Dear Senator Franken:
Many people have read "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate" but I bet I'm the only one who read it in a dark shuttered house with a tiny flashlight as Hurricane Irma raged on, pounding trees and battering utility poles until they were just poles. Luckily, I had saved your book for a rainy day (the rainiest), which was also the longest day of my life (excluding childbirth).
Like millions of Americans, I've suffered anxiety, anguish, and angst since Election Day. Okay, I'm completely freaked out--and the bad news just keeps on coming. I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't thought about how government functioned since passing civics class in junior high so I had a lot of catching up to do. With the help of Wikipedia and other non-fake news, I got up to speed and then prayed our checks and balances would protect us from the ignorant, pernicious grifter whose favorite hobbies were bullying and sexual predation. And Tweeting.
Desperate to do something, anything, I joined an army of other middle-aged women who wanted to fight back. (Our motto: "We're not paid protesters, we're your mother.") After participating in the Women's March in Miami I joined the League of Women Voters, the ACLU, and Indivisible and then sent money everywhere--Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, Sierra Club, NRDC, the ACLU again, and so on. I went to rallies, signed hundreds of petitions, joined activist FB groups, sent e-mails, made phone calls, mailed postcards, and registered people to vote. I spoke at a rally and even organized a protest! My husband of 30 years didn't bargain for a 56-year-old hippie activist with radical bumper stickers on her car, but for better or worse, right?
If there's any silver lining to all of this, it's that people are waking up and fighting back. Personally, I've gone out of my comfort zone so many times I couldn't find it with GPS. Still, it's daunting, depressing, and so, so difficult. Your book made me laugh and gave me hope. It inspired me to keep going. If you can do it, I can do it! If nothing else, the fact that I've gained fifty new Facebook friends since November tells me one thing. I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!