The Alanis Morissette song, Ironic, has the following lyric:
Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you/When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right…
At the end of 2020, Congressman Jamie Raskin went through what no parent should ever go through. His son, Tommy took his life. Less than a week later, his world again turned upside down when the Capitol building was invaded on January 6th. His new memoir, Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy, was published in January. The narrative is twofold: processing the untimely loss of his son and the Herculean task of impeaching you know who for starting the riot.
Told with raw emotional honesty and a will of iron that many in his position might not have had, this book shines a light on both mental illness and how close this nation came to losing it everything we hold dear. As both a father and a politician, Raskin leaves nothing out. His love for his family and his passion for upholding the values that built the United States radiates from the page.
I loved this book. It’s not an easy read, by any stretch of the imagination. Losing his son was an emotional trauma that by itself is a monster to deal with. Adding on the pressure of saving the American democracy is a burden that might have broken someone else. But Raskin was somehow able to have the strength, courage, and the ability to move forward through difficult times.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.