For the majority of my life, I have looked forward to elections. The second one is over, I start counting minutes to the next. They are the Super Bowl of politics, only you have to wait for them like the Olympics. I spend four years pining, waiting, obsessing over one of my very favorite things about the United States — that peaceful exchange of power.
But I’m just ready for this election to be over. It has made me older sadder, dumber. We went in the gutter and we took the national conversation with us. We’ve watched lie after lie with 50% of the nation not even noticing or seeming to care. We’ve watched a man who believes that one person alone should be able to change our entire government like he doesn’t understand the branches or veto power. Believing that
one senator from New York can change our entire government and totally remake America even if she’s not in consensus with the rest of the Senate and the house. Elections are for people like me who always dreamed of making a difference with their life. I know no matter what’s wrong in life, no matter how down, or how baffled I am that grown adults screen shot posts and act like children, no matter how unsure of everything I am or how much I feel like I’ve wasted my talent and my life, election night is America’s chance to shine. For one brief moment, we are connected to all the generations that have gone before. And candidacies are like underdogs in sporting events in that when a Barack Obama comes out of nowhere and pulls off an upset, we have hope that we can too. Dreamers like me view politics as an outlet for those dreams and elections give us the opportunity to witness change that we can’t effect on our own. We are stronger together; we have more power together; our voices together are louder than they ever will be alone.
But this election has been a disappointment, to put it in the most severe form of understatement.
When the world looks to us to elevate conversation and to dominate global altruism, we just allowed the rest of the world to peer in on a shit storm. Some people dream of growing up and having children, getting married, bulding roots, I always dreamed of making a difference. I wanted to be the lawyer that saves the day, the politician that got it done, the civil servant who worked hard to earn her constituents trust, the writer who puts down words on paper that change the way somebody viewed life. I never wanted to be liked, I never needed to be liked, what I needed was to feel that I did something with all that I’ve been given, with my talent, with my voice, with my self-expression. And an election is when people like me get to see that reflected. And we get to hope for more — for change, for goodness, for making a difference that matters. Campaigns are the build up to the slow evolution that changes lives. This campaign hasn’t been about hope, it’s been about hate.
And I’m ready for it to be over.