As you read this, will all my friends still like me?
Will some members of my family have disowned me?
Will I be pouting in my room, refusing to come out?
Will I be parading in the streets, sticking my tongue out at people?
Will I have accepted defeat gracefully?
Will I quietly and humbly celebrate victory?
Will you and your friends and families and co-workers still get along, or will hard feelings be the downfall of everyone?
This election has brought out nastiness like I’ve never seen before.
Granted, I am only 38, but still, I’ve never seen so many people, so mad and so defensive and so on edge. Many people were that way well before the election, but as election day neared — WOW.
And now, as I write this, it is time to vote tomorrow. When this is read, it will all be done, and part of me keeps picturing smoke and rubble in the aftermath, with half the country angered and defeated and the other half hoping their new president saves them. The majority of the people I talk to say that is what they are expecting, and that is partly why they’ve been so darn mad — because one man will mess everything up and the other is waiting for Tuesday to pass to tear open his shirt and reveal his superhero costume and fly around the country and fix and save everyone and everything.
The country has been damaged for some time and people need a miracle.
Of course, that is not going to happen, but that is what seemed at stake here as friends and family members traded hurtful words and sometimes fists over who should be the next president.
I heard people claim Romney was going to put women back in aprons and take away their rights and that Obama wanted to get the government’s hands into everything and get us all dumb and on welfare so he could create a Muslim state.
And now, as I write this, I wonder: Who will be the president?
Will all the grim predictions come true? Will it be dark and horrible and oppressive and hell on earth?
I hope not, and I highly doubt it, but doesn’t it sort of have to be?
I mean, if all the things we were so frightened and angry about, these things we felt so driven by, don’t come true, then maybe we yelled at grandma and called her an idiot for nothing. Maybe we looked down at our co-workers for nothing. Maybe we bought into the hype and insulted our neighbors, and shared and posted some intensely graphic and evil and mean-spirited, but apparently prophetic, things on Facebook for nothing.
Some might say, “C’mon, Facebook, whatever.” Well, life is happening and has been happening on Facebook for some time now and with the same results: Love, hate, anger, laughter, tears, joy, abuse.
Yes, some idiotic things were said by lawmakers and we were right to call them on it, but are we really never going to talk to our friend we made shortly after birth because they support the individual we decided was a manifestation of pure evil. So basically, what we are saying is there are some of us, even many of us, who thought Romney or Obama was akin to Jeffrey Dahmer.
Many of us definitely lost our sense of humor this election, unless it was us picking on the candidate we opposed.
And oh my, did so many of us ever become so oblivious to obvious wrongs committed by our candidate.
Obama could punch a baby and a Democrat would say, “Well, did you hear how loud that baby was crying,” or, “I really think he slipped,” even as Obama did a dance and kissed his fist.
And that goes both ways.
So now I wonder, when I read this in print, will the anger still be there, or will we become humble and apologize and forgive and forget, and not just because we won.
I’m already examining where I might need to offer an apology and figure out how to prevent such behavior in the future.
Unless, of course, the world ends, and then I guess grandma really was an idiot.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org