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American Democracy is Worth More Than One Man’s Ego

Hey All,

So, I’m clearly on a bit of train. I’m tired of this election. I’m tired of the baseness of it all. I’m tired of Donald Trump making up the rules as he goes along and then calling foul when he isn’t winning. It’s pathetic and small minded and transparent. But, he has followers. He has LOTS of followers. People who are angry, confused and dispossessed armed with Second Amendment laws that haven’t been adjusted in centuries who might very easily follow their leader’s words to their logical conclusion.

If their election is really being stolen from them by a corrupt political system and a falsified media isn’t it there patriotic duty to rise up in revolt? Donald Trump’s inability to lose with dignity could very well usher in a period of civil and political unrest the likes that most of us have only read about.

We have to remember our Democracy is, it itself, an experiment. Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, the very workings of our system are still evolving.

The only reason our Democracy works at all is because we agree it does.

It’s like money. Money only has value is because we collective agree that this piece of paper or these numbers on a screen mean something. Because they don’t. They’re arbitrary.

It’s the collective belief that they do that makes it real.

Democracy is no different.

The only thing that keeps this enormous, polarized country together is the peaceful transfer of power. That we all agree that when our votes are counted and the results are in those are our leaders.

Regardless of your party affiliation you have to understand, if we start suggesting that election results are up for debate the very fabric of our country begins to decay.

The Editorial board of the Washington post wrote: “The GOP should at least find the decency, the patriotism to declare that everyone respect the results of November 8th. To pursue their protests and disputes through legals channels not on in the streets. Surely that is not too much to ask of them.”

I agree. It’s just all too much.

Thanks again for all your support.

xo leigh


I’ve reached my level of tolerance with this election.

Well, I’ve had it. This election has broken my tolerance switch. I’m incensed. I’m horrified. I am sickened for the country, for our future, for the world.

I know we can do so much better.

So, with the lack of any real power to fix it, I ranted.

Love to all. Don’t forget to vote.

xo leigh

What’s Up Democrats?

In light of today’s primary in California, New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana and the Dakotas, I thought I’d take a look at what’s eating the Democratic party and where their priorities lie…should lie?…in the wake of the Donald Trump alternative.

Also, Loch is one day away from being a 3rd Grader.


Thanks again for all your support. Please consider following me on YouTube!! It really does help.

xo leigh


Viewer Questions: Will Congress Choose the Next President?

Hello All!

New post this week is my first Viewer Question Segment regarding a piece that ran in the Huffington Post this week “Doomsday Savior? How Paul Ryan will Pick the Next President.”  and if something like that is really possible?

Quick Answer: Yes. More nuanced answer: watch this video:

Next week we will discuss the Electoral College and how it works.

Please subscribe to the channel on YouTube (you have to have or set up a google account) or, for the mailing list on the website to get email messages when new videos come up.

Thank you again for your continued support!

xo leigh

P.S. Lochlan Update: We’re on Spring Break now and we had the opportunity to go to the soft opening (meaning not yet officially open) of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and it was absoutely incredible. If you are a fan of the book and stories like our family. It is an absolute must do!!





Donald Trump v. The GOP

This is a big day in primary politics and who comes out on top will say a lot about how we move forward to the conventions in July. The biggest issue on the table is currently the Republican front runner Donald J. Trump and his war with the establishment and controlling players in his party. How will it all play out? Why should we care? What is it we should understand? It’s a super big deal and one worth paying attention to.

New post at or on YouTube:

Best to all!

Next week: The fallout from today’s results and where we go from here.

xo leigh

The Importance of the Supreme Court

As Super Tuesday’s results make the Presidential Nominees clearer and clearer, the Importance of the Supreme Court and, more specifically, who gets to nominate its justices becomes more and more important. New Politics Girl: The Importance of the Supreme Court: Part 1 is up on YouTube now. Part 2 will be up soon.

Up Next: Delegates and Super delegates and their effect on the Presidential Nominees.

As always, check out the site for new definitions and blog posts and, if you like it, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel. Apparently that’s how it works. Did you know there’s a guy who makes over 3 million dollars a year playing video games on YouTube? Well, there is! It’s a brand new world. I’m just not quite sure what to make of it.

Thanks again for all your support.

xo Leigh

P.S. Loch update: He had to go to school today dressed as a “favorite literary character”. Since he was Harry Potter last year and, as he said, “There’s going to be like 20 Harry Potters…” he went as Joe Hardy from the Hardy Boys. Adorable 1950’s teenage sleuth.


New Video on Politics Girl

Hi All,

There is a new video up on YouTube – American Politics Names to Know: Part II. You can also see it at the top of the redesigned site:

New definitions will be added every week to the site and I’m currently working on next week’s video: The Importance of the Supreme Court and, how to subscribe directly to the channel so you don’t have to read about the new posts here.

In other news: Lochlan just turned 8. How lucky am I to have been around to see it?!

As always, thank you for your continued support!

xo leigh


New Posts up on PoliticsGirl site

Hello all,

I’m not sure if you’ve been checking but there are some new videos up on the site. “Political Endorsements” and “People to Know American Politics: Part 1”. “People to Know American Politics: Part 2” should be up by Friday and I’m madly working on an extended piece on the death oftThe Supreme Court’s Antonin Scalia and what it all means for the Presidential Election in November and the country in general.

Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and check out the new website: It’s been redesigned and, though it’s still a work in progress, I think it’s really starting to come together.

Many thanks to my husband Sean for his many talents!!

Thanks again for your continued support!

xo leigh

My New Project!!

Hello Friends & Followers!

So, I told you I’d have a new adventure and here it is!

I’ve been working on a new project for quite a while and, though it’s not as perfect or polished as I’d like it to be, I figured it’s time to stop messing around and launch the darn thing already. So, without further ado, I give you the first episode of Politics Girl. Iowa caucus: Part I, II & III.

Yes, I know…right down to the wire on that one.

You can also access the episodes via the website at:

Basically, Politics Girl is my foray into vlogging (or video blogging) where I hope to break down political issues and candidates from a open minded perspective. Though I personally have strong political leanings, swaying people to my point of view is not the point of the website or channel. My goal, as lofty as it may be, is to truly reengage people with the political sphere using facts and not spin. Things have become so polarized, so hostile, so…let’s be honest…gross that people are simply checking out in order to save their own sanity. I understand that. There’s a saying I love that goes…“My desire to stay informed is directly challenged by my desire to stay sane.” 

It’s a quandary.

Our news stations are skewed, our inboxes are full, our lives are busy but, this stuff REALLY matters and we, as lucky democratic citizens, get to have a say. I know it’s easier to choose to ignore it but, ultimately, it’s not better. Not for us and not for the future of the country. Ignoring simply gives the people who are engaged way too much control. I believe we can do better and I think knowledge and understanding is the first step to that.

Now, I know that a website, vlog, blog, tumblr, twitter feed situation is a bit Millennial for a lot of us but, this is the new way to reach people and reaching people is truly my goal. Currently the website is in it’s infancy. I’ll be consistently adding new vlogs, blogs and definitions but, the twitter feed and tumblr account have been up and running for months and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to check them out, follow and, hopefully, pass them on to others.

So, that’s my spiel. I want to make politics, and the issues that come with it, easier to understand so people are more engaged and take that engagement all the way to the ballot box. If you’d like to support this endeavor please follow my channel on YouTube, my feed on Twitter and share, please share, with people you know. If you have questions, feel free to ask and I’ll try and answer them as thoughtfully as I can.

Thank you for all your continued support.

Best always!

xo Leigh

The Next Adventure…

Dear Reader,

First, I want to thank you for coming on this journey with me. When I arrived at the three year mark of my diagnosis and wasn’t dead, I knew I wanted to do something worthwhile with my life. To make a difference. To leave something behind so that when I did die, I’d be able to feel a little less helpless about it. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to write a series of letters to my Lochlan so if I wasn’t around to teach or guide him, his mother’s voice could still resonate in his life. When it was suggested I write those letters as a blog I was hesitant. I didn’t read blogs. I didn’t know blogs. It felt insincere to join a space that I had no knowledge of, or even, real interest in.

When I decided to move forward I did vast amounts of research. I took an extensive New York Times course and I made countless notes on what I thought worked for other bloggers and why. The publishing of my first post was thrilling because I’d never done anything like it before. My voice was “out there”. I was no longer anonymous or protected. I had allowed my story to be public and I had made myself accountable to that persona.

Leah Lee  002In the meantime, I found I loved writing. I loved the opportunity to be honest and reflexive. I loved connecting with people, both strangers and close friends but, most of all, I was grateful for the catharsis. Writing made me feel less afraid. Every post I published was one less thing I would never be able to say. The process of creating the world of ‘In Case I’m Gone’ gave me a power I no longer had in real life. It allowed me to be in charge of my own story. It became less about what was happening to me and more about what I could learn from it. Writing, and hearing from those who were reading, made me feel less alone, less panicky, less fearful that soon there would be nothing left of me than a picture in a frame. Everything I published became a reminder that I had lived. That I was real. That I’d loved and cared and made mistakes and learned from them all.

underwood picWhen I was approached to write this blog as a book I was thrilled. It was what I’d hoped for. The opportunity to write my story in a forum I really understood. To leave a part of me behind. To be able to look back on my life and feel as if I’d done something real, something tangible. What I didn’t realize at the time was how long it would take to write that book. How difficult it would be to honor someone else’s idea of how it should look and feel while still making it my own. It took me almost three years to get it right. To have a book that really felt like me. This wasn’t some fictional character’s story. This was my real life and I had to do it justice. It had to be exactly right.

Though I continued to write the blog I found it was a real effort to keep the two things separate. I’d have an idea about something and think, is this a blog or a chapter? Is it on message? Does it serve a purpose? Would anyone care? Lochlan_McGowan-152It was a crazy amount of work and, I’m not ashamed to say, there were months where I wasn’t sure what I was even doing anymore and the book would sit completely dormant. When everything clicked last summer I was able to rewrite the book in it’s entirety in just over three months and, after two more of rewrites for my agent, by January we were ready to submit to eight different publishers.

I’ve never worked harder on something in my life. I’ve never done anything as intimate or daunting. I put my heart and soul into those pages and it felt right. In many ways it made my struggles feel worthwhile. As if coming to terms with my own death I could potentially help others live a better life. It felt hopeful and personal and, dare I say it, successful. The day I finished I cried. I cried my eyes out from relief and exhaustion and pride. I’d done something, something real and, at the time I said, “Even if the only person who ever reads it is Loch. It’ll be worth it.” 

photo copy 2Little did I know how true those words might be. As of now, all eight publishers have passed. Passed in the most glowing, complimentary way but, passed all the same. Apparently everyone loves the book but doesn’t know how to sell it and in a world of marketing and branding and everything being for sale this isn’t particularly good news. I can’t properly express the greatness of my disappointment but, I can say, I’m almost positive it’s not the end of that tale. The outcome may not be what I’d hoped, but the product is. I’ve written a book I’m truly proud of and, hopefully, someday many of you will want to read it. For now, I have to be resigned to it sitting on a shelf.

Which brings me to today. I haven’t been writing much lately and, though I could blame it on a million “busy” things, I’ve come to realize it’s because I’ve reached a crossroad. The completion of my book, though not culminating in the desired result, still represents the end of a journey. A journey I started in 2011 and one that’s now reached its’ conclusion. Lochlan is finally at an age where he’ll remember many of things I’ve said. He’s old enough that he might actually get to know me. I’ve made a singular impact on his life and, even if I haven’t, I’ve left a tangible part of myself behind in my writing. No matter what happens to me now I’ll have existed for him and, honestly, that’s all I ever wanted.

IMG_2326I am called to something new. I’m not exactly sure what it is but, until I take my foot out of this world I’ll never be able to firmly plant myself in another. I have a million things to say and I don’t want to feel boxed in by a “brand” or “message”. I’ve loved writing from the perspective of a mother who’s dying because, I am and I will but, these days I feel drawn to tell a different story from a different perspective and, if I’ve learned anything from being sick it’s that you have to listen to your heart. I could write ‘In Case I’m Gone’ until I was, but for now, I’m actually here and I owe it to myself to see where the next road leads.

Thank you for supporting me. For listening to me. For reaching out and sharing with me. I wish you luck and love and success on your own journey. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I’ll be writing for you again but, this time from the pages of a book, the dialogue of a movie or, even, from the mouth of a politician who believes, as I do, that we as a people can do better than we are.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me as I found my voice. I promise to try and do something truly worthwhile with it before I go.

All my love,

xo Leigh