Nevertheless, She Persisted

Hilary Schwartz
3 min readJun 14, 2018

Racoon as metaphor for my drained Democratic soul.


How many of us have had it? The news is depressing. Kids being dragged away from their parents at the border. The terrible numbers from post-hurricane Puerto Rico. We are in a world where the monster Kim Jong-Un is praised by our president, while somehow there’s a “special place in hell” for Canada’s Justin Trudeau. (Maybe that special place in hell is Mar-a-largo.)

And now, on top of all of Trump’s terrible qualities, we can add the word “wuss.” Without pinning Kim Jong-Un down on denuclearization (a promise that tyrant has made again and again), this “tough-guy” president volunteers that we will stop joint exercises with South Korea because they are too provocative. Oh, and he announces this without even informing South Korea. He gave it all away for a photo-op. And Republicans called Obama a wimp? While they are celebrating this roll-over?

On top of it all, I feel I have to prepare for another semi-nightmare scenario: which is many folks around Trump going down, winding up in prison or cooperating with prosecutors, while he and his family spin free. Meanwhile, no one in his party will hold him accountable, for using his campaign and the presidency to line his business’s pockets, for being an obvious lapdog for Putin after the autocrat attacked our democracy, for stomping all over our institutions and our very decency.

Yes, I have been in the politics doldrums. I have tried to drown my pain in episodes of “90-Day Fiancé.” I have attempted to numb myself with “Next Food Network Star.”

But wait. The mid-terms are coming. The 20-point shift to Democrats from Trump-won Districts continues. We are seeing record-breaking numbers of women candidates, and many are winning. Maybe there is hope. I think there is hope — until I realize that gerrymandering and good economic numbers may still prevent Democrats from taking back the House.

Again, I was ready to pack it, when inspiration came from a most unexpected place. My spirit was buoyed by a single hero. If one raccoon can take every last bit of her trash-panda strength and scale a 20-story skyscraper in St. Paul, surely, I can withstand the politics of the day. I can watch MSNBC again. I can even make some calls this fall from some random phone bank for the upcoming mid-terms.

But it was more than inspiration. As I marveled at that small mammal not giving up, I realized that she IS me. She is the majority of Americans who cannot abide Trump or his cult of a GOP. Just like her, we too cannot let a straight vertical wall and no food and water stop us from saving ourselves. That little cartoon-character-looking creatures makes me want to put every slogan together at once: Yes, we can … because that one nasty woman persisted.