A few minutes ago my phone beeped with a text alert. “Polls close in Georgia.” I put it down and turned back to the TV to continue watching “Julie and Julia”, a movie about cooking.
When I was 24-years old a very dear friend took me to a political rally in Calgary and I discovered what became my passion and raison d’etre for the next decade. From that day on, I lived and breathed politics. In my time as a political animal I progressed from answering campaign phones, to knocking on doors, leading cheers at rallies, teaching volunteers how to raise funds for candidates, and finally running a national campaign office and working for the Prime Minister of Canada. I was very lucky and willing to subvert my personal life so I joined that rare group, the paid political staffer. At university I studied political science and public administration. Family dinners during campaigns were chaos because I was at loggerheads with half my family and the only thing that mattered was politics.
By the time G and I married I had seen enough and walked away from my political life, but I was still keenly interested. In fact, I never questioned becoming an American citizen because I believe so fervently in the political process, and I wanted to vote!
But this campaign, it has broken me. I no longer give a shit.
How did we get to the point when the two major parties nominate candidates that cause us to vote based on who we are against rather than for? How is it that the very best this country has to offer is one candidate who is completely arrogant, disingenuous and unlikeable, and the other finds a way to offend or demean a new group every day. Not exactly a shining moment, is it? (I blame the DNC and the RNC, but that’s another topic entirely.)
However I keep reminding myself that the sun will rise tomorrow, we’ll go about our business, and our everyday work/family lives will continue to be paramount. It’s my sense that from 2017 to 2021 our elected officials won’t give us much hope or guidance; they will merely represent institutions that don’t have much to do with how the average American resident actually lives.
We all have more in common than politicians would lead us to believe. We all want to live our best lives. We have hopes for the future. We love puppies and kittens. We think the NFL refs are blind. Honestly, we all have a battle to get through every day and life is too short to hate someone just because they marked their X in a different box than I did. Right?
I believe in people and know that we will be neighbours, friends and coworkers, regardless of who is elected. But I no longer believe in politicians or have the hope and wide-eyed innocence of a 24-year old who volunteered on her first election campaign.
God Bless us all. And with that, I’m turning on HGTV.