I’d much rather laugh than cry.
My brother and I joked about how we regretted taking our grandmother frosties each time we visited her. This joke was told to the other pallbearers as we all strained to carry her to her final resting place. God rest her frosty loving soul.
We’ve all had laughs over the past sixteen months. There’s no way around it. Donald Trump’s campaign was a political barrel of monkeys. If you were for him, you could laugh at the jabs he was taking at the seasoned politicians as he called them insulting names and picked them off one by one. If you were against him, his daily speeches that showed his inaccuracies, uninformed strategies, and social missteps were basically a tickle machine that allowed free entry. It was political satire like we’d never seen.
The joke started to become less funny to me on the evening of November 8th. It was like a horse had ACTUALLY walked into a bar, except I was the one with the long face. To be honest, this is the worst case of horse-face I can recollect. I’m a glass half-full guy, so I’m going to try my damnedest to see it that way. Here we go…
Half-full: Ummm… ok… Oh, I’ve got one! Politicians are the worst. Beyond small town city councilors, you don’t get very far without serving special interests. Think of the corruption it takes to make it all the way to the top! Trump is the furthest thing from a seasoned politician!
But… Having never served in public office or the military leaves him as qualified as… well, as all of us other completely unqualified folks. Last Saturday, my friends and I came up with a better plan to fix this health care mess than Trump has, while simultaneously yelling at a replay official. Granted, Trump hasn’t actually given a plan. We just know it’s going to be the best, whatever it is.
Half-full: For real, the Affordable Care Act has been anything but affordable for me. I’m now paying ridiculously high premiums and getting a fraction of the benefits I previously had. Small business owners I know tell me it’s been borderline crippling. Trump says he’s doing away with it!
But… I believe that solid healthcare is something that EVERY American deserves and there are a lot of people less fortunate than me that have benefitted from it. While I think changes need to be made, I’d like to hear an actual plan. I haven’t from Trump.
Half-full: Trump said in 2015 that he preferred “a fair tax, a flat tax or certainly a simplified code.” That’s what I think too!
But… He has since moved away from that language and now uses broad, unspecific, and usually contradictory statements. No reason to spill the beans too much on taxes… right, Donald?
Half-full: There’s no way he’s as blatantly racist and sexist as he acted during the first seventy years of his life!? He surely has the ability to tone it down and act rational while holding the most powerful job in the world.
But… That’s what we thought he’d do after the primaries. It was never Trump’s bigoted statements that really worried me. It was my fellow citizens that cheered in support. I was able to halfway laugh off the small minority of people acting out on his behalf. After all, the Klan is, has, and always will be a joke. It was when I saw extended family members and enough voters to take the electoral college supporting him that I stopped laughing.
Half-full: At least Hillary didn’t win.
But… Here’s the thing. I’ve been a Hillary antagonist since my grandparents took me to an anti-universal healthcare rally as a child. I even held a sign saying, “Government Run HealthCare Makes Me Sick!” For one reason or another, she always rubbed me the wrong way.
With Trump as the Republican nominee, I had to come to grips with the possibility of voting for her. I would much rather abstain than vote for the lesser of two evils, so I felt it only fair to do some research. I found a lot of the things you’d expect. She’s tied to plenty of special interest groups, the email stuff, and so forth. However, I didn’t find any of her actions to be worse or more self serving than other political heroes from BOTH parties. From my research (most of which was done to prove Facebook friends wrong), I found that she hadn’t seemed to have gotten a fair shake. There were a number of things being said about her every day that simply weren’t true. These were things that I’d known as “truths” for years.
So the bartender says, “why the long face?” “Because I’m a horse… I have a long face,” said the horse.
Let’s hope we’ll all look back and laugh, rather than cry.
Writer’s note: This is the tip of the iceberg for me. There is more I could say about both candidates. Much more. However, this is the synopsis of my novel.