Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Eve

I can hardly believe that tomorrow is finally election day. I have had plenty of political things to say these past months. The reason I haven't said them is not so much wanting to avoid politics as it is the same reason I haven't been posting much of anything else, whatever reason that is. Now, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about anything because I know that's not possible. I'm just a lady with a blog and thoughts to share.

First of all, I want to say that no matter who wins the election I am really going to miss President Obama. No, I haven't always agreed with him. No two people can ever agree on everything. But his policies have been reasonable and he has brought a grace and dignity to the office that we haven't seen in a very long time and may never see again. On top of that he has a wonderful sense of humor.

No matter who wins tomorrow, I will not panic. We are electing a president, not a dictator. No president has ever been able to do even half of what he promised during the campaign. If you really want to change the direction the country is going you should give more careful thought to who you vote for for Congress and the Senate. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter who we elect for president. I does. It matters a lot. I'm just saying, overall, America will be fine. We could be better or worse but we will survive.

I am absolutely appalled that Donald Trump was nominated and shocked and dismayed that so many people, including people I know to be reasonably intelligent and kind people, plan to vote for him tomorrow. but at the same time I understand the reasons for his popularity and the reasons why "red states" are "red".

Yes, there are stupid people and bigots out here in red state America but there are also people like that in the blue states. Let's just get that out of the way first. I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about the majority who are of average to above average intelligence and are generally decent people without any ill will toward any group. Why would such people even consider voting for Donald Trump?

Most people are not deep thinkers or even much of any kind of thinker at all. Their heads are filled with thoughts of family and friends and the logistics of their everyday lives. When it comes to the big questions they tend to latch on to whichever ideas seem the most immediately attractive to them. Abortion? Same sex marriage? Transgenders in public restrooms? Most people wouldn't care all that much if nobody else brought it up. What people in red state America mostly want is lower taxes and for the government to leave them the hell alone. They might be a little short sighted in that they don't care if the government is not leaving someone else alone or if they allow other big, powerful entities, such as corporations, to trample on everyone's rights. They don't put that much thought into it.

Most people are loyal. Loyal to family, loyal to their favorite brand of toothpaste, loyal to their favorite sports teams. Their favorite political party is very much like a favorite sports team. Once most people decide, "I am a Republican," or "I am a Democrat," all future decisions are made. There's no more need to think about it. Republican or Democrat is their team and they will be loyal to their team no matter what. They will refuse to see when their team acts against their best interests and will make excuses for inexcusable behavior or simply choose not to believe it. At the same time the "other team" will always be the enemy. Nothing they say will even be worth listening to and every bad thing that they hear about them will automatically be believed as the gospel truth. Yes, this is a stupid way to be but that doesn't mean that people who think this way are necessarily stupid. It's just a mental shortcut - a way to avoid having to think too much.

But why Donald Trump? Why on Earth, Donald Trump?! Why, especially, would anyone who claims to be Christian vote for that?! Because people in red state America are tired of being disrespected. They are tired of being portrayed as stupid. They are tired of being called racist just because they were late getting the memo informing them of where the goalposts have been moved to this time. They are tired of having their religion and culture disrespected, criticized, and attacked (even if most of the "attacks" are just imaginary) while other cultures are apparently above criticism. But still, why Donald Trump? Because he's different. Because he says outrageous things and gets away with it. Because he's not a Washington politician. They may not agree with him but they mistakenly think "He's one of us," because he exercises his freedom to say whatever the hell he feels like saying. They don't stop and think how this could be disastrous in a leader or that every word that comes out of his mouth might be a lie; they just see someone who will not bow to pressure and will not be told what to do or say.

So, what will a Donald Trump presidency be like? I hope we don't have to find out but if he does become president I think he might surprise some of his supporters. Things he has said in the past suggest that he might be more liberal than they expect. But who knows? Everything he has said during the campaign has been just for show. He has run businesses, he has bankrupted businesses, but when - if - he gets down to the business of running the country we have no way of knowing how he will go about it.

1 comment:

  1. Is Election Eve when the Hanging Chad Fairy comes and leaves black-ink pens or little styluses in the shoes of good citizens?

    We need some kind of voting-related mythological figure.