Alas, in the United States we now have an electorate easily distracted by glittering celebrity. Drawn easily to the trivial and seduced by nonsense, typical voters are more engaged in Bieber’s latest shenanigans (in reality these have no impact on their lives) than focus on the important stuff that in reality do profoundly impact the quality of our daily lives; specifically the rampant gerrymandering and corruption in the halls of government. But there’s nothing typical about author and master gardener Judy Frankel. As an activist (especially related to food issues) as she has selflessly manned the barricades (as so acutely documented and captured in this book’s subtitle, ‘One Woman’s Quest to Fix Washington”). Indeed she has championed our collective interests, while the rest of us have ignored her warning, complacent in the belief that the truth is best found on Entertainment Tonight and The View.
Witnessing Ms. Frankel’s political journey in the pages of POTUS, and the unremitting struggle and disappointments she faced along the way, concerns me. Clearly as a collective we are not prepared to extend ourselves personally, to make the effort to dig through the clutter in pursuit of forthright answers; and then do something about it.
By the way, Ms. Frankel does her best to avoid the customary tropes of attributing all ideological wisdom and political purity to solely one side of the debate, and is happy to point her earth-stained fingers (remember she is a master gardener) at all those that have dirtied their hands. The cast of villains is considerable: big business, unions, lobbyists, special interest groups, and both parties, the merry men and women inhabiting the house, and even the White House that persists in shoveling fetid fertilizer into our naïve faces. Just that we’ve all been so distracted that we haven’t noticed nor really cared. But that’s the thing, Ms. Frankel does care and should be revered for her Quixotic crusade, which would become considerably less speculative if more folks read this fascinating book—and chose to become engaged in the process to preserve our nation at the ballot box, on the basis of being truly well-informed.
I’m not claiming Ms. Frankel has all the correct solutions (though I take her view on food-related issues very seriously) but I’m thrilled to say in this book I’ve found evidence of “intelligent life,” someone not distracted by glitter, and with a demonstrative track record of being engaged up to her elbows on the earnest matters that affect ourselves and the future of our children.
I cannot deny this is a complex process, the vision Ms. Frankel has outlined, but I found it to be a compelling read. The author’s ability to take so many moving parts–all of them complicated–and reduce them down in a cogent fashion is mighty impressive. The fact she shares her personal story so frankly, makes this book so much more of an entertaining, human story. With 2016 just around the corner, I recommend “In Search of the Next POTUS” as both a timely and important read.