The Mean Girls Ask Me Anything about why we are so mean and what I can I do about it.
It’s Friday, and we have divorced ourselves from another work week, so let the fun begin!
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In May 1968, country music star, Tammy Wynette, released D-I-V-O-R-C-E, the title track of her album of the same name. The lyrics are a play of how moms and dads spelled the word divorce around children because kids can’t spell, and therefore, their feelings are spared. Like kids can’t figure out what is up when you change the P-H-R-A-S-I-N-G.
Divorce was a heavy subject when the song came out, as rates rose in the 1960s. We blamed this problem partially because we decided women should be more independent, so we provided them more access to education and whatnot. With this new sense of assertiveness, women began to dip out of matrimony, and divorces steadily rose over the next few decades. O-U-C-H.
Of course, some people wait to get married until they are 46, and others think some people were married before, but that’s not the case. Maybe some people didn’t want to rush into anything. Just sayin’.
Wynette brought the woman’s perspective on her impending split. Tammy herself was a matter expert, having four divorces or annulments from 1965 to 1976. D-I-V-O-R-C-E references a son named Joe, who, at four, would understand what custody is and therefore needs to be spelled out to keep him off guard. How in the H – E – double L would a four-year-old know what custody means? Did he think he would be under arrest? Maybe Mr. Rogers covered it; who knows.
D-I-V-O-R-C-E is almost three minutes of pain, which means it was a hit with country music fans. But divorce is painful and difficult, especially for children, and I like it. The song. Not divorce.
Speaking of children and divorce, the US Representative of the 14th district of Georgia recently brought up the subject.
Not her own, which was finalized on December 22, 2022, after twenty-seven years, three children, fifty conspiracy theories, 500 temper tantrums, and numerous years of poor form of pull-ups. Keep your legs straight when kipping; what the heck is that?
No, Marjorie Taylor Greene pronounced to the world that America needed a “National Divorce” because, well, you read it:
Lashing out like an irrational four-year-old, Greene laid out her sedition by claiming that her political opponents, knowns as adults, were the traitorous ones. She relied on the tried-and-true color scheme excuse that there are “red” and “blue” states, and everyone she speaks to on QAnon tells her that they are “done.” Whatever “done” means. I hope they are done. Clean up after yourself, please.
There’s one thing we ask of people who represent us. Take an oath to protect the United States Constitution. That’s it. You don’t have to take a vote, propose a bill, or anything. Your first day on the job is to take an oath, and then you can do pretty much whatever you want.
For someone who thought Hillary Clinton and other duplicitous lefties were eating children underneath a pizza restaurant that features ping-pong tables, she probably doesn’t understand what this oath means. Someone should have spelled it out for her.
I was texting with a group of my work friends, we affectionately call ourselves the “Mean Girls” about this nonsense, and the conversation brings us to the next installment, the newly rebranded Ask Me Anything.
Mean Girls: Why are we so divided? Where does this end?
First, thanks for submitting these questions and being the first of the rebranded Ask Me Anything. Second, you asked me two difficult, complicated ones, and I’m not sure I can answer them, but I’ll try anyway. I did bring this on myself.
For the first part: How did we get here?
Well, we have always been in a state of conflict. It’s unavoidable. We are humans, flawed beings who want things from the minute we are born until the minute we pass. The United States of America is a marvelous construct; it’s only natural that there would be different sides to achieving our collective potential. Over 650,000 people died in one conflict we had over slavery some 150 years ago. Some say it was over state’s rights to this day. See what I M-E-A-N?
Heck, every relationship has conflict. Each of us has conflict with our partner. Each of us has conflicts with our clients, although our clients might not know that. We know good work meetings have conflicts because we have read Death by Meeting.
But I understand the feeling that the last few years have been worse. And it could be. So we will go with the idea that this is the worst.
Here are my five reasons for how we got here. And yes, I ranked them from least important to most:
5. The election of Barack Obama was a thing.
Remember when a future president rose in national prominence by claiming Obama wasn’t a citizen? Then he replaced Obama, which is wild. He later claimed his reelection was stolen from him. Remember how divisive that guy was, with his red hats and his American carnage speech? B – A – D.
4. Social media is also a thing.
We see and read things more quickly. Social media platforms are amplified to S-T-E-A-L our attention, taking us away from putting together client agendas, PowerPoint presentations, or coversheets on TPS reports. There’s also the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Twitter bots, and Snapchat stuff that’s just gross.
3. The murder of George Floyd wasn’t good.
We all saw the viral video of the Minnesota police officers who murdered Floyd while in C-U-S-T-O-D-Y and the reaction on both sides of the political spectrum. Some vented their frustration by burning police stations and breaking into the local CVS. This upset many others who like CVS and think police stations are more important than people.
2. The global pandemic did not help.
We all spent the early days of the pandemic locked in our houses, afraid of catching the coronavirus that killed millions. We then spent two years screaming at each other over getting a vaccine shot and wearing masks while standing in line at Walmart. We then posted videos on social media. I still can’t believe over collective reaction to this. N-U-T-S.
1. January 6, 2021, was shocking.
We had citizens storm Congress to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Trust me when I say this; we will see it again in our lifetime. What happens if/when the violence escalates? I’m not sure. But nothing is more divisive than violence towards people, the C-V-S of human beings.
There are probably numerous others.
Let’s tackle the second part: Where does this end?
The short answer is - I have no idea.
No one can be Thanos and snap their fingers and erase half the population you don’t like. So that’s not an option, probably for the better.
Like we say in our text chats, sometimes we can’t get clients to do what we need to do for their benefit, so there’s no way we are going to convince people who don’t think universal health care is good, just like other people aren’t going to convince society that the country didn’t have racist foundations.
But Mean Girls, I want to give you some hope.
So I have ranked the top five things that need to happen to at least slow down our division. From last to first!
5. Make Election Day a Federal Holiday. Once we do this, we can then commodify it. And in the 21st century, nothing works better than making everything about capitalism. You will see voter engagement increase with every purchase of a mattress or a Subaru. Who would be mad about that? Voting solves everything. Except when it doesn’t.
4. Fix gerrymandering. The good people of Western Maryland did not need John Delaney to represent them in Congress. It’s silly. All politics is local, and if people believed they could change it, you’d get more engagement. We need to stop rigging stuff, pointing to the other side, and claiming they started it. Let’s not act like four-year-olds on this.
3. Dominion Voting System wins their case. The trials against Fox, Newsmax, and OneAmerica must weaken or damage them so severely that they could go out of business. The knowing lies during the 2020 presidential election make Dan Rather look like Martin Luther King, Jr. Fox has normalized MTG, who is now on television discussing the need for conservative safe spaces. She is well-coached by the think-tank industry. No CrossFit Bro can come up with this spin.
2. Give Washington, DC, and Jefferson statehood. We know what the District of Columbia is, but what’s “Jefferson?” It’s a proposed state made up of southern Oregon and northern California counties that identify themselves as conservatives and therefore do not feel represented in the Democratic states that they live in. Equal representation removes a significant divisive talking point, and I’d gladly break up a state if it meant I got representation. Although President Biden just drove a knife into it.
1. Eliminate the Electoral College. It’s beyond time to rid ourselves of this relic. It was never a good idea, and the elections of 1800, 1824, 1876, 2000, and 2016 prove it incredibly flawed. We have elected five presidents who didn’t win the popular vote, and none became top-tier. Dumping this system of electing our presidents means the color scheme argument doesn’t make sense if it ever did. Imagine an election cycle where we never discuss, “Will candidate X flip this red state blue?” It would force presidents to travel the country to get votes, and that alone should motivate us.
All of my suggestions will work.
Like I said, I have no idea.
But I know we can’t be afraid to change. I’m ranking the amendments to the document that allows us the ability to change, so it can be done.
Tammy Wynette sang an iconic song about wanting a divorce to stop. She wasn’t yelling at the man who would become her ex. She tells us of tears falling down her cheek and wishes her marriage could be saved because she didn’t like the future for her or her son. She felt S-A-D.
Marjorie Taylor Greene swore an oath to ensure our relationship with each other keeps going. As citizens, we also share that same obligation. We can’t accept being defined by gangs, and whatever the gangs want, we go along with it because nothing good comes from it. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
What do you think?
Thanks, Mean Girls, which obviously implies that you Mean Well. Talk to you soon on our group text.
I’m back on Monday, so have a good weekend, everyone. B-Y-E!