Why this conservative woman won’t vote for Trump

I’m having a lot of trouble being a conservative woman right now. Not that I’m losing my faith in my conservatism. But that it is being invaded by so many who don’t respect me as a woman.

This is a hard one for me to write. These are things I don’t talk about. Not with friends. Not with family. Not at all.

And these  things that I don’t discuss are things I don’t really want people to know about me.

But there are times when buried secrets are unearthed in a flood. Right now, this election is my flood, and Trump is the name of the storm causing the flood.

Through my tears, I think it’s time to tell you some truths about me.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about politics on social media. Specifically, don’t try to tell me what to do — because you’re not going to change my thoughts.

And you’re still not going to change my mind, and I’m not going to try to change yours. But I am going to try to explain mine. I’ve been wrestling with this since last spring, when Trump sewed up the Republican nomination. Before that, I was sure he couldn’t be the guy.

I watched people laugh and joke about how great he is, about how he speaks his mind and how refreshing that was for a politician. But I was despondent when he got that magic number.

(I’ve come to appreciate some political polish, by the way.)

This was the year; Clinton has so much baggage, and there were a lot of people in the running for that nomination who would have been good opponents for her, that would have had a chance of winning.

These last few days have solidified what I’ve been feeling in my heart. Actually, all the way down to my toes.

As a conservative, I believe the women who came forward with allegations against Bill Clinton . As a woman, I believe those women who came forward with allegations against Bill Cosby. As the mother of girls who are almost women, I believe the stories coming out concerning Donald Trump, whether they come from his own mouth or from the women who lived through it.

I believe them because I’ve been there. No, not with Donald Trump, but I’ve been that woman. I’ve had my butt pinched for no reason. I had strange men touch my boobs. And I then I did nothing. Because I wasn’t supposed to. I smiled. Because that was what was expected of me.

As a young woman, I let happen because I was supposed to be all about my looks and my body. I purposely forgot that I had a brain. Because it was what I believed people wanted from me. I didn’t believe I was worth enough to have thoughts that people wanted to hear. (Note for the fathers out there: listen to your daughters. Make them know their minds and their thoughts are gold. And thank goodness for wonderful mothers.)

I flirted. I smiled. That was all okay. I liked boys, and I liked the attention I got when they liked me.

And then, one night, that attention turned sour. I was raped. I didn’t say yes, I didn’t want it. I found myself alone, crying, vulnerable, broken. I broke. And I didn’t think I deserved to be fixed.

I don’t know if I was believed by everyone when I told my story. I didn’t press charges. I didn’t press the issue, because part of me, a large part of me, thought that I deserved it. I had flirted. I had liked the attention I got from boys, even from that boy. So why wouldn’t I have deserved it?

After that I ran wild. I went out all the time; I didn’t like to be alone with my thoughts. I got lost for a good portion of my 20’s, running wild to keep myself from thinking too much. From feeling too much. I didn’t get too close to people, even when we were good friends (I still have problems with that, truth be told). I did stupid things for reasons I still don’t understand.

During those wild days I was touched inappropriately quite often. It was the late 80’s, and then it was the 90’s. I thought that’s was a byproduct of having fun, and I let myself get numb to the manhandling. I laughed it off, even though I hated having strangers grab me. Most of the touches and grabs were tentative, unsure, not fun or invited, but harmless to my body even as they softly crushed my soul.

Some were horribly aggressive. One I remember in shuddering clarity, brought to the forefront of my memory when a similar act was described by Trump on the infamous video with Billy Bush. It was humiliating and degrading, especially because it was in a public place.

Somehow I lived, surviving my 20’s. There were times I wasn’t sure I would, or if I wanted to.

At some point I slowed down; I put that past in a closet in the back of my brain and attempted to forget that room was there. To my horror, the room wouldn’t be forgotten, but I found I could keep the door closed most of the time.

Slowly I started to find other parts of myself–those forgotten rooms of my heart. A large piece was found when I met my husband, a man willing to give me space when I need it and to push me when I need to be pushed. A man who teaches his daughters the value of hard work and talking through every problem. He’ll make sure they can wire a lamp, change a tire and make a mean pot of green chili.

I found even more of myself when I gave birth to first one girl, whom I loved beyond belief, and then another who showed me that a heart has infinite room for love.

That second daughter, I believe, has been God’s way of helping me find those tricky corners of my heart, the ones that I thought might be lost forever. Those nooks and crannies God knew I needed to be whole again.

Those two girls — the world I want them to experience — that’s why I’m spilling my secrets. I never want my older daughter to go through what I did; I want her to be proud of her brain and her strength and to not question either one. I want her to be sure of who she is, to know she’s loved, and to not worry about what boys are saying about her in the locker room. I want her NEVER to think that she deserves to be grabbed and mauled without her consent.

I want my other daughter to grow up in a world that supports her and gives her time. A world that can accept her differences and know that she and others with special needs have a lot to offer this world. That she, like her sister, should not have to worry about what the bullies of the world are saying behind her back.

That’s why I can’t vote for Trump.

It’s been hard to accept that the person running against Clinton doesn’t deserve my vote.

In fact, I don’t think I can vote for president. I may vote third party, but we’ll see.

I’m a Republican. I’m (pretty much) a conservative — more fiscal than social, if that matters.

I believe that people in individual states should make decisions for their states, pretty much, because we’re such a big country, and it’s hard to say what’s good for those in Washington State is also good for people in Arkansas.

I believe the federal government should  protect us as a nation, and make sure that the playing field is even for all of us.

And I’m still a Republican and proud of it. I’m a conservative (pretty much) and proud of that. I believe in liberty and personal choices and The Constitution. But I know there are people who believe these things in the same way as me but that ALSO believe in things that are way out of my wheelhouse.

I know there are people that have views on these issues that differ from mine but with whom I share other core values, such as a love for family and community.

I know I cannot vote for Trump. I cannot vote for Clinton either (I think she’ll win, and I’m sad that she’ll be the first woman president because there are so many other good women out there who are more deserving).

I’m having a lot of trouble being a conservative woman right now. Not that I’m losing my faith in my conservatism. But that it is being invaded by so many who don’t respect me as a woman.

No book review right now. I may post one later. Right now I’m feeling a little raw and emotionally worn.

Be nice. Be kind. We all have to get through the next four years together. Vote your conscious and the let it go. Let’s do it being the best versions of ourselves.

Don’t loss those corners of your heart.

They’re hard to find again.

CRM Review: Jessie Burton’s “The Muse”

The Muse is a well written, thoughtful book. The art as the vehicle for the mystery works well, and highlights the dueling and connected stories.

“I felt nothing change in the room, except the shock of my voice alone and the peculiar euphoria one feels in the wake of applause, feeling at once cheapened and triumphant.”
― Jessie Burton, The Muse

The Premise

It’s 1967, and Odelle Bastien is a young Caribbean immigrant to England, a hopeful writer and poet working as a typist at the Skelton Institute of Art, hired by the enigmatic Marjorie Quick.

When she meets  Lawrie Scott at her bestfriend’s wedding party, they instantly ‘spark,’ and he shows her the interesting painting he keeps in his car. A few days later, he arrives at the Skelton Institute with the painting, which was left to him by his mother. Marjorie Quick and Edmund Reede, the other individual in charge of the gallery, are instantly intrigued; they’re sure it’s by the talented Spanish artist Isaac Robles, an artist whose mysterious death has intrigued art lovers for years. Reede wants to build an exhibit around it; Quick’s reluctant.

In 1936, the Schloss family has retreated to the rural village of Arazuela on the Spain’s southern coast. Olive Schloss is a promising artist and the daughter of an prominent German art dealer and a beautiful English heiress. When Teresa arrives looking for a job as a housekeeper, she brings her half brother Isaac Robles with her. He’s an idealist, a dilettante with a dream of a Spanish revolution that will take down the rich landowners, including his father, and give the land to the people. He also dreams of becoming a famous artist, similar to his countryman, Pablo Picasso.

Olive falls under Issac’s spell, willing to help him fund a revolution. Isaac becomes her muse, and Teresa helps her present her art to the world, by hiding it in plain site.

Flipping back and forth between 1930’s Spain and 1960’s England, the stories of Isaac Robles, the Schloss family, and Marjorie Quick are told and revealed. These are the stories of two unsure, struggling female artists told in two different times, in two different circumstances, and how they find a way to make their mark, whether they know it or not.

My Thoughts

First off, let me say that The Muse is a well written, thoughtful book. Art as the vehicle for the mystery works well, and highlights the dueling and connected stories.

giphy.gifWith that said, I’m really tired of reading historical fiction. And of reading stories from two different times connected through some object.

And the art angle. Even though I loved the use of art, I just kept comparing The Muse to The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes – another book that uses art to connect two women through time. I think Moyes does it much better, and that may be part of my problem.

But again, The Muse is nicely written and considerate. All the characters are incredibly flawed, but likable. And, again, I’m starting to hate the way the ends all tie together, making endings sooo neat. And again, this does tie that neat knot (although there is one string left loose).

So, if you’re still into historical fiction, and you want to read another book told in alternating time lines, this one is good. As for me, I’m a little tired of both.

I give it 3 stars, because reading is so subjective.






CRM Review: “A Certain Age” by Beatriz Williams

I find myself in a conundrum when it comes to endings that tie neatly together. Something in my heart smiles when I read a neat, tidy ending (probably the same part that loves a slightly predictable rom-com). But my mind, that part that overthinks just about everything, doesn’t like that neatly tied knot. Life doesn’t come together so nicely.

“Books, after all, were expensive, and it was better to eat than read. So the little shelf in Sophie’s bedroom contained a selection of volumes amassed lovingly over successive birthdays and Christmases, and the idea of an entire gilded library, old and venerable, covered with the fingerprints of one’s ancestors, never needing to be returned to it’s rightful owner-why, it stole her will!”

Beatriz Williams,  A Certain Age

The Premise

Theresa Marshall, of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and Southampton, Long Island, has a problem. As a rich socialite, she knows her husband fools around on her and she’s learned to live with it, if she wants to enjoy her social status and his money. But that’s not her problem: she’s gone and fallen in love with her boy-toy. Octavian Ronfrano, a handsome pilot and a hero-pilot in the Great War.

He also believes himself to be in love with her. He’s honorable, and he wants to marry her, despite the difference in their ages. But Theresa is unwilling to divorce her philandering husband, Sylvio; in the 1920s divorce is unheard of, especially for a woman, and especially for a woman of her status.

When Theresa’s bachelor brother, Ox, decides it’s time to marry, he sets his sights on the beautiful daughter of a newly rich inventor. Because it’s what their family does, Theresa asks Octavian to act as Ox’s cavalier: he will present her with an engagement ring (a family diamond ring in a rose pattern), and do some research into the family’s background.

But when Octavian presents Sophie Fortesecue with the ring, he’s captivated by her youth and beauty as well as her quick mind and her complete innocence. As he delves into her family history, he uncovers a family secret that was meant to stay buried.

The love connect brings about divided loyalties for all. As secrets are reveled, those involved are caught up in a mystery that will put them all in danger.

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My Thoughts

Like a bowl of vanilla ice cream, A Certain Age is enjoyable and comfortable.

And that’s okay.

A Certain Age is based on an opera written by Richard Strauss, “Der Rosenkavalier”. The names and basic story are similar, although Williams added in a murder mystery (from what I can tell, I’ve never seen Strauss’s opera), and it’s set in 1920’s Manhattan vs. 1740’s Vienna. (The Author’s Note is very interesting, so don’t skip them!)

I’ve read Beatriz Williams’s books before, and I’m always entertained by her storytelling. Her characters are believable, likable, and interesting. Her bad guys are bad, although they seem to believe their bad acts are justified. I’ve read a few of her books, and enjoyed them all. She does quite a bit of research, and her historical fiction seems spot on.

I did like this story; she creates a vivid impression of New York in the 1920’s. The high society of Manhattan seems legitimate (I haven’t studied 1920’s Manhattan and I’m not THAT old, but it sounds right to me!), and the characters stay true to the time and their individual personalities.

Williams writes great characters and wonderful interactions for the characters. The book started off a little slow, but it hooked me about a third of the way through. Both female characters are wonderful; strong women at different points of their lives, both trying to do the right thing even when emotion gets in the way. Theresa is caught between a rock and a hard place, but still seems to find a way to come out with her integrity and dignity intact. Sophie is young and headstrong, but still tries to find a way to be sincere and fair.

I find myself in a conundrum when it comes to endings that tie neatly together. Something in my heart smiles when I read a neat, tidy ending (probably the same part that loves a slightly predictable rom-com). But my mind, that part that overthinks just about everything, doesn’t like that neatly tied knot. Life doesn’t come together so nicely.

The ending of A Certain Age thrills my rom-com heart, but messes with my mind. So many strings are pulled together and tied into a tidy bow. It’s wonderful, if just a little too perfect.

But the ending fits the book — it’s the kind of book that calls for a nice, neat ending.

As I said–an enjoyable read. 3.5 stars.

Home + CRM Review of Emma Donoghue’s “The Wonder”

And then I read a book with stark, beautiful prose. And I remember how much I love words. I remember that the best writers can tell a story with solid prose, rather than the flowery verbiage in many novels of late. I remember the words are the thing. With that kind of real, rugged prose, an author can do a better job of highlighting the characters and the story, taking the spotlight off the author’s ability to sprinkle a novel with their big, long descriptors.

As a child, home was home. Where ever mom and dad were–that was home. For me, it was where I was safe and loved. Where my room was, where I snuggled into read a book and fought with my brother. It was familiar and warm and, well, just home.


We moved a few times when I was a child — just regular moving. But that feeling was always there.

Two of the most memorable homes were in the country. A few acres and neighbors who were close enough, but not too close.

And then the teen years. The acres felt too big, the town too small. I wanted more (and partly because of me, but mostly because it made logistical sense with my parent’s business and where most of our activities were happening) we moved to the city (I won’t say big city, but it was a city, and it’s getting bigger all the time).

And, after graduating from there, I couldn’t wait to strike out on my own and get out of that city.

After many moves and many towns, I got married. And we began building out own home, a safe place for our girls.

It’s funny to think that as much as I wanted to get away from ‘home’ and the home town, I ended up in a place very similar. Maybe because it’s where I felt safe and loved. Where, for better or worse, they knew me best.

I think we’re giving our 200.gifgirls the same kind of smallish town, hometown feel that we grew up with (my husband grew up on a horse farm in New Jersey). I hope were giving them that same sense of security and love. Enough to make them want to leave the nest, but to know it’s here, filled with laughter and hugs.

Enough so they know that there is a place called home, and that they are always welcome (at least for the weekend).

Now, onto my review of The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.


Lib had a dizzying sense that time could fall into itself like the embers. That in these dim hints nothing had changed since the age of the Druids and nothing ever would. What was that line in the hymn they’d sung at Lib’s school? The night is dark, and I am far from home.

Emma Donoghue, The Wonder


The Premise

Deep in the heart of Ireland in the mid 1800’s lives a marvel of God’s love, or so we are to believe. Anna O’Donnell, eleven years-old, has lived off manna from heaven, eating nothing for months, drawing tourists and journalists to her family’s small cabin.

In order to substantiate the claims, a committee of village citizens has hired professionals to keep watch on the girl for two weeks. They call in a nun and Lib Wright, on of Florence Nightingale’s original nurses from the Crimean War (known as Nightingales).

Lib is suspicious of the claims, an agnostic (or maybe atheist) and non-Catholic. She’s scientific in her approach to the girl, checking every corner of the room in search for hidden food, taking notes on the girl’s condition day in and day out. Sitting with her for hours at a time, Lib is unable to avoid conversations with Anna. She discovers a quick mind and a clever, sweet girl.

Finding herself up against superstitious and devoutly Catholic villagers, Lib also must fight the blinders put up by the committee and Anna’s own family. All need it to be a miracle, bringing in tourists to their small village. But beyond that, they are devout Catholics, interested in sainthood for Anna. Nearly everyone involved is unwilling to see Anna as she is: swollen with dropsy, jaundiced, and dying as her body starves.

The town doctor believes she may be a medical miracle as well, thinking that she may be turning into a sort of plant, capable of living on air alone. The committee wants her to be a miracle, a martyr, a saint, in order to save their town. (Interestingly, the only two that seem to show real doubts about this course is the town priest and the nun.)

Lib is sure Anna is a hoax, and that her family is keeping the collections left by tourists. She watches Anna with detachment, unable to understand the child’s utter devotion to her Church. But when Anna’s health starts to fail, and no one will lift a hand to help, Lib starts to realize that she has to do something.

But will it be enough, and will it be in time?

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My Thoughts

I read a lot of books. And I get caught up in a large number of them. I fall for the characters, and then the stories. That’s the kind of reader I am.

And then I read a book with stark, beautiful prose. And I remember how much I love words. I remember that the best writers can tell a story with solid prose, rather than the flowery verbiage in many novels of late. I remember the words are the thing. With that kind of real, rugged prose, an author can do a better job of highlighting the characters and the story, taking the spotlight off the author’s ability to sprinkle a novel with their big, long descriptors.

Not that The Wonder is short on description. But it’s used to tell the story, not to draw attention to itself.

The story  itself is completely gothic, using the committee and the town, their religion and superstitions, as the most horrific monsters of all. We watch as a group of zealots allow a young girl to waste away, and she continues to let it happen, because she’s a child and these people are supposed to love and protect her.

I could have done without the nod to romance for the cold-hearted Lib, although it did give us a chance to understand why she is so cold-hearted. And it does work — as she thaws concerning Anna, so she is drawn to the handsome journalist.

The other sticking point for me is Donoghue use of a convenient device for Anna’s fervor, making it just a little too pat and obvious. I really wish she would have stuck to the religious for Anna, making it a reaction to the very recent potato famine (which had ended just seven years earlier), the death of her brother from unknown maladies, and her love for God.

But, as I said, the prose is perfect and beautiful, highlighting the strong story and characters rather than hiding the flaws behind ornate wordage. The Wonder is historical fiction, psychological thriller, and gothic novel all rolled into one well-written bag of goodness.

4.5 stars.