Tough Election Night. I won’t show you my ballot, but I’ll show you my heart.
So I put the cork screw away, wipe the sleep from my eyes, stir the coffee, and wonder what this day will bring.
I was discombobulated anyway from the time change. When I should be using salt, I sprinkle pepper. When I should be pouring mustard, I’m pouring Cabernet.
Actually, I think I like the time change. I like the earlier dawns, the earlier dusks. I think those who grumble about the shorter days are the same people who complain it’s too cold when the temperature dips below 80.
Me, I’ve always done better in the darkness and the cold. Plenty of that now.
Big news: The holiday ads have started on TV. Guess my prediction of yet another Christmas is about to pan out after all, huh?
I mean, when are you people going to believe me about anything?
We are a cowering, fretful nation right now, but when I see people voting in record numbers and Christmas beginning to blossom like this, I remain stubbornly, stupidly hopeful.
What else you got? Gonna fold your cards now? Going to run back to mother? I’m sure she’d like that.
Such a disconnect. Such a schism. Fold the country in half. On the one side, people who want to be heard and respected. On the other, people who want to be heard and respected.
Comes down to that, really. Neither side feels understood, yet won’t listen to the other side. Easy labels don’t stick.
I’m a centrist, down-the-pike, no-nonsense Kennedy democrat turned Reagan Republican turned cynical independent (a lousy mix of both those guys).
Like George Washington, I am a member of no party. Some days, I think I’m getting more liberal as I age, some days more of a button-down Federalist.
I’ve seen enough candidates that my gag reflex no longer functions. I vote for values and principles, not people.
Good luck with that, right?
I won’t show you my ballot, but I’ll show you my heart. Democracy without decency is a mall mob. It’s hooliganism, it’s me-me-me.
I keep looking for the Voice of Reason at the network — a Murrow, a Brokaw – to offer us perspective and relief, a sense of hope.
Dear God, the most resounding voice on Election Night was ABC’s Chris Christie, who actually sounded like a human being and not an aloof media twit.
Dear God (again): Can we borrow back Cronkite or Peter Jennings for the rest of the week?
I just want someone who will encourage us to listen and not lash out. Both parties feel reactionary right now. Never seen anything like it.
When writers have no wisdom in the moment, they look to other writers. We’re like a co-op that way.
Hey pal, can I borrow a cup of words?
So let me leave you with one of my favorite chestnuts (either by Kurt Vonnegut or Iain Thomas, depending on whom you want to believe). A friend posted it recently, accompanied by that incredible photo of a leafy country road.
“Be soft,” it says. “Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
Amen to that.
Make mine a double.
Be safe, dear friend.