Saturday, September 10, 2016

"The Flight 93 Election" and the end of America: This too shall pass

Damon Linker writes on Facebook about the “Flight 93 Election” and its “end of the republic” doomsaying:

Decius, he says, believes

“that both parties, including the conservative-movement establishment, need to be overthrown for the sake of ... saving the United States! If HRC wins, it's like pointing a loaded semi-auto at the country's head and pulling the trigger! Those are high stakes!”

They are. And here's where, perhaps, I can spare a moment of sympathy for my reactionary friends...

If they're acting like this election is the last one to save America, the last best chance before everything goes down the drain, perhaps permanently, well, they're acting entirely with recent tradition anyway.

The election of 2000 was kind of "meh" until it wasn't — Dems thinking GWB was stupid, Republicans thinking Gore was a beta male (stereotypes that tend to persist in the parties through subsequent elections) and a lot of people not seeing too much difference between the two. The intervention of the Supreme Court and the subsequent 9/11 terror attacks did a lot of clarifying for those of us (guilty!) who had been in the third group, but by then it was too late.

2004 felt like a desperate attempt to reverse course, but it didn't happen. The insane levels of depression in my little liberal town for weeks after was palpable. Many of us thought we'd lost the country, perhaps forever.

And so it goes. Every election these days is now "the most important election of our lifetime," until the next one. And so every election has, for one side or the other, felt like the last-ditch attempt to save what we love about the country.

Except: It hasn't been.

This election season has been extraordinary, it's true. And I can’t quite make myself say, “Well Donald Trump might be bad, but he probably won’t be that bad.” He seems pretty bad to me. Someday, we might be living the election that really is the last chance to save the country. Maybe this one is it.

But probably it isn’t.

What our country needs is a man in a long robe and a beard, carrying a sign to every street corner: “This too shall pass.”

If we remember that, maybe we can be a touch more forgiving of our friends and neighbors whose political stances enrage us. The choices we make in life are important. But life tends go on anyway. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

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