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How to Restore Our Country to Sanity

A response to commentary, August 30, 2022, by Dennis Prager, Columnist for the Daily Signal, nationally syndicated radio host, and creator of Prager U, entitled Women are Disproportionately Hurting Our Country”. Written by Ellen Cooperperson, Best-Selling Author, CEO, Leadership Coach, and creator of Connect U.

“I fear all you have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill her with a terrible resolve”

Last week a friend sent me an article, “The Origins of Woke”, about a best-selling book first published 30 years ago, called The Official Politically Correct Dictionary. This satirical book predicted the “cancel culture” and warned that every word you utter will soon be policed.

I replied with the suggestion that he read the first page. There he would find that the authors dedicated this book to me. “For the former Donna Ellen Cooperman, who after a courageous yearlong battle through the New York State Court system, won the right to be known as Donna Ellen Cooperperson.

A note of rigorous honesty, they got a few things wrong. My first and middle names were inverted, my name change case took two years, until I finally won in the New York State Supreme Court. And initially my petition was denied in a 15-page decision that, before the internet, went viral and made international news.

My case led to changing, among other things, job titles, like draftsman to graphic artist, airline stewardess to flight attendant, and manpower to human resources. The purpose of my case was to raise awareness about inclusion, providing both women and men equal access to opportunities, and supporting them to become the best version of themselves regardless of gender, race, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, or class.

I went on to become the founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Educational and Counseling Center, in partnership with the State University of New York, where the team I led coached and trained over 17,000 women to reenter the job market, advance in careers, and become financially independent.

In 1986, I made the transition to provide learning and development opportunities for thousands of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, family business owners, and next generation leaders of both genders.

Over the past four decades, I’ve been moved, touched, and inspired by countless writers, speakers, spiritual and religious leaders, and giants in industry, politics, entertainment, medicine, and philanthropy. Within all of that, three individuals stand out as having the most profound effect on my learning not only what to think, but how: they are Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and champion of our free enterprise system, Bill Wilson the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Dennis Prager, who taught me and millions of others about Judeo, Christian values and solidified my pride and gratitude for being an American.

So, when I read Dennis’ commentary blaming women for disproportionally hurting our country, and the rationale he offered for this position, I thought since I’ve listened to him for over thirty years, perhaps I can offer some information to him, and his followers that might be helpful in the 15 min it will take to read this article.

I agree with Dennis that both women and men need to control their natural instincts. Raising good people, both women and men, is the most important thing society can do. I also agree that our education system is responsible for doing a great deal of damage to children and young people. American schools do “teach less and indoctrinate more”. Of equal importance is that, according to a 2020 survey reported in the NY Times, students are not motivated to learn, are pressured for grades rather than getting an education, and do not feel prepared for real life. In short, they think that school and what they are being taught in it, is a waste of time.

Where I disagree is placing blame on women for what is happening in school districts around the country. Yes, women are disproportionately teachers, but the School Superintendents, who serve as the Chief Executive Officers, responsible for providing leadership and direction over the formulation and implementation of educational programs, are disproportionately (71.5%) male. Blaming women for men’s choices, like Adam blaming Eve, is as old as the cesspool of the ages.

About gender pronouns, we have gone past the point of correction to overcorrection. Both women and men demonstrate the full range of qualities and characteristics, that typically are ascribed to one gender or another. Women have enormous strength, and an abundance of courage and men possess the ability to be compassionate and kind. This should not be confused with who or what is a biological male or female.

Banning books, destroying property, raining hatred on people for having a different opinion, and becoming violent for not getting your own way, are all symptoms of a sick and sorely troubled society. Look deeper and you will find what people who behave this way have in common. They resemble childish, emotionally sensitive, and grandiose drunks. Selfish, dishonest, fearful, self-loathing, resentful victims of self-pity, and self-delusional, our society has become an addict. Addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, technology, sex, TV binging, depression and suicide ideation rates are off the charts. Emotional Sobriety is about finding peace and joy in meeting the realities of life’s ups and downs with a clear head and a steady heart. And I agree with Dennis, it begins by conquering the world within.


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