Friday, 4 November 2016

Rock The Anti-Vote

It seemed as though God decided to bring the scares of Halloween early in the year by essentially subjecting the world to one of the ugliest American elections in history. I mean it’s quite horrendous that out of all the millions of people the 50 states could hold, they could only consider a rotting pumpkin-headed bigot-billionaire and a two-faced millennial-baiting robot as the best candidates to represent them. These two are hated not just by their opponents, but even by people who are under their party. They’re both corrupt, pathological liars, guilty of some sort of crime and driven by their egos. And as each day marches on they essentially drown our poor neighbours to the South with scandal after scandal. And boy it’s not like the third parties are really throwing any life preservers. What with Johnson being the libertarian scarecrow in desperate need of a brain and Stein being a green witch whose magic spells give people smallpox because they believe vaccines cause autism.

Now I’m one of the (un)lucky few who was able to vote in this election. And I certainly have been quite invested by the whole process. Seeing Barack break the black barrier and facing the eight years of vitriol that the right had thrown on him had me hooked on the political circus. Adding on a news media that at best was sensationalist and at worst partisan, the unmitigated gall of the standard politico’s penchant for lying, and the comedians who took it upon themselves to make the days’ events more palatable to the youth made me feel like there is something so beautiful about the broken system. And well, why not throw my pebble to the pond? I was sure 2016 would be just fine.

But then the US got to where it is now. And some of us have done some soul searching.

Over the years, the way in which I viewed the political world in the US was from a very typical point of view. That being that as a young man, I was staunchly Democrat and you dirty Republicans couldn’t convince me otherwise. Indeed, I still find myself holding on to the left, especially given the current circumstances. But I’m sympathetic to the Republicans. It seems quite unrealistic that we cannot focus on the reasonable Republicans, on the moderates. Such seemed so alien, so contradictory in the media lens. And indeed I was finding myself more disenfranchised by the Democrats who seemed not to do much about what they talked about.

Even amongst this election, with an orange clown constantly tripping and saying that he never slips, and the venomous alt-righters who would happily make a conspiracy theory about how what Clinton eats is actually supporting the terrorists and call you a shilling cuck if you disagreed, I do understand why this race is closer than we’d hope it to be. I see why people can’t trust Hillary because I felt the Bern and found myself aflame after the DNC leaks. I understand that are people who would like some better border protection who aren’t doing so out of a bigoted mindset but rather a frustration and insecurity that they feel. Most importantly, for as much as I love being on the left, Christ Almighty there are some obnoxious and ignorant people who only serve to belittle you because you don’t toe their line.

The US was building up to this powder keg exploding, with the divisiveness only growing with each coming year. It would have been so nice to see some peace and compromise, to find our leaders being more reasonable and shaking hands. But it’s foolish to hope for that in 2016 after the birther issue, the Benghazi scandal and the government shutting down like a Windows 10 computer abruptly updating. America was on the edge from all the stress that the government was causing. 2016 is the electoral equivalent of screaming at a pillow and punching a wall; our anger just had to come out – we could no longer kid ourselves with the fa├žade of civility we were maintaining.

This election has been so much of a burden, so much so that even here in Canada, I feel it necessary to talk about it because of just how much it affects the world. We mull through the speeches, the scandals, the think-pieces, the surrogates, the news coverage, the jokes, the memes, the conspiracies, the comments from strangers, the arguments with parents, the tacky merchandise, the inner thoughts and the policies of each candidate and we still feel unsure of what will come. Moreso, we feel unsure of if our decision is the right one. Not many of us Americans who vote will be completely confident in our candidate. And more so than any other year, we will vote more because of how much they can’t stand to see the other one take the helm. Such may be run-of-the-mill of elections. But in this one, we’re tired of it all. We just want some calm. 

Note: I'm well aware Halloween has passed but this was written before such.

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