How can this moment feel as monumental as it does regular, dull, and Monday evening? Is it even Monday? The ceiling fan above slowly turns, suddenly bothering me. The roof is splitting by gushed Brooklyn winds. What about the ticking clock in the room? It only seems to tick when I notice it’s there.
I’m in Bed-Stuy, and the 2020 presidential election is tomorrow. I’m alone, eating bad food, unable to concentrate. I was supposed to get work done. Yesterday, I spent 10 hours on my iPhone (it was daylight saving, so that makes it a little okay, right?! 25 hour day!), scrolling tweets, news, headlines, tracking the Liberal and Conservative stump trains as if it’s my job. We’re all nervous, afraid, restraining ourselves to admit that we think he’s going to win, too burned from 2016 to say it out loud. Deep down, we know it’s anyone’s game.
I’ve gravitated toward the middle in these past few years, too cognizant he still won 62 million votes despite his abrasive and unqualified personality. I’m too cognizant that that as much as I meet someone who wants the best for mankind, I meet several others more interested in this kind of man. Maybe the real winners are the apathetic, the 100 million from 2016 that didn’t vote at all.
But what’s the point of writing this the day before the election? 92 million people already voted. Whoever’s Lord knows I won’t sway you to vote for “my” candidate, regardless of when I write this. I suppose I wanted to write how I felt on the Election Eve of 2020, after an incomprehensible past four years. I remember in high school loosely paying attention to history lessons of the Civil War, Martin Luther King Jr., and politics in general as a form of shelter from bad things. I once believed in a government that creates laws that will protect us. Roe v. Wade didn’t mean we all loved abortion, it meant that people were protected when the hard decision had to be made. And growing up in the 90s, it felt as if things were better, but maybe I just couldn’t grasp the Unabomber or John Wayne Gacy. Didn’t Black Lives Matter? I watched Sister Sister and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But the government didn’t shelter me. My parents did. My mom and dad raised me on blue-collar jobs, and they came home every day from a hard day’s work, gone before I left for school, home as I’m already watching cartoons. I didn’t completely understand who Monica Lewinsky was, but looking back at it from an adult perspective, it’s that we were progressing far and fast so that the future of crises were based on moral issues, not because of race, gender, or religion.
Later on, I took to my campus streets when Barack Obama was elected, squealing in joy to witness history in the flesh. Proud in the luck that it was my first vote I was ever allowed to cast. I knew so strongly back then how powerful it felt to vote in the United States of America, a feeling that’s shrouded every 2 years since then, during midterms and general elections, under how 100+ million non-voters don’t feel the same. In the last few days, friends revealed themselves to have voted for the first time in 2020. Why did it take so long? Even Selena Gomez never voted until now, with that 200 million+ follower platform. The humanity! Truthfully, I can be harsh sometimes, and I have no right to sell anyone out or believe ill toward someone for pretentious or selfish reasons. At least she voted this time.
So how do I feel? Deceived by my past in some sense, the naivete of innocence, as they’ve made the last four years even harder. I’m tired of personal attacks via Twitter and Facebook by both the far-left and far-right. I’m embarrassed by our daily and consistent hypocrisy, but equally embarrassed of this mantra deep down that coils in agony: ‘why can’t we all just get along?’
At the risk of sounding like a Sesame Street lesson, I’m so tired of how we treat each other and how so many of us can’t keep our word or be decent under the political realm. We can no longer blame the media, because the internet and our ability to reach anyone on the planet (‘cept China and NK) is at our fingertips. It’s us. We do this to ourselves.
And that’s why I’m afraid it doesn’t matter that tomorrow’s the election. Whoever wins will not change how we treat each other, how we see our family members whose differences are enough to divide us, or alleviate the chip on our shoulders because cousin Jessica voted the ‘wrong’ way. The conspiracy theorists who invented QAnon will continue to inspire hate and spread lies, and the election won’t just be over. Coverage will continue for weeks, if not months, so I’m feeling the heaviness of knowing this won’t end tomorrow. This sadness and nervousness will continue for weeks as I lie in bed, turn on the news, and sip another day’s coffee.
But one thing’s certain —this one small fact I cannot deny the day before the election. I understand that the Republican party stands on its values, but no Republican politician would be as vile as Trump, as mean-spirited as his sons, or as ignorant as the First Lady. And best of all, the media would stop paying attention to it (Remember Alex Jones, anyone?) And that’s why I hope he loses. I want to wake up Wednesday, November 4th and see blue awash this nation. Even though this happens to be a blue vote, anybody else could reduce COVID deaths faster than Trump can. Anyone else wouldn’t spread LITERAL Fake News on Twitter (which he’s admitted he they are lies). Then Trump can go off and have his Fox & Friends. He can have Brett Favre and Papa John’s Pizza, but he can’t have this country anymore. And that’s what I’m feeling, a dreaming, to truncate the reach between love and hate.