It’s almost over.
This election season has been hell. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, and when he lost the primary, I was hit hard. I’m not a political expert by any means; I don’t know a lot about public policy or the ins and outs of political wrangling. I don’t know enough, I guess, to look past the human being that each candidate represents and understand the political machinery inside their heads.
I know that there was a guy who wanted to help people, and that wasn’t what the majority wanted. That’s putting things in the most simplistic terms possible, but that’s the bottom line. He wanted to help, and people said no.
And then it got ugly, uglier than any campaign I’ve seen in my, what, 24 years? of voting.
Every time Donald Trump opened his mouth, I thought, “No. This is where people say, ‘enough’.” That “enough” never happened, and we are looking at the reality of him becoming president. Frankly, after seeing the lack of response to the horrific way the Sioux tribe is being treated over DAPL, I don’t feel good about anyone in the running. The teenage son of a woman with whom I’m acquainted was beaten and jailed, just for being there. He had gone there with his family to help feed those trying to defend their water supply. A cousin of a writer I know suffered the same, having his possessions stolen on top of everything else. These are real people being hurt, not characters on a TV show, but we watch as if they are, less angry about their fate than we are about Glenn’s poor scrambled brains leaking onto the set of The Walking Dead.
I’m a cranky, apathetic, cynical little shit, but this lack of caring on such a massive scale is crushing me. Lack of concern for Native Americans, for LGBT folks, for people of color, for children, for women, the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, veterans… Lack of concern, it seems, for anyone who isn’t involved in the exclusive financial circlejerk that is our federal government.
So I went and I voted, not for anything in particular, but against the worst of it. I voted against Trump, and against the disgusting governor of my state, Pat McCrory, who has worked incredibly hard to destroy the lives of as many of his constituents as he possibly can. I voted, and I felt just as bad walking out as I did going in.
Election season is like Christmas when you’re a kid. You get all riled up in the weeks before, deal with the inevitable elation or disappointment when the gifts are all unwrapped, and then a week later, the new clothes are in the washer with all your old stuff, the new toys are on their sides with dead batteries, and you’re back in school having the same old conversations about the same old shit and learning the same pointless garbage they’ve been feeding you since you were toilet trained.
It’s not going to get better unless we keep being angry past election day. We have to keep fighting everything that’s wrong, every day. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s not fun, and there’s something cool on Netflix, and we have money for Taco Bell, so tonight let’s not think about it, right? And tomorrow it’s something else, and the next day, another thing, and then it’s election day again and we’re irate again, for just a minute, and then it’s done.
And then it’s done.
And trans people keep getting beaten up in bathrooms. And gay people keep getting their houses painted with ugly graffiti. And the mentally ill keep floundering, with nowhere to go for help, and children keep going hungry, and veterans keep dying on the streets for lack of care, and women die of cancer while they try to raise the funds for mammograms. Black men keep getting murdered for the crime of being Black. Native Americans choose between bullets or giving in to slow poisoning, and the politicians keep getting richer with every shot that’s fired. But every four years, we give a shit, so it’s okay.
I’m going to take a nap.