“The change you’ve been waiting for your entire lives.”
These words were spoken by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump just two days ago (and just miles from my home) at a campaign stop in Minneapolis.
Political persuasions aside, I think we can agree such claims are a bit misleading. Yet the the audience cheered Trump’s words–as they do whenever a bright future is promised at Hillary Clinton’s rallies. We cheer, because it’s enjoyable to think that suddenly our lives are going to be better. We fantasize about winning the lottery. We get caught up in this “one day” thinking. One day everything’s going to be great. One day we’re going to take our country back. One day there will be equality for all. And there’s no better place for this thinking than during election time (or when the Powerball is inflated)–when we get to choose the people we presume will change the country for better (or worse.)
That’s right. This “one day” thinking has a dark side.
If so-and-so gets elected, watch out. The country will fall apart. The world will go to hell. The sun will explode.
This hype of the 2016 election seems a combination of:
- Our attachment to drama (and so being over-dramatic)
- Our avoidance of the present (and so imagining a utopian or dystopian future depending on today’s outcome)
- Us pouring too much of our lives (and hope for a better life) into politicians and elections
The truth is: your life and my life are not going to change significantly because of who the next president of the United States is. In fact, to an ever-rising degree America is not it’s government at all. Yes, the people elected today will affect American government and politics. But this doesn’t equate to the effect on us, the people.
The sun will come up tomorrow as it has every other day of our lives. We’ll continue to go to work, raise our families, spend time with our friends, work on our projects, travel, and enjoy our lives. We’ll continue to exercise that which makes our lives and country as a whole great. These are not beholden to state or federal politicians.
Elections do matter. But deciding who represents us in capitol buildings is not an epic.
Now if you excuse me, I’m going to vote.