“Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.“
“Life in freedom is not easy, and democracy is not perfect.”
John F. Kennedy
So. Today USA chooses a new president. I sat down this morning not really sure what to write.
I do know that America is bigger and stronger than any one person. I do know that even if Trump is elected, someone who I believe is a narcissist and incompetent, it will not be a disaster for the country.
I do know that even if Clinton is elected, someone who I believe will be an unspectacular but pragmatically competent president, it will not be a disaster for the country.
This election feels a little bit bigger than many of the others in the past. I imagine it feels that way because the contrast between the two candidates in terms of true qualifications are so stark not because the objectives are so stark.
Despite what everyone may have been hearing for months on end through media, traditional and social, this election is truly not about change versus status quo.
Why do I say that? Well. because every president wants to change shit and these two are no different. In fact. The so-called status quo candidate is running on a platform that incorporates more detailed change then the so-called change candidate. But , in the end, while the new president elected certainly does matter it only matters in terms of tone & broader perspectives.
I think it is helpful to remind people <and congress> of this. It’s because I love our country more than I do my personal points of view that I know the institution of who and what we are as a country is larger than I person and one point of view. It is larger than any individual “I think” or “this must be” because the country ceases to exist if we remain so far apart that we can agree on nothing which inevitably means we either do nothing or do something so banal it will never show an ROI.
Where I disagree with them I will continue to disagree and will work to make sure they know I disagree <and if enough people agree with me then they become a one term president>.
That is the way democracy and freedom works.
The people will speak on today, if they vote my way, fine.
If not, then the majority has spoken and that is what a democracy is.
In our country you do not have to win 90%, just the majority (or a minority with majority of electoral votes). And we should accept the results, keep speaking our mind, but also keep moving forward.
That I know as a certainty. Just as I know as a certainty that presidents are one among many and disasters <unless they involve some nuclear button> are not fatal but rather “inefficient decisions.”
And maybe that is where I hope we, as a country, come out of this election. Maybe a little more interested in listening, a little less reliant on hyperbole and a lot more certain with regard to the value of some compromise over individual opinions.
I do know another thing for certain.
When a citizenry loses the one thing that had been in abundant supply in their lives — the unshakable belief that tomorrow will not be significantly different from today — that creates a sense of uncertainty <which is at the core of everything happening in our country attitude and the election and what is never talked about>.
Not only is uncertainty a bitch to a general population, but uncertainty makes people feel poorer <even when they are not>, more divided <even when they are not>, less safe <even though they are not> and less hopeful with regard to the future <even when they should see signs of hope>. In this time & place this uncertainty has been compounded by the fact we don’t trust anyone on anything <media included>, don’t trust anyone to do what they are supposed to do <government included> and don’t even trust what was done when they actually do what they were supposed to do <anyone associated with any institution>. Uh oh. Then you have a pessimistic citizenry.
All of this suggestive pessimism has not been helped by anyone <with maybe the exception of president Obama and his wife>. Political hyperbole, for as far back as I can remember <let’s say a dozen years +>, has created this wretched hollow in which society & citizenry is forced to live in. a wretched place where no one does anything right and is stupid or dishonest or corrupt.
Most sane people know that thought is not true. But even the sanest of us struggle to discern the good from the bad.
Both Bernie and Trump raged against a “rigged system” and stirred up angry crowds. At any given point all candidates have also raged against the media, against Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump <depending on your view>, against “globalists”, against the government itself, against the democratic process and, well, against a vast host of other corrupt & dishonest villains. All this has served to do is to create anger where there may not have been any and encourage an embers of potential anger to flame.
I read somewhere that the success Trump is having is because the American democracy isn’t working for most Americans and he reminds them, and us, of that.
I do not agree.
I believe most of us are just certain whether democracy is working for us or not. The issue is that in an environment in which truth is difficult to discern and pessimism and guilt before innocence is encouraged, 99% of us are just … well … uncertain.
I do have some certainty to offer anyone reading this.
The world will not end, the country will not implode, regardless of which candidate we elect.
In a country of 350 million or so no matter what you do and how good a decision is made there will be winners & losers associated with every decision <and I will admit … I wish our politicians would have the kahones to stand up and point out the losers more often rather than celebrate only the winners>.
In a country of 350 million or so the American democracy is working, but it is always a work in progress therefore everyone will feel at some point that it isn’t working for them and that means at any given point anyone will look around and think someone is benefiting when they are not <this occurs even if that person is not officially in the ‘loser’ category associated with a decision>.
Good stuff does not come easy … to anyone. But that doesn’t mean that good stuff doesn’t happen.
I say that and I will remind everyone once again, and I wish someone in some fucking paper or news network would point it out at the top of their lungs> — in our democracy American people are perpetually dissatisfied. Always dissatisfied. We always feel like we are not doing as well as we should or, looking around, that we <as in individuals> are being left behind while someone else is doing better <benefiting>.
It is election day.
And we are all uncertain and uneasy.
It does not matter who you support. Everyone is uncertain and uneasy.
And that is where we will be tomorrow too. And the day after and … well … you get it.
It isn’t trust or lack of trust. It isn’t anger or rigged or any of the other fabulous labels being thrown around.
It is uncertainty.
It is uncertainty about the direction of the country.
And, at a more basic level, it is uncertainty that the people we choose to elect us will do their job.
And , at an even more basic level, it is an uncertainty that even if we <you & i> work hard, do what is right and fulfill our own responsibilities and duties we will receive ‘fair value’ for our efforts.
I am certain we will end the day with a new president.
I am also certain that tomorrow a significant majority of the country will awake just as uncertain about the everyday Life shit as they were today.
And maybe that is what we should demand of the new president and of the leaders we elect to represent us <senators & representatives>. Stop creating uncertainty and offer us some more certainty.
We Americans are pretty resilient <if not a little whiney along the way>. We can deal with bad shit as long as you give us some certainty. But if I am uncertain as to what is really good and what is really bad that uncertainty gives us candidates like Trump and creates what people feel is anger and drives up distrust for anyone.
Beyond all the policies & tactics & taxes & trade deals and transparency & honesty & all that crap, it sure would be nice if that was high on the next president’s agenda.
As I stated earlier ‘and maybe that is where I hope we, as a country, come out of this election. Maybe a little more interested in listening, a little less reliant on hyperbole and a lot more certain with regard to the value of some compromise over individual opinions.’
And if we do that? Maybe we will be a little more certain <and happier>.
Because the one thing I am most certain of is that 100% of us want tomorrow to be better than it is today.
This I am today, that I will be tomorrow. That is what I am most certain about.