Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Welcome to the Apocalypse. Please Be Seated.

When this is published, the election of 2016 will be history, or at least I hope it will be history. I can’t help but remember the 2000 election when we didn’t have a result for weeks after the election. Then we ended up with George W. Bush.
Al Gore later said, “America! Where any child can grow up to win the popular vote and still not be president!”
He had a right to be bitter.
So now I’m thinking about how to carry on, regardless of who has won, or not. If you are reading this, you are alive and functioning, and the world has not yet ended.
One of the advantages of getting old is being able to look back on all the crap you’ve survived. The Vietnam war, the Nixon presidency, the Reagan debacle and the steady downward plummet of the country and the middle class under other Republican administrations since, the realization that Bill Clinton was the best Republican president since Eisenhower, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the ongoing, never ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now the tragedy of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing wars and many thousands of them dying in the attempt.
In my personal world there have a been a few hard knocks as well, and I’m sure you have taken some hard knocks in your lifetime.
We’re still here.
Third party voters said they wanted to strike a blow for deconstructing the two-party system in this country. It used to be a joke: “If you vote, it just encourages them.”
I must say that Jill Stein (Green Party) seems a decent sort, and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) may not know what an Aleppo is, but he has a great sense of humor. I saw a clip of him on a talk show where the hostess was decrying the evils of marijuana, which Libertarians want to legalize.
There is a higher incidence of heart attacks, this lady said, in the first hour after someone has used marijuana. In the middle of her diatribe, Johnson grabbed his chest and fell out of his chair to the floor. The lady did not think it was funny, but I did.
Then there is Evan McMullin, a former CIA undercover operative and Republican, a current Independent, and a lifelong member of the LDS Church (Mormon). His plan was to pull enough electoral votes to come in third, so that neither Clinton nor Trump would have enough electoral votes to win. At that point the House of Representatives would choose a winner from among the top three. Maybe the House would choose him, and there he’d be, president of the USA.
Well, you never know. He is CIA.
What I was thinking is this, all you Trump and Hillary haters: if you’re serious about mounting a true third party that has some power in this country and can make a difference, now is the time to get fired up and get to work.
Oh, wait. The election’s over and all is lost and you’re going back to playing video games and following your social media, blaming everyone else for everything that goes wrong now because you didn’t vote for whoever will soon be president, so it’s not your fault.
Jeepers. And you wonder why bad things happen to good people.
There is life after elections, at least for now.
Now is the time to get organized and work for your goals.
Now is the time to work to make this country live up to your ideals. The passion of the election is history. Now it’s time to work on making your dreams happen, and do it with the faith that even if you don’t see the results you want in your own lifetime, you’ve done everything you could to push things in the right direction, and there will be others to take up where you leave off.
Now is the time to deal with the schism we have seen in this country. It’s an illusion, that schism – we are all Americans and we’re all in this together. Still, we disagree about basic premises so deeply that it has come to harsh words and hard blows. How violent must our disagreements become before we come to our senses and realize we need to pull together? I am afraid that we are going to find out.
Perhaps President Trump will shoot off his mouth and then shoot off a nuclear warhead and then we’ll all die and all our problems will be beside the point, but if that does not happen, we, and our children and grandchildren, must live on in this broken world, the only world we have.
Courage, my brothers and sisters. Have compassion for yourselves and one another. We are all in this together. Honest.

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