chanting “Lock her up!” still resonates with me. Women who longed to see another woman incarcerated. As though we haven’t had our fill of bondage in the great American evolution that has brought us, finally, into the Me Too Movement
And then there are the women who clutch desperately to trump’s coat tails, riding above the masses. Flying high on the trump jet stream. I find them the most abhorrent of all. Kelly-Ann, Sarah, Kirstjen, Betsy, Ivanka, Hope, Nikki, Elaine, and of course, Melania. I wonder if they all have that $39.00 olive green Zara jacket in their custom walk-in closets filled with their expensive, designer clothes?
I question if any of them care. Care enough to tell the truth? Care enough about the health of old people; sick people? Care enough about gun massacres in our schools; in our churches? Care enough about young men of color dying in our streets? Care enough about inconsolable babies being kept in cages; children being incarcerated because parents want a better life for them; families being ripped apart?
Last week, on her way to the border and her latest photo op, FLOTUS, an immigrant, herself, wore a jacket with the words:
I REALLY DON’T’ CARE DO U
Such callous cruelty in a world crying out for compassion.
It took us seventy years to get the right to vote. The 19thAmendment was passed in 1919 and ratified the next year. Why? Why were women, for years, not considered bright enough to understand the complicated matters of politics, law or government? Why were we relegated for decades to the role of the “good wife”? Why has it taken us so long to ask “Why?”
I am heartened by the number of phenomenal women candidates running for office this November. If one good thing has come out of the chaos, it is that women have gained enormous confidence in the knowledge that they could never do as bad a job as this guy has done during the year and a half since he moved into the White House.
And so, although there are Eva Brauns still among us, there are more women who will enable each other to soar – and not on the coat tails of self-absorbed, insecure men who wouldn’t think twice about giving them the order to poison their own children.
As I’ve said in past posts, I have great hope we’ll get through this crisis. We’ll become a better country for recognizing and correcting the flaws in our history. We have been a country which has incarcerated and has torn apart the families of slaves, of Native Americans, of Japanese citizens.The false illusion that a civilization can be great which seeks to oppress its most vulnerable will be acknowledged and rectified. We’re a nation of immigrants and this has made us stronger. The incestuous nature behind the racist belief of white supremacy has no place in this country. I have great hope and in answer to the question posed last week as our first lady flew off to her latest photo-op:
YES, ALONG WITH THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS, WE DO CARE