I know these things happen every four years and therefore cannot last any longer than that, but it feels like I can no longer remember a time when I wasn't worrying that a superbly-qualified world leader might lose the presidency to a prejudiced reality show pseudo-celebrity.
In the primaries I voted for Bernie, because I think we desperately need some socialist ideas and tools to pull us back from the brink of commercialist self- (and planetary-) destruction. My wife voted for Hillary, and we were both glad to be supporting both candidates. They each rank among the most honest politicians our country has to offer, and the most progressive. (Yes really. Do some actual research if those things sound strange to you.) Voting felt really good in the primary.
Since then, we've witnessed the rise of a monster created and fueled by the worst runaway features of our young nation - money equaling speech, entertainment posing as news, echo chamber information bubbles, and more racism, sexism, zealotry, bigotry, and other forms of reckless fear-mongering hate than I would have ever imagined.
I've been all but paralyzed by anxiety for what feels like ages. I'm normally not a terribly worrisome person. I've always trusted that most of the time, most of the people will do the best they can. I still feel that way. But there is so much influence and so much concentrated power which is willing to swallow any pill no matter how horrifying, as long as it means perpetuating itself. There are so many lies told so often and so loudly.
My wife observed that every four years the Republican party puts up somebody worse than the last time. We had Dole, who seems a perfectly respectable statesman at this point, then W, McCain, Romney, and now Drumpf. (I wouldn't necessarily have ranked McCain as worse than Bush if it hadn't been for Palin, who herself almost sounded cogent compared to today's toupee'd cheesepuff.) In trying to figure out who is next, assuming we get to keep having elections, the only figures who come to mind for me are Scott Walker (yes, more dangerous than Trump, because he's actually accomplished terrible things instead of just blustering on about them) and whomever is the head of the KKK. (Please excuse my gross ignorance of the grossly ignorant.)
We've always liked the ritual of voting on election Tuesday. Ours are not particularly ritual-filled lives, but we've got a few we really feel are worth hanging on to. Next time around though, we think we'll vote early, as so many have done this time. I doubt I would have quite the same level of apprehension if this thing were already 100% out of my hands.
Anyway, I look forward to being productive again. I look forward to being able to relax, find some peace, maybe even fall asleep. I hope I can do it here in the nation of which I was born. The one where different kinds of people can work together. I hope that nation is still here. I think it is. Hillary Clinton is seeking what seems to me an impossible job, but if anybody on the planet is up to it, if anyone can be prepared enough, strong enough, compassionate enough, she's the one.
Please vote tomorrow if you haven't already. Let's get this over with.