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I'm An Introvert Who Hates Politics. But I Want To Save America.

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

By Lisa Gerardy

I sat there and stared at the overhead projector screen (a presentation device somewhere between cave paintings and the internet), listening to Mrs. Williams (I think that was her name) drone on about a bunch of white guys in powdered wigs. At that time, I was focused on boys with dark hair and Guess jeans--usually not at the same time--but not really the history of the USA. Eleventh-grade Advanced American History class right after lunch was just in the way of a good post-McDonald’s nap. (Young people: we got to leave campus for lunch back then. It was a magical time). I totally did not care.

Twelfth grade wasn’t much better. I had a new boyfriend who had my full attention, so I had no energy left to learn about our government from Mrs. Spungin. (I’m certain of her name). I wasn’t taking notes in twelfth-grade Civics class, so I can’t tell you definitively how Congress is supposed to work, or who’s in charge of foreign policy. I was thinking about what my initials would be when I married my current beau.

I voted for president for the first time in 1992. I voted for Bill Clinton because he was young, in presidential years, and he played the sax on Arsenio Hall. I couldn’t tell you what his policies were or how he was elected. I only ever wish I knew more about the Electoral College on Election Night, but not any other day of the year. I know people who follow politics and people who know things about American history. They do things like post long diatribes on social media and follow people running for office on whatever Twitter is calling itself these days. I don’t have a Twitter, but on Facebook and Instagram I post memes that remind me of growing up in the 80s that other Gen X-ers get instantly but my Millennial son just shakes his head at.

I really don’t like leaving my house much. I enjoy my own company during the workday, silently grading college essays and envying my snoozing Great Danes. I leave the air-conditioned comfort of my Phoenix home for medical appointments and salon or spa visits. Other than the professionals in my life, I have a small circle of people I feel comfortable with in person. So, I only “in person” a couple of times a week.

In other words, I don’t get out much. But even a hermit like me knows something is wrong with America. I doodled and dreamed my way through history and civics, but what I see going on in the country doesn’t come close to anything I was taught to expect.

This is why I keep blabbering on about the Valley Forge Project. If we can get two amendments passed, one to put a limit on the number of years someone can serve in Congress and one to clearly define and limit political donations, we can pivot the focus of OUR government. It’s really that simple. If we work together.

I stay home. I don’t like talking to people or going outside or getting involved in things. But I want to save America. So here I am.

Lisa Gerardy is a founding member of the Valley Forge Project Board of Directors. She is a proud member of the adjunct gig economy, teaching college writing at three universities online. When she is not trying to detect AI and correct apostrophe errors, she is sharing her cringe-worthy childhood with complete strangers online. She is writing a memoir entitled Chasing Normal and hopes to finish it while she can still remember everything. Lisa lives in Phoenix with her long-suffering husband and cherishes visits from her son who lives too far away. She accepts love, slobber, and many bruises from her huge dogs in her spare time.

She was born and raised in South Florida, which is in the South but technically not “the South.” Lisa has also lived in the real South, the Midwest, and she currently resides in the wild wild west. So, she has seen quite a bit of this wonderful country and is inspired to help save it. From inside her house, if possible.

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