My husband had knee surgery last week, and he has been working from home since then. I keep thinking it’s Friday because he always works from home on Fridays. He cannot sit at a desk, so he sits in the recliner next to my writing space. I need to move past the fact that someone else is breathing and muttering and working in the same room I am and just write, but I’m struggling, especially with the fiction.
So instead I’ll talk about my responses to the 2016 election, as requested by the Wall Street Journal.
I hope we will look back over what brought us here, as well as what we most watched and read, and learn enough from the ruckus that we become civilized again.
As I reflect on the wild rumpus that was Election 2016, I actually feel hopeful. Hopeful in the way of a person who has learned something through a difficult and prolonged painful experience, like going through an ugly divorce or getting a kid through rehab.
I feel hopeful that the major parties and each of us as individuals may have time to examine what led us to the selection of our final candidates. Do they represent the best of what we want our respective parties to be? No, but they did unearth buried frustrations and unexamined biases. How do we, both as individuals and as a country, select future candidates who represent the best of who we can be rather than the lowest common denominator of what many of us already are?
Looking at Election 2016, acknowledging where we went wrong, and focusing on how we heal ourselves and our nation going forward gives me hope that maybe we can actually come together and change each party, as well as the media coverage of the process, for the better.
I look at how the Republicans ended up with Trump, and I can only conclude that the overcrowded stage in the primaries split the sane votes too thin but funneled the fringe votes into one outrageous candidate. What can be learned from this?
I look at how the Democrats ended up with Clinton, and although I personally liked and supported her, she actually was too by the book. She did everything she was supposed to do, but that not what the nation wanted (or perhaps what it needed).
Addendum, following the election:
We are a divided country. Yes, Clinton had more popular votes, but at the end of the day both Trump and Clinton had about 48% of the votes. We’re a purple nation. It’s silly to think we could be all on the same page, but can we get closer? Are there things we can take off the table as decided to focus on the current and future issues? I hope so, I really do.