I know that I’ve been behind the schedule I set; no excuses, I’ll just to be more mindful of it. But I want to veer off schedule a bit and talk about the election, because frankly I’ve spent the last 18 hours or do in a weird state of disbelief and I worry that unless I try to put pen to paper and release my thoughts, I’ll be in that fog for a long, long time.
First things first, I’m not a doom-and-gloom guy. The sun came up, I went to work, our kittens needed fed – none of that changed, and it won’t tomorrow or the next day. Of course, it’s very easy for me to say that: as a white Christian male, I’m significantly less vulnerable to what could happen than others, including my fiancee, my black Muslim best friend, and my small, impressionable nieces.
Try as I might to assign blame, I also know it’s not that simple. For as many people who can point to latent racism and sexism as the cause, you can also point to a very lethargic Democratic voter turnout in states where they were counting on it the most. For as many people can point to Comey and the bizarre intervention of Russia, you can also point to the fact that the coastal elite class of the Democratic party often does very little to truly understand or empathize with the concerns of middle America. Assigning a singular point of failure trivializes the lessons that everyone needs to learn from this.
But don’t get it twisted, either; just because the issue is complex doesn’t mean I can’t ultimately feel that the conclusion was bafflingly wrong. America as a country voted for a completely unqualified person, just totally and utterly incompetent for the role in every single facet in which you can judge that sort of thing. I can’t say that clear enough. Resentment may explain a dumb, incomprehensible decision, but it doesn’t excuse it.
With that said, I’m trying my hardest not to condescend to the half of the country who voted for Trump, as I want to be as reasonable as I expect others to be and not just be a paragon of the coastal elite that conservatives show up in great force to counteract. I want to be empathetic because you can’t just tell people that their feelings are wrong and they’re dumb for having them. Still, I find it next to impossible to find a legitimate reason for their choice. Simply choosing an extreme alternative because the status quo isn’t working isn’t what reasonable people do; only people who would rather watch it burn than fix it think that way.
For as much negativity surrounded both campaigns, I resist in the sense that, at the end of the day, I love America. America is badass. America is innovation, America is propersity, and America is a nebulous ideal in which I assign everyone a great benefit of the doubt, to assume that everyone who participates in the global experiment is a good actor that wants to see good things for everyone. I choose to refuse cynicism – as easy as it would be to adopt that mindset – because cynicism in this sense would imply indifference, a resignation that individual effort is useless. I choose to not label all opposition to my belief as racist, sexist, or poorly thought of, for the same reason I would reject anyone calling my beliefs the result of an educate elite bias.
The decision has been made, and it’s not changing. Moving on. I’m willing to try to find middle ground and assume the best of intentions for the time being. So here’s some rope; if you hang yourself, you’ve got no one else to blame and you’ll have to answer the bell for it in four very, very short years.