Today it ends and I am at peace.
Well, the campaigning ends today. No one knows when the counting will end, and when the inevitable litigation will end. But this is the last day to vote, and thus the last day to influence voters.
If you are eligible to vote and haven’t already done so, stop what you’re doing and go vote now. Vote for Joe Biden for President, vote for Democrats for Senate and Congress, and vote for good people for every office all the way down to the most seemingly insignificant local office – because none of them are insignificant.
And with that final plea, I’ve done all I can do.
I voted. I made financial contributions. I used the soapbox I have to advocate for candidates who will end the nightmare that is Trump.
Others have done more. In different circumstances perhaps I could have done more. The circumstances are what they are, and I did what I could do. That is all I have a right to expect of myself, or of anyone else.
Do I sound like a candidate whose future is in the hands of the voters? Perhaps I do. A part of my future is in the hands of the voters, and in the hands of those who count the votes, and in the hands of those who decide which votes will count and which votes will not.
Our future is not in the hands of the Gods I worship, nor in the hands of the Christian God. They do not have a “plan” for the government of the United States of America.
The Olympians kept fire hidden away from humans, knowing that if we had it we would surely burn ourselves. But Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, giving us the ability to cook our food, warm our bodies… and burn our homes to the ground.
So it is with government.
I have done all I can do. I am at peace.
A Biden win, no matter how large, will not fix things. It will only mean that we can begin the process of fixing what Trump has broken, and what was broken that led to his election. Trump is the symptom, not the disease, and if the disease is not addressed we will see something even worse in coming years. But a Biden win will stop the bleeding, and give us a chance to begin healing.
A Trump win, no matter how small or how it is delivered, will mean an expansion of the bigotry and authoritarianism we’ve seen over the past four years. It will mean continued defunding and deconstruction of the agencies and institutions that protect our environment and our health, and that protect the poor and weak from the rich and strong. It means the cult of his ego will continue to grow, with policy decisions affecting hundreds of millions of people hinging on his mood on any given day.
I do not approach these two very different futures with equanimity. I’m a Pagan who practices magic, and I have worked magic for my preferred outcome. But even the strongest magic does not control the future – it only influences it. My magic and my mundane work have moved the odds, but they do not guarantee victory.
I have done all I can do. I am at peace.
Our ancestors understood that much in life is out of our control. What makes a person heroic is not winning every battle, but fighting bravely and living virtuously, win or lose.
Those who know me well know I think about the future a lot. I contemplate, I speculate, I plan… and I worry. I have a plan for a Biden victory, and I have a plan for a Trump victory.
My goals are the same either way: honor my Gods and ancestors. Build and strengthen my relationships with my family of blood and my family of choice, my community, and the wider world, both human and other-than-human. Learn and grow. Write, speak, teach, and practice my religion and my magic.
The methods I use to achieve these goals will be different, depending on the outcome of today’s election.
The environment in which I work – in which we all work – will be radically different.
We do not get to choose the world in which we live. We only get to choose how we respond.
I am satisfied with my response to the last four years. I am confident I will be satisfied with my response to the next four years and beyond, regardless of how the election ends up.
One of these futures is significantly better than the other. It matters who wins.
But I will deal with the future when it arrives.
Today the campaign ends, and I am at peace knowing I have done all I can do.
May the blessings of the Gods and ancestors be with us, now and in the days to come.