Relief and Foreboding

WHEW!

What a RELIEF!

This past week was, I think, stressful for everyone in the United States who pays attention to politics. It was also, judging from input from friends abroad, stressful for just about everyone else.

(One friend put it in a very colorful way indeed: Putain, c’est long l’accouchement, là! I’ll let you put that into Google translate.)

And yet, despite the relief, the joy and the anticipation of having a GROWNUP HEADED TO THE WHITE HOUSE, I still have a sense of foreboding.

Not All Rosy

For one thing, while Biden and Harris won with the largest number of votes cast in US history, it must be said that Donald Trump is the biggest loser.

And by that I mean that he is the loser who lost despite having an absolutely HUGE number of votes cast for him.

If people turned out in record numbers for Biden, they also turned out in record numbers for Trump.

This article by Monica Hesse in the Washington Post sums up nicely how I feel about that.

No Blue Wave

Because of the frightening number of people who voted for division, isolationism, and white supremacy, there was no blue wave to speak of.

Democrats did not take a commanding majority in the senate, and even lost ground in the house (while still retaining the majority).

This may be because of the frighteningly large number of Americans who embrace Trumpism. Or because we’re so locked into a two-party system that we can’t bring ourselves to vote for the other party.

But it could also be because the Democratic party seems to have a fundamental inability to foster a sense of unity, of being a collective.

Biden said last night that decency won this election. Maybe. But I’m pretty sure Biden won this election for two reasons: 1. Kamala Harris and 2. because he’s not Donald Trump.

Being the party of “not Donald Trump” isn’t a sustainable party platform for the Democrats.

Hard Road Ahead

And so, despite having won the election, Biden and Harris will meet some obstacles before they are “officially” recognized as president- and vice-president-elect.

The president (for that is what he still is), his campaign and the GOP have launched a barrage of law suits and complaints about alleged election “irregularities.”

He and his cronies have also refused to concede defeat, insisting alternately on victory and fraud.

What is most discouraging is how even those Republicans who are lukewarm at best on Trump are largely remaining silent on the matter, not echoing the president’s false claims, but also not congratulating Biden on his victory. (Mitt Romney is a notable exception.)

We Are Not Out of the Woods

Many people may think that we’re done, the insanity is over, and we can go back to living our normal lives.

However, we are not out of the woods.

Unless Democrats can pull off victories in the upcoming run-off election in Georgia in January 2021 (click here to send money to Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization!), the Senate will remain in Republican control.

That will make it very hard for Biden and Harris to do all the things they’re talking about doing.

Do Not Get Complacent

We need to remain engaged. Keep participating. Keep informed. Keep watching the president like a hawk and demanding accountability.

Just because our man (and our WOMAN!!! KAMALA!!) is in the White House, does not mean that we can hit cruise control.

We have GOT. TO. KEEP. PAYING. ATTENTION.

Polarization is at an all-time high, political division is rife. We need to do what we can to come out of our respective corners.

We have got to figure out how we can work TOGETHER to reject xenophobia, racism and childish bullying, while listening to and trying to understand our fellow Americans.

Because in the end, that’s what we all are.

Drama

61. Drama: Write about a time when you got stuck in between two parties fighting with each other.

-Think Written

Clowns to the Left…

Though I suppose “clowns” is not a fair description of Kamala Harris. Thank GOD she’s Biden’s VP pick, because maybe–just maybe–she’ll bring a little sanity and maturity to this presidential race.

Finally, there’s a grown up in the room!

Now now now, I know there are lots of Biden fans. And I’m not anti-Biden by any means.

But I’m not so terribly pro-Biden either. I see him as more of the same ol’ same ol’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to do my best to get him elected in November in the hopes that he will prove me wrong.

Jokers to the Right…

But writing Trump off as a “joker” has proved dangerous.

(As anyone with half a brain and an ounce of integrity knows.)

The thought of four more years of this maniac terrifies me. But what really frightens me the people who are willing to keep him in office.

Who are these people? Any conversation about Trump I’ve had, with strangers, friends and family alike, has yet to reveal anyone who actually voted for him.

They’re out there, obviously. But they’re as elusive as unicorns.

Tired of the Drama

I want this year to be over. I want to know the result. I want to be out of this melodramatic mess.

But it seems like we won’t get off that easy. Trump is already vowing to continue the drama after the election if he loses.

So here’s what I’ll be doing: volunteering, getting out the vote, donating money to organizations dedicated to getting out the vote, and reminding all and sundry to register to vote by mail.

That, and breathing a short prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Election 2016: Get Out and Vote!

November 8th isn’t really Election 2016 Day; it’s the Election Deadline.

Something like 37 States have allowed early voting, and NPR analysts estimate that up to one third of votes will be cast before November 8th.

It also feels like the final submission date for all the crazy that has been this election cycle. I listen to NPR out of Boston (WGBH) for my US news, and it seems like the insanity has been building up to a fever pitch. As a result, I’m convinced that Election 2016 Fatigue Syndrome is a thing.

Fighting Election 2016 Fatigue Syndrome

Here is my handy-dandy guide to fighting Election 2016 Fatigue Syndrome. It’s super simple. There’s just one step:

vote

If you can’t stand the tension, and you’re sick of the coverage, get it all over with early and vote now.

If you’re registered to vote, and you can vote early, do it.

If you’re registered to vote, but you can’t vote early, get out and do it on Tuesday November 8th.

If you can’t stand the sight of Hillary or Donald, and you’re sick to death of their bickering, get out and vote to shut at least one of them up.

If you can’t bring yourself to vote for either one of the major party candidates, vote anyway. Vote for someone else. Write someone in if you can. But vote.

Vote.

VOTE.

VOTE!!!!

 

You No Vote? You No Kvetch.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility.

We are privileged to be able to vote. It is our responsibility to get off our lazy butts and do it. There are people elsewhere in the world quite literally dying for the right to vote. Don’t take it for granted.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the major party candidates. You still have a responsibility to vote, either along party lines, or according to your conscience.

If you don’t get out and vote, you have no right to complain about who wins. I don’t buy the, “I didn’t vote out of protest” line. That’s (pardon me) bull cookies. Protest by voting. Rebel by voting.

Just vote.

Why Is It So Important to Vote in 2016?

It’s always important to vote. Not just for president, but midterm elections are important, too.

It seems particularly important in 2016, because one of the major party candidates is an immature, bat-shit crazy, racist, sexist, unhinged, Twitter-trigger happy, wall-building, conspiracy-theorist, repugnant demagogue.

We need to keep this man out of the White House, and prevent hate and fear from taking over our country.

For a great anti-Trump propaganda project, check out @trumplemonde on Instagram, and download the DIY kit for printing up posters and stickers here on DropBox.

Why #ImWithHer

I’ve never been a big Hillary Clinton fan. I don’t like the dynastic trend of recent presidencies (Bush Sr. & Bush Jr., now potentially Mr. Clinton & Mrs. Clinton). I don’t like her economic neoliberal ideas. Historically, she has been much friendlier to big businesses than to working Americans. I lean much more towards Bernie Sanders’ socialistic ideimwithheras. Having grown up and lived most of my life in Europe, it’s only natural.

But Hillary Clinton has experience. She knows her stuff. On social issues, she reflects my values. She has worked successfully across the aisle. I don’t know if she’ll be able to break the deadlock that is polarized American politics, but I firmly believe she has a better shot than any other candidate.

Gary Johnson is, by his own admission, not ready to be president. Admittedly I don’t know much about Jill Stein, except that she is an anti-vaccine physician. That gives me enough pause right there to keep me from voting for her.

I Voted. Please Do the Same.

I sent in my Massachusetts absentee ballot weeks ago. Please join me and vote, too.