I’m slow. I just figured out at least part of why many people are so passionate about this election. It’s not that we’re just really seeing light at the end of the tunnel after the 2007 recession and that we are finally feeling like now maybe we won’t have to be in perpetual wars on multiple fronts anymore. It’s fear. The two candidates represent opposite sides way more than ever before. It used to be two parties that were really not all that different, but this year it’s completely different. For many on both sides it’s about our fear. One side is all women BAD, Muslims BAD, immigrants BAD, other nations (except Russia) BAD, poor people BAD, they’re taking our jobs, everything is someone else’s fault – be afraid – this country is terrible if everyone isn’t exactly like me (white, male, straight, Christian, wealthy, etc.) – be afraid of anyone not like us – they’re unAmerican, send them away, build a wall, make them be/live/do what we want or they’re out!
Then there is the side that is everything we’re used to, the same ol’ for the most part, not much in the way of progress, not great for working people but not terrible, same ol’ 72% pay for women, same ol’ struggles but at least most of us work and have a place to live and hopefully not send our young people off to die in wars over things that shouldn’t require war. And while the same ol’ is not going to give us any surprises it’s also not going to mean much change (for better or for worse). So I choose that because of my fear of what happens if the other guy gets in.
There’s the us and them side. Then there’s the pretty much anyone but him side.
It used to be a choice between two qualified people who weren’t all that different and neither were good choices. They just weren’t bad, and they certainly weren’t scary. We didn’t fear for our futures if one or the other got in.
I can’t believe I miss that, but I do.