10 Things That Will Still Be True After Election Day

10 Things That Will Still Be True After Election Day November 7, 2016

This morning my phone flashed a cute little notification that said “Tomorrow is election day!”

I wanted to throw it like it was hot and scream AS IF I CAN FORGET THAT FOR A SECOND! It’s a new phone so I didn’t do that. But geez, how can we forget? Tomorrow is TUESDAY. Tomorrow is the great reckoning. Tomorrow dawns the day when we find out if we are still speaking to all of our friends and family or not. Tomorrow is ALL THE THINGS.

Except maybe it isn’t. Maybe tomorrow is not the looming scepter that we have made it out to be.

Granted, I have ominous visions of the emerging fascist dictatorship that will be set in motion if Trump wins. I also carry forboding images of the chaos that will ensue if he loses, with his supporters taking to the streets as a well-armed but not-at-all regulated militia…

But Toby Ziegler always writes two speeches for President Bartlett–one for if he loses, and one for if he wins. One for if Zoe makes it home alive and… well, another one. So I’ve been thinking about my own two speeches–or two blog posts, as it were. What am I going to write about on Wednesday? What do I say to my people on Sunday? And the more I think about two possible messages, the more I come back around to this same truth: whoever wins this thing, there are some things that, for better or worse, will still be fundamentally true come Wednesday morning.

via Pexels
via Pexels

For Worse: No matter who the next President is:

  1. We are a country dealing with systemic racism. On an epic scale. While that sentiment has always been present in our country’s narrative, the rhetoric employed by the Trump campaign has condoned levels of overt vitriol that had, in recent decades, been banished to the margins. Not anymore. The pushback against Black Lives Matter, the inexplicable emergence of the KKK as a viable voice in political discourse, and the haunting images of our current President hanging from a tree… I’m sorry, friends, but these realities will still be with us come Wednesday, even under a President Hillary Clinton. Also painfully true–
  2. At least half of our country really hates women. A lot. I’m not saying that all Trump voters hate women…but I think it’s safe to say that all woman-haters are voting for Trump. Which, let’s just be real, does not look great for him or the establishment he represents. No matter which way the election goes, the people who excuse, condone, and mimic his treatment of women are still out there in the world. In our communities. They are trolling our Twitter feeds; they are employers, they are fathers, they are little league coaches and elected officials and, God help us, they are church leaders. They’re our friends and neighbors, and they have identified themselves as a-okay with a certain brand of “locker room talk.” Thanks for the heads-up, fellas. Good to know we should never, ever turn our backs on you as we walk away. Or leave you alone with our daughters.
  3. We are divided, and we are stuck. On guns. On abortion. On black lives and gay lives. On healthcare. We are at a cultural impasse that probably amounts to absolute gridlock for the next administration.
  4. We have lost the art of civil discourse. If you have spent any time on social media in the past year, this one needs no further explanation. We don’t know how to talk about anything meaningful without reducing our arguments to memes and sound bites. And speaking of sound bites,
  5. The integrity of the press has been compromised. A free and credible press is essential to a democratic society. Constant implications of “rigged” systems and “biased” media have made a scapegoat of this elemental freedom. To be fair, the media shares some of the blame. While there is always going to be some degree of bias, much of what we are fed, in the current climate, is strongly biased reporting that claims to be neutral–and comes in direct response to our demand for entertainment. We cultivate these echo chambers where we can surround ourselves with like-minded people. It may be comfortable but it means we have lost all ability to separate real news from junk. The bottom line is, a great many Americans are deeply mistrustful of the media right now; in a time when, ironically, we are more connected to media than ever. It’s complicated. And it’s not good.

So how about some things that ARE good? Things that will still be left standing after whatever chaos this week may reveal?

6. Kansas City Public Schools have earned full accreditation for the first time in over a decade. Which just goes to show that some of the biggest, most life-giving kinds of change happen at the local level. And you can get involved in your state and local leadership and work for the kind of world you want to be a part of, whether or not your person of choice wins the top of the ticket.

7. The sun will come up. And there will be coffee. After that, we can tackle anything, right?

8. T-Minus 18 Days Until the Gilmore Girls Revival on NetflixHang in there, people. This is nothing a good Luke’s fix can’t, at least, help us face together.

9. My phone knows magicIf you have an Android, you can say “Lumos” into the microphone to activate the flashlight. And “Nox” to turn it off. I learned this trick last night, and my hope in humanity/general will to live received a significant boost. We have successfully mainstreamed the Harry Potter narrative, folks. This should counter many, many forms of darkness, both literal and figurative, currently looming on the political landscape.

10. And finally, the one we’ve all been waiting for… No more political ads. For the love of all that might still be sacred, I cannot stomach one more toxic campaign commercial. If you live in a swing state, you’ve probably endured more than your fair share of presidential ads. For the rest of us, the state and local races have produced just as much ugliness. The super fun thing about where I live is that our networks cover TWO STATES worth of political meltdown. We get the ominous voice over of impending doom for both Kansas and Missouri. So we get to be twice as anxious, twice as angry, and twice as disgusted with the whole damn thing. It’s awesome. But come Wednesday… blessed silence. Sports. Generic commercials selling crap I don’t need. I’ll even be glad to hear the ridiculously early Christmas music creep over the airwaves this year, if it means I do not have to hear another word about “Kansas values.”

Is all this good news or bad news? I guess the answer is yes, both, and I don’t know. But somehow, I believe that we will all still be here on Wednesday; that we will still have most (ok, some) of our friends; and that, if nothing else, your cell phone knows how to light the way home. Until then…I’m choosing to dwell in hope. Maybe I’ll see you there.

 

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