The 2020 Election has come and gone—has anything changed?
My deadline for this issue’s column was 16 days before the national and local elections. As I write, I know it’s 16 days away because my television and every other device I own won’t let me forget it.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the big races. One contest is between a candidate that can’t be trusted while the other is a thief. Another election poses the self-declared most progressive person in the state who prays a lot against an opponent who has spent a lifetime being beholden to evil unnamed special interests.
As for the presidential race, apparently both major party candidates want to take away health care for my pre-existing condition. I’ve made a note to call my doctor before the election to see if compulsive fishing is a pre-existing condition.
I’m sure before Election Day we will have seen an allegation that one candidate hates kittens while claiming to have built a homeless kitten catnip recovery center.
But, as you can see from the issue date on the front of this edition, our long national nightmare is over. The 2020 Election is behind us.
Whew, I’m glad that’s over. And I’m sure the results were well worth the angst.
At the time of this publication, a non-politically motivated vaccine has eradicated COVID. People on both sides of the racial divide are sitting down at family-owned, re-opened coffee shops and speaking calmly and frankly about the differences and the misunderstandings that have divided them for hundreds of years. Gas prices are at the levels they were when I graduated from Ludlow High School back in 1976.
Ha, ha. Just kidding. We’re all just as screwed up as we were before. You’re angry, and disillusioned neighbors are just as angry and disillusioned as they were before the election. By the way, they think the same freakin’ thing about you.
Families are still not speaking—except for the crazy cousin declaring at Thanksgiving dinner that the result of 2020 is causing the forthcoming fall of western civilization as we know it.
It turns out that this election has proven what every past election has taught us. That is, politicians are—well—politicians.
We lived through this election season with some unattainable and delusional belief that the outcome of elections will somehow change our day to day lives. Sadly enough, some believe that following the election this is actually happening. Very few understand that, when it comes to our individual lives, little changes following an election.
Economies are still cyclable. Diseases are still communicable. And we’re all still very angry.
Back in September, for the series called Zoom Into Books, I had the opportunity to interview PJ O’Rourke about his latest book entitled A Cry from the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land.
In our interview, O’Rourke stressed that the foundation for mutual understanding seems to be the point. “I don’t want us to quit arguing about issues,” he told me. “The issues merit argument. They may even merit anger and indignation, but within the bounds of civility.”
Still, in the preface to his book, O’Rourke ponders whether the problems of 2020 will fundamentally change the nature of politics or cause us to simply revert back to the petty arguments that divide us. O’Rourke answers his own question in classic P.J. style: “I’m betting that human nature will triumph over adversity and challenge. And I don’t mean that in a good way.”