The #debate tonight, right?
In a word: yikes.
What do we, as Americans, even do with this? Do we break down into opposing camps with sloganed tshirts, Adorable Deplorables vs. Miss Clinton if You’re Nasty? Sit back and let the yelling continue for another few weeks, then somehow magically unite again? Turn to pop culture where heroes actually exist and never die? Hope that a meteor takes us all out in one go?
It’s hard to shoulder this much divisiveness, this much shame. It’s upsetting to have our great nation represented by two people most of us wouldn’t trust with our Netflix passwords. It’s distressing to realize that most people’s lives won’t change, and if anything they’ll get worse.
Our guarantees are falling away. Jobs, education, even drinking water. Standing Rock and Flint stay ignored while our leaders squabble about what they have no real intention of doing in Aleppo. The disenchantment looms over us like the Christmas decorations that have no business being in stores yet, but will inevitably be an unnecessary talking point in a few months.
And yet, in a truly American way, we soldier on. We take this embarrassment and turn it into entertainment like the Yankee Doodle SOBs we are.
After all, the only thing better than House of Cards is seeing the real life Underwoods come to power. The show has better music, but real life might eventually feature CNN correspondents punching each other, on the off chance Anderson Cooper 360 got my letter and is taking viewer requests.
It’s like that 1984 scene where they switch sides in the middle of a war rally, except we’re just kinda sighing at the posters and going “ugh, sure, I GUESS.” Or maybe it’s more like a Brave New World, except the reptilian overlords are dragging their feet on state-sanctioned drugs so they can keep oppressive societal structures firmly in place. Either way, there’s probably a strong metaphor for a few of the books that we all read in high school, because if nothing else we can appear well-read for a few minutes.
We’re the U.S. of EH! while watching that heartfelt Canadian-collaboration video, and U.S. of Ehhhhh when thinking about the election itself. But through all this disenchantment, divisiveness, and noise, we are still Americans. The beautiful, the brave, the wonderful nation of innovators and opportunity and taco trucks. We can weather any storm. And we will, as we always do, together.