The idea of 2016 being a horrific year for the United States of America is an exaggeration we will soon come to realize tomorrow morning.
Today is November 8th, 2016.
Voting for the President of Our Nation is going on right now.
I promise you, it is. I drove past flocks of people just ten minutes ago. People that looked just like me. Some that looked just like my little brother. One poor fellow who looked like Jake. A woman who made me think of my mother. A girl with the hair of my sister.
It’s interesting to think about the election and the impact it has had on the way we look at our country. Before, where we may have viewed those with a different set of ideals as culturally unique or simply from a different upbringing, we now associate a candidate selection with a certain set of character traits. Whichever candidate you select to carry out what you feel is the ideal direction of the country, the ‘other side’ will lump you into a generalized contingency of people who may or may not represent what you believe in.
‘The Other Side’
What a phrase that is.
A tiny fall in music breaks
Against the mountain’s base,
While roars an avalanche and shakes
The whole world in its race.
There are more talented writers than I who have gone to battle, pen in hand, against the obscenity that is this election cycle. That, I can absolutely guarantee you. Some enter the fray with an objective to open the eyes of their loyal followers, to not-so-subtly coax them into adding vote+vote to equal two votes and so on. In other cases, the goal is to simply make the consumer aware of one or two facts otherwise not thoroughly understood. Either way, they know much more than I do in a general sense.
At my occupation, my means of acquiring wealth, I deal with the ‘fake world’ a lot. I am at the most trivial place in America at the moment, a secondhand, sports-oriented conglomerate who assess me on the amount unique visitors I drive to a site where Clay Travis talks about band geeks and Colin Cowherd jabs at gullible Cowboy fans. It means nothing. Literally nothing.
Yet still, day after day for the last three months, I have come across some of the most unprovoked filth on the outer fringes of the internet you can even begin to fathom.
In running the social media accounts and the website for my company, there have been stories that teeter on the edge of politic and sport. Colin Kaepernick, Tom Brady, Richard Sherman. Hulk Hogan, Bob Knight, Mike Ditka. When a story like this hits the internet, I am quickly reminded of the literal obsession, the inability to think comprehensibly about anything else, that people have with this election and it’s candidates.
The hatred I see on a daily basis, over something as simple as sport is by all accounts an indication of the overall unhappiness our country is currently bed-riddenly sick with. We are plagued by the notion that we are vastly different from one another. That one wing is stupid and one correct. That that side over there has no idea what they are talking about, and we are right.
Look at the way major publications and important members of the media have labeled those supporting Donald Trump, not even the candidate himself. Words like deplorable, arrogant, pompous, even stupid. These are labels being placed directly on the forehead of American citizens. We are branding intricate, complicated individuals over the candidate they are selecting for the United States Presidency. Eight years ago, not one of us viewed the selection of a candidate as an indictment on character. Simply a choice made by someone who is free to do as they please. Now, we face a time in our country where we view those with different ideals as either lesser or greater than something else.
Labelling someone a ‘Trump Supporter’ or a ‘Hillary Supporter’ is to take every single part of their physical and spiritual being and condense it into two words that will mean nothing tomorrow. We mean no more, we mean no less. For the past few months we have been split into two teams for an inter-squad scrimmage, and grown so petty that we don’t realize we are still on the same roster. Tomorrow, when practice does indeed end and the reversible jerseys are all put back to the same color, will we be able to view one another as teammates again?
A million creatures find a home
Within a droplet’s sphere,
And giants through the woodlands roam
While quakes the land in fear.
Our country is, and will be, just fine.
Tonight sees the end of America’s favorite talking point, the very subject that has allowed man, woman, and child to indulge in the same conversation about life and what our responsibilities as Americans are. We will wake up tomorrow, the sun will be out, and we will go to work. On the way to work, we will drive in the same traffic, and get cut off by the same people.
We won’t drive past groups of people standing outside to vote. That will be done and over with. But that boy who just crossed the street during the red light will still look like my brother. That woman who held the elevator open for me still sort of resembles my mother. That guy at the bus stop still sorta looks like Jake.
My point is this. Tomorrow, we will see the highest overall increase in happiness in our country possibly since July 4th, 1776. People will smile brighter. Gary from accounting will say “Did you catch the season finale of America last night?” and you will fake laugh because he is already smiling ear to ear so it would be embarrassing to tell you saw that meme 47 times before lunch, plus he still isn’t wearing a wedding ring on his finger so you’ve always been sort of nice to him for some reason. Gary is American like you are. He has stories about his past, probably a girl he will never stop loving, and even a son. He goes to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday, and there’s this Thai place he is looking to try out this weekend. If you asked him to grab a cup of coffee with you, it would make his day.
Where today Gary might be a “Trump Supporter” or a “Hillary Supporter” tomorrow he is much more.
Tomorrow he becomes again who he was before this all began.
Nowhere in Nature can we find
Things equal, save in death,
One must rule with thoughtful mind,
One serve with panting breath.
Look at tonight as an exciting testament to our nation’s overall level of giving a shit. Nothing more, nothing less.
Outrage and joy can all be combined into one glass jar, shaken up until it all blends together in one purple mix, and labeled ‘Intense Patriotism.’ We can then take that jar, push it to the back of the highest shelf in our home, and call upon it if we need it someday later. After that, walk over to couch, and put something on the television designed to humor us intentionally, and get back to life as we knew it.
Then, when the sun comes up tomorrow, find someone who reminds you of something you love.
All excerpts were taken from Equality, a Poem by Arthur Weiss
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