The calendar says that Spring arrived weeks ago but you couldn't tell by the cool temperatures. Here in the Mid-Atlantic we had snow flurries on Palm Sunday and frost warnings just the other night.
The calendar also says that the election of the next President won't take place until November - seven months away - but you couldn't tell that by the temperature of the political climate.
The narrative being pressed by liberal and conservative media alike is that the American people are angry. What we're supposedly angry about differs, of course, based on the view from the Left or the Right or the Middle.
Or, male or female. Or, Caucasian, Black, Latino/a, Asian. Or, Christian - Evangelical or Roman Catholic - or Jewish, and maybe - maybe - a few Muslims. Or, of course, a member of either the GI, Silent, Boomer, Gen-X or the current media darling, the Millennial generation.
This anger, they say, is why we have extreme candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. Trump on one side and Sanders on the other.
I think that's a simplistic, stick-figure picture of reality.
The other Republican candidates are pretty "extreme" for me and, in fact, for many Republicans. While Sanders talks a lot about "revolution", most of his ideas are far from "extreme". Indeed, he has pushed Clinton and the Democratic platform more to the Left. For which I am grateful.
I'm not going to offer a counter-analysis about why "everyone" in America is so angry.
And, I'm not going to talk about the pro's and con's of each candidate - especially the Democrats.
More and more, I'm hearing supporters of Bernie Sanders say that, if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, they aren't going to vote. For anyone. Period.
And, I'm hearing - not that I have heard it myself but I'm hearing that it's being said - that Hillary supporters are responding that, if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, they aren't going to vote. For anyone. Period.
Now, that makes me angry. Very angry.
That's the thing about anger. It has the potential to destroy brain cells. Suddenly, mature, seasoned, responsible adults begin to sound like petulant, pouty four year olds.
Look, I don't care if you don't like Hillary. You don't have to. And, I really don't particularly care if you don't like Bernie.
This is not a popularity contest. It's an election process for the President of the United States of America.
And, the stakes are very, very high. Pick an issue, any issue. Now, think of one of the three candidates from the GOP as President of the United States.
If you can recover from that image, stop and ask yourself:
Because, that's what you'll be doing if you stay home on election day and don't cast your ballot.
Every vote that isn't cast for the Democratic nominee strengthens the vote for the
When I hear - or hear of - someone huffing that if their candidate doesn't get the nomination, they are not going to vote, I want to sit them down and tell them the story of the battle women had to wage in order to get the right to vote.
Take four minutes and give yourself the gift of enlightening yourself on the Suffragist Movement.
If you've got a bit more time, watch the movie Iron-Jawed Angels.
In case you didn't know, the 19th Amendment to The Constitution giving women the right to vote was ratified on August 18, 1920. Yes, women have only been allowed to vote for less than 100 years. Yes, it took an amendment to The Constitution in order to achieve it.
And, it didn't happen easily. Watch the movie. Seriously. You can watch Iron Jawed Angels on YouTube in its entirety here,
Just a warning, it's not easy to watch. You'll see how women were beaten and jailed and placed in psychiatric hospitals and force-fed (strapped down and a tube put down their throats) because they were possessed of this radical idea that the Constitution of the United States of America provided them with the right to vote. Which they were being denied. And, they wanted that changed.
And then, we'll talk about the voter registration efforts that were part of the Civil Rights Movement, and I'll tell you the story of Episcopalian Jonathan Daniels who was jailed and then shot to death for helping people of color register to vote.
And then, we'll talk about the 1965 Voter Rights Act and how voter registration efforts continue today in places where there is an ongoing effort to erode voter rights.
And then, we'll talk about how the Supreme Court, by a unanimous vote, recently rejected a challenge to the fundamental democratic principle of one person, one vote.
Yes, I know. Hillary has her faults.
So does Bernie.
See also: Not a popularity contest.
See also: The stakes are very high.
Yes, I know, the system is corrupt. I know the system needs to be changed. I know, I know, we need a revolution.
"You say you want a revolution /Well you know /We all want to change the world." So sang revolutionary John Lennon.
And, everybody knows Les Miz: "Do you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men?"
It's hardly a new concept.
You think it's bad now? You should have seen it when the previous generation handed it over to us. Or the one before that handed it over to them. Or the one before that . . . well, you get the idea.
So, now it's this generation's turn. And, unless you skipped Civics Class in the sixth grade, you know that the way stuff gets changed in a democracy is . . . wait for it . . . yes, you guess it . . . Vote.
You vote to elect people who think like you to re-present you in the highest levels of government.
And, if you don't vote, you not only don't use your civil right, you lose the right to complain.
I know. You're angry. Pissed. I get it. I can't tell you how pissed I was when "hanging chads" resulted in Gore's loss to Bush. I can't even begin to explain my rage when the SCOTUS got involved and handed the election to The Shrub.
You get over it. You work harder for what it is you believe in.
And, you learn that while the pendulum swings both ways over time and that MLK was right that the arc of history bends toward justice, you also learn that you can help to push it there.
And, that the force that helps to change things in a democracy is your vote. Not political rhetoric, no matter how passionate. Not platitudes. Not anger. Not even a 'revolution' - not without a plan that includes the voice of the people through the democratic process of voting.
So, here's my plea: Get angry. Don't get angry.
Your anger, in an of itself, isn't the point.
Here's what is: Don't get apathetic.
Hold your nose, if you have to, but vote.
One person. One vote. That's how it works.
Because, no matter what the calendar says, the elements of the climate of this country - including the poor, and women, and people of color, and children, and immigrants and the environment and the economy and education and gun control and war and who gets elected to the SCOTUS - are depending on you and your vote.
If you think the weather is unseasonable now, things could get worse. Much, much worse.
My name is Elizabeth Kaeton and I approve this message.
NB: Please do take note that I did not say anything, one way or the other, about either HRC or BS. Those of you who simply can not help yourself and want to bash either candidate will find that your comment will be deleted.
Never confuse a blog with a democracy. You don't get a vote here.
See how that works?