Today is the big day! Election Day 2020. Today, one way or the other, the political ads will be over, and we can finally get back to more important commercials about beer, incontinence, and flex tape.
If you pay attention to the political ads you may believe that the outcome of the election will mark the end of days if it doesn’t go your way. The messages from the candidates’ campaigns are ominous. They all paint a stark win or lose, do or die, fail or thrive future. It is as if our very existence rests on the outcome of this election.
But none of that is true. Whatever happens, we will be fine. We can and will survive anything that comes our way. We have endured the Civil War, The Great Depression, and the Disco era. They all did their best to sink us. But America is the Molly Brown of countries.
I have voted in every presidential election since I turned 18. I carefully studied the candidates and how their beliefs aligned with mine. I looked at how their policies would impact me financially and how they would act to help others in my community and country. I always asked myself, would they have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky? Then I carefully voted for what I believed to be the best candidate. Just like a good American should.
However, the candidate I voted for has only won half of the elections. Which means that, in theory, the person who wanted the opposite of what I wanted won the other half of the contests. Yet, ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life has gone on.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype and extremism of a political election and think that there are clear winning and losing scenarios for the masses. But history would indicated otherwise. You will naturally lose roughly half the elections you vote in. And when you lose America will still be full of moms, baseball and apple pie. And you can still share all of those things on Facebook. Plus, you will still get to vote again in 4 years. And the pendulum always swings. Like Benny Goodman.
So today as the last of us vote, and tonight as you watch the results come rolling in, remember, it will all be ok. There is more than one way to lead our country. There are pros and cons to each style, and each belief system. It’s why roughly half the country agrees with your thinking and half the country doesn’t understand you.
I respect that political positioning forces the campaigns to market the candidates ideas and ideals as diametrically opposed. But at the end of the day, both sides want to continue developing a great America. They just have different ways of going about it. Which means they are focused on pulling different levers, and pushing different buttons on the Wonkivator to get the machine to perform its best.
America is a great country. Because it was founded by rebellious people who believed there was a better way of country-ing. And America has attracted great and rebellious people ever since (think David Bowie and Billy Idol) who have continued to bring new and better ways of country-ing.
Sure, we have unsolved problems. And we always will. Because life is one long problem solving adventure. We will continue to work towards better approaches to equality, security, safety, prosperity, health and peace. We just have different beliefs in how it is done. Neither approach is 100% right. And neither approach is 100% wrong. There ain’t no good guy. There ain’t no bad guy. There’s only Americans, and we just disagree. But that’s ultimately what makes the system work.
Things are going to be okay. There will be a lot of drama beginning tonight. It may last for months. But we will all be okay. Both candidates approaches generally work. We will find a vaccine for Covid-19. We will continue to improve our country and our economy no matter who is in the White House. Because ultimately, it all comes down to what we the people do.
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One thought on “What happens if your candidate doesn’t win?”
For 46 years of my life, I agreed with your premise that no matter who wins or loses, we would be OK after elections and life will go on. However, as a nation, this time, we will not be OK if we continue down this path. We have become a country fueled by venom and hate. We are led by a person who disparages everyone around him – black, white, male, female, doctors, scientists, soldiers, political experts, and the list goes on and on. When white supremacists are told to carry on, when our leading scientists are called idiots during a raging pandemic, and every other nation considers the US a laughing stock, we will not be OK. Sadly, half our country has shown they believe racism, sexism, and narcissism are OK. It is not. No one person is going to turn this country around at this point, but one person can take us deeper into this hellhole and continue to fuel hatred, unlike anything the US has ever seen before. Life and politics will not be OK if we continue down this destructive path and telling people to relax, move on, and accept these horrific beliefs that are destroying our great nation is simply not an option.
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