I know it may surprise some, but I actually have friends all across the political spectrum. From conservatives who graciously licked their wounds on Tuesday, to ultra liberals genuinely surprised that Roseanne Barr didn’t make more of a show (yes, she actually was running for President), everyone was pretty okay with the outcome. House stayed the same overall, Senate stayed the same overall, White House stayed the same. Business, for good or bad, as usual. Except for one…
Let me tell you why I have a few issues with this. The first is a basic lack of understanding of civics and history. The American government has three branches – the legislative (the House and Senate), executive (the President), and judiciary (the Supreme Court). All work in a ‘checks and balances’ manner to ensure that no one area has too much power. If the House and Senate pass a law that the President thinks is insane, he can veto it. If the President makes a weird rule that the Supreme Court thinks isn’t in his powers to do, they can throw it back to him. Whether you like it or not, (and it never fails, when one side makes a decision you don’t like, they magically are stepping out of their bounds, so let’s nip that little conspiracy theory in the bud straightaway – get over it, stop whining when they make a call you don’t like. It happens to all of us), it ensures that no one can go ridiculously crazy with power without someone stepping in front of them. And, as we saw this past year with the SOPA Internet bill, even when politicians come together to vote for something, it can still be blocked by the power of the people watching them and voicing displeasure. Even one guy can make a difference – the Zadroga 9/11 first responders bill had been repeatedly filibustered by the GOP till Jon Stewart and the Daily Show made it their mission to shame them into doing the right thing. So having one guy re-elected? Not the nail in the coffin you think it is.
Onto history. If you really think that after famine, a war of independence, a civil war, a Great Depression, a dustbowl travesty, two world wars and countless other smaller but no less deadly conflicts, and not one, but two George Bushes, that the US can’t bounce back because your guy lost? Then you obviously think so little of this country that your words proclaiming it the greatest nation on Earth are a pack of baloney.
All of this was immediately aware to me, but there was something else that bugged me, something that nagged at me for a day or two, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it bothered me more than the myriad of horrid tweets I saw that called Obama a n*gger, and called for an armed revolution, etc. And then, I realized what it was, and where I had seen it before…
Even at my most religious, I never understood those who hoped for the second coming in their time. Considering what precedes it in the Bible is a whole lot of suffering by a whole lot of people rather unnecessarily, I always thought it a bit morbid to pray for what is essentially going to be a bloodbath for everyone who, while they may be fine people, don’t believe exactly what you do.
I remember when Clinton won in high school, and my evangelical church youth group prayed for the end days, to wipe the slate clean, as it were. Here’s the interesting part: I went to a Catholic High School, but was protestant. The church my family attended was DEEPLY Evangelical – they didn’t believe that Catholics were true Christians (because of the whole Saints/Pope/Rite of Forgiveness things). So while in the Catholic school they were bemoaning the rise of socialism (my hand to God, I will never forget hearing the results called that morning and hearing Bryan Gill saying, “Welcome to socialism”. Stayed with me 20 years now), the Evangelicals were praying for the rapture, in which the Catholics wouldn’t come along, because they weren’t properly Christiany enough. I remember thinking at the time, why we didn’t just work it out, and manage to hop along for another few years, why we had to press the reset button. But of course, when one is young and in church, one doesn’t look up from her Bible and say, “Is everyone else reading this right? This is some sick, sadist stuff right here! I’m about to lose friends of mine because we are apparently very lazy, and would rather the world end then clean up a mess”. So, to make up for lost time, let me be very clear:
The Almighty is not the Domino’s Pizza of the end of the world. You don’t get to tell Him ‘It’s time’ when you feel like it, and expect Him to rock up with the mass destruction. I think He can manage just fine on His own, He doesn’t need your call, okay? Just because you didn’t get your way, you don’t get to take your soul and go home. November 2000 and 2004 were not great months for democrats, but you didn’t see us screaming for the Earth to be obliterated – we rolled up our sleeves, and got stuck in.
And FYI, if a brown man who you think is a socialist is your problem, calling down the brown man who was a socialist is not your answer.
Ah well. If nothing else, my 16 year old self just high-fived my 36 year old self.