Ashley Judd for Senate—but why waste her time?

Mr. Republican?

Mr. Republican?

Ashley Judd for Senate! I hope she changes her mind. I’m not from Kentucky, and I’ve pretty much sworn off political involvement (my Afib heart and my old man memory won’t allow it). But if everyone in Kentucky who has ever dealt with depression voted for her, she’d win in a landslide.

If I’ve ever seen one of Judd’s movies, I don’t remember it. So how do I recognize her so readily? I guess from seeing news reports about her constant work on behalf of many charitable organizations, chief of which is YouthAIDS.

And there’s the problem of her residence. She lives in Tennessee. But moving into a state in order to run for Senate is a well-established tradition. Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton come to. At least Judd was born in Kentucky.

I’m not much of a country music fan (I loved Patsy Cline when I was in high school, but I didn’t realize she was a country singer), so I don’t know much about the other Judd women, either. I saw five minutes of “Dancing with the Stars” flipping through TV channels, and it happened to be Wynonna Judd’s final dance on the show.  But I can’t think of any of her songs.

So I really have no basis for thinking Ashley Judd should run for the Senate. None but her statement yesterday after the tape of Mitch McConnell talking about her depression came to light.

“This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C. We expected nothing less from the Mitch McConnell and his camp to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter.”

When I was in high school and college, Everett Dirksen was Republican leader in the Senate. Those were the years my political ideas changed from Nebraska Republicanism to California liberalism (?) or whatever they were (are). Like so many other people my age, the Viet Nam War was the catalyst for my seeing the world differently. I’m not knowledgeable or smart enough to be a real liberal. I just follow a different crowd than I would if I had lived in Nebraska beyond high school.

I had (have) an odd view of politics. Everett Dirksen said or stood for very little that I agreed with. But I liked the guy. He had a gravelly voice

Does granfatherliness count?

Does granfatherliness count?

that made him seem more like a grandfather than a Senator, and a shock of unruly hair that made him seem unkempt and a bit wild. One of his legislative accomplishments was helping to write the Civil Rights Act in 1964. How could you disagree with that?

So now I engage in a bit of ad hominem attack exactly like the attacks on Ashley Judd I think were so reprehensible. Mitch McConnell looks, as my mother would have said, “Greasy.” He has a shiny complexion, a permanent scowl, and—OMG—have you ever seen a mouth drawn tighter in an emotionless line? And there’s nothing grandfatherly about his voice. There, I’ve said it. He frightens me. How’s that for a grown-up intelligent way to form one’s political opinions?

Monday night I was home alone. Yes. Alone. The most dangerous place for me to be at certain times. Home alone.

If I continue describing this little vignette, a certain percentage of those who might accidentally stumble onto this posting will be uncomfortable. They would be the people who don’t like to think about difficult stuff as well as people who care about me and don’t want me to talk about these things (in private or public).

The little vignette is pretty simple. I was sitting on my sofa with my iPad playing Sudoku, my three cats nestled around me, all of us watching “Antiques Roadshow,” and I was crying. I guess that Confederate Civil War canteen really touched me somehow. Well, no. I was depressed (perhaps I am depressed—sometimes it’s hard to tell).

That’s the point. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. And for most of us who are depressed, that’s one of the problems. We cope with it so well we don’t feel it until it overwhelms us. Fortunately I get it. I understand what’s happening and can generally—these days—roll with its punches. But not always.

Ashley Judd In Conversation With The United Nations Office On Drugs And CrimeSo Mitch McConnell’s joking about depression or determining to use it against Ashley Judd is simply despicable. That’s all. It’s “greasy.” Want someone like that determining whether or not Social Security benefits will be cut? Well, he’s the one who will decide. Run, Ashley, run. No, don’t. You have much more important things to do than be caught up in that mess. Really.

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