My good people ..
… I don’t think it’s too early to start worrying about what to keep ourselves occupied with after the election, do you? This morning, it may hard to comprehend that in … like … just 78 days, it’ll be all over. But it will be. Aaaaaaaaall over.
Oh, I imagine some portion of you—and by “you,” I mean Americans—will go grumping about for months after, growling how the whole damn thing was rigged. How the election was stolen. How once again, regular folks like you got screwed. And it may not be just the you-know-who supporters. From stuff that keeps clogging up my new Facebook receptacle, there are still a goodly number of disgruntled Sandersnistas bitching about how Bernie got knee-capped on his way to the party throne.
Just goes to show how people shouldn’t ever put all their political purity eggs in one “HERE’S-HOW-IT-OUGHTA-BE, GODDAMMIT!” basket, huh?
But, of course, the post-Bernie grumble will be nothing like the howl we’ll hear from the you-know-who mob. And it won’t matter how wide the margin is, either. You-know-who could lose by 40 points, and they’ll still scream they were robbed.
Anyway, the rest of us are going to have to come up with other passions to pursue. It won’t be like we can just uncouple ourselves from this prolonged cluster-fuck, smoke a cigarette, then roll over and go to sleep until the next one. No, seeing as how we are cursed with active minds and an abundance of time to keep it occupied, we’ve got to have something to think about.
Admittedly, this may be more of a concern for me than for you—unless you, too, have committed yourself to maintaining a blog with fresh material at least three times a week. It’s entirely possible the greatest share of you will be content to spend the next few years watching football, taking selfies of yourself with your dog, signing up for Weight Watchers, keeping up with the Khardasians, playing Pokémon silliness on your phone, chillin’ , etc. But I, personally, don’t have the luxury of feeling like I nothing better to do.
Obviously, we don’t have to decide on something (to think about) right now. After all, there are 78 days left, like I said. Yet you know how time is when you’re having so much fun, right? Before we know it, we’ll be waking up some morning, thinking Oh, shit! What’s the point of even turning on the teevee?
But perhaps we—and by “we,” I still mean Americans—have been looking at this election business all wrong. As it is—and as the voter turn-out for any non-presidential election proves—far too many Americans think of this quadrennial fever over who’s going to occupy the Oval Office come January 20 as an impassioned fling, but not something they want to marry.
Said another way, expending the time and energy to get involved in their own governance might be fine for a few months, but there’s way too much else going on to make it a habit.
We should understand, though, that whether or not we’re involving ourselves in politics, politics is involving itself in us. We may want to switch it on and off at our convenience, but I fear that every time we turn away from it, the more invasive and domineering it becomes. Think of the disastrous mid-term election of 2010: All the progressive elation and triumph from two years earlier was neutralized by the red tide of conservatism that swept in with the Tea Party thugs. And it could only have happened because so many of the healthy and distinct majority that elected Barack Obama President in 2008 allowed themselves to go so slack that they didn’t even bother to show up in the polling booths two years later.
While it may be true that Nature hates vacuums, Republicans love them. That is how they win: filling the vacuum left when progressives go dormant. And friends, in spite of all the conservative protestations for less intrusive government, it is during those times when their politics dominate when we feel most acutely the weight of the powerful on the backs of the weak.
And if that doesn’t seem a problem to you, personally, maybe you should ask a black or Hispanic person how it feels. Or a gay. Or a woman. A student resorting to loans to keep going. A disabled veteran. A small business owner. A union member or a family farmer. Any and everyone who doesn’t belong to that caste of privileged who are so convinced it is their birthright to rule the roost.
Okay, so whether I like it or not, I believe I know what I’ll have to be thinking about when this election is over. The next one. And the one after that. And on and on.
My liberal compadres must stop looking at our country’s politics as an on-again/off-again relationship—either all brake, or all throttle. This is a continuum we’re part of, not a novelty ride at a county fair.
Or maybe we should look at it as though it’s a river. A broad, deep river that sometimes meanders about like it can’t decide which way is downhill, sometimes rushes through the narrows gouging out new configurations in its path, sometimes seems to have stopped flowing altogether as it flattens out into a swampy shallows.
But it’s always moving. It can be dammed, diverted, drained down to the mud—but it can’t be stopped, not as long as there is more coming.
Its headwaters are in the Greek Republic—maybe even earlier—and it has coursed through many permutations on its way to this spot, right now, right here in America. You and I will never see where it ends up—if indeed it ever ends up—but we must realize how dreadful its devastation can be if we allow it to flow on without us keeping up with it.