When we get down to the wire in important elections, I think it’s easy for people to lose their heads a bit. After all, what do we love in America more than anything? No, it’s not Dunkin Donuts. We love confrontation. We love the stories of us versus them. We watch sports contests of one type or another 13 months of the year, and we produce endless droves of “reality TV” that pits one group of people in a contest against the other. Why do we do it? So we can know who the winner is. We want to decide who is better.
And like the 4th quarter of a playoff game, this last week is more tense the any time earlier in the race. We’ve chosen sides, we’ve decided who to root for, and we desperately want to see our team win. At the same time, we’ve been building up a callus of hatred for The Other Guy. This is what we need to be wary of, and we really should just let it go.
Hopefully we’ve all had time to reasonably think through the issues, and we’ve made an informed choice. That’s the sensible thing to do. It’s a little bit insane to actually and truthfully be gripped by tangible fear at the prospect of our candidate coming in second. We have a good system in place here. We have checks and balances built into our system of government (for the most part) that keeps an undue amount of power out of any one person’s hands.
To think that Your Candidate will solve all the problems he’s proposed to solve is naive, but so is the notion that The Other Guy is going to single-handedly flush our democracy down the toilet. The world continues to evolve and the status quo continues to change, but it is much bigger than one man in one office in one American city. Moreover, the rhetoric of a political campaign is generally a lot sharper than actual policy.
Make no mistake, this is an important election; there is a lot at stake, and the President of the United States continues to be a key international figure. But regardless of the outcome next week, it’s not worth jumping overboard if things don’t go the way you’d like.