The thing is, I keep wondering how well we’re going to heal as a nation when the election is over.
In 2008, I was a fervent Obama supporter and, yes, a bit smug when he won. “Of course he won the presidency. He was the best candidate. His campaign was based on hope and change. Why wouldn’t he win?”
But now, as I watch the mudslinging with Trump and HRC, I am not as sure. Not feeling as smug about the *inevitable* outcome. And not as sure that the wounds will heal afterwards.
I’m also 90% ready to secretly google an explanation of the workings of the Electoral College. I do know what it is. Sort of. I remember getting schooled up fast on the EC when Dub-yuh was elected. But that feels like a bad, vague memory now. We’re talking an event from my – gasp! – twenties. We’re talking the days when I wasn’t thinking as seriously about the economy and how fast shit gets real without good health insurance. It’s all adulty stuff floating around in my head now.
I’m daydreaming over my Twitter feed and saying to myself, “What if this comes down to the Electoral College? Damn, I need to brush up on that thing. Why are we a democracy if this secret club ultimately holds all of the power in the election?”
(Inner Voice: Dr. Miss, this is the moment when people are going to stop reading your blog and say, “What a dummy. How could she not know this? I’m out.” Or they’ll say, “Yes! A political junkie who admits she needs to brush up on the EC too! Welcome, sister!”)
So, there’s the humility of needing to deal with the Electoral College knowledge gap.
But then there’s the business of the social media mudslingers. I am a loud and proud participant on FB with all of this nonsense. Predictably, my trying-to-sound-so-informed comments are received well by my like-minded friends. We are an over-educated, nerdy, mom-and-dad jeans wearing gang. The cool ones in our crowd wear the Chuck Taylor All-Stars. The rest of us are rocking the New Balances and Clarks. Word.
The few Trump supporters in my close group of 950 friends (seriously, such a ridiculous number) either do not comment, or if they do, they’re quickly, but politely, drowned out by myself and my fellow nerded-out political gang members. The Trumpers fight back for awhile and throw around their own facts and statistics. I admire their gumption the same way I admire the chipmunks that always seem to walk into our traps in the backyard. Those little chipmunks chew away on the little bars of the cage. They frantically run back and forth in the cage, looking quite busy and Shawshank Redemption-ish. You’re working hard, little chipmunk, but you’re really just churning through the definition of insanity there.
It’s the same thing with the FB political exchanges. There’s some lively banter. No one crosses the “hey, that was insulting!” line. And then, after awhile, we all get tired of the thread. It dies out. The chipmunk has laid down. (Laid? Lay? Lie-ed? Who cares, really.) In the end, we put down our phones and get into our minivans to drop off a child at practice/school/religious ed/Scouts/whatevs.
- “Do you have everything?”
- “Yes? Good.”
- “I’m picking you up at…”
- “Don’t forget to…”
- ..quick social media check before you pull back out of the parking lot and….we’re back to mama’s social media time.
- Inner voice: Hmmm, that Trump thread has quieted down. Oh well. Let’s see what the Huff Post has cooking right now.
There are folks out there that I am judging all over the place. I am so sure that they are dumb for not seeing this election the same way that I do. I rationalize my judgments with all sorts of judgmentally judgmental foolishness.
- “Well, he is voting for Trump because he didn’t get any farther than a high school education.”
- “Those dopes don’t make enough money to be Republicans. Voting GOP will not improve their lives in any way. Wrong tax bracket, turkey.”
- “I always had a feeling he was a misogynist and, now, look at that Trump sign on his lawn. Takes one to know one there.”
- “The factories have moved overseas and you’re still not going to get a job, dummy, if Trump is elected. Time to go to community college and get yourself trained up on something new.”
Judging, judging, judging. I am just judging the hell out of all of these people.
I don’t say any of this smack out loud, but I sure am thinking it. And now I’ve shared it with you, oh fellow cyberspace inhabitants. (Inner Voice: You just dated yourself with that “cyberspace” stuff. Nobody says that anymore. And don’t try to pull out “the Net” as your second option. Dang, girl. Sit down already.) I like to think of myself as a tolerant person, but I’m clearly pigeonholing a large group of my fellow Americans as under-educated, broke, misogynist or just plain dumb.
I guess that when I’m wondering about how *we* will heal as a nation, I should be adjusting my pronouns. It’s not the Royal We here. It’s me. I need to think about how I will heal after this shitshow finally comes to an end. Tick tock. Time to figure out how I will rebalance the scales on November 9th. Better yet, time to figure out how I will walk away from the scales altogether. I’ve got my own circus, my own monkeys here to worry about.