Writer’s Block: Now That That’s Over

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

It was a very long election season — a very, very long election season.

In the time it took our country to whittle down a football team’s worth of Democratic and Republican hopefuls down to the final two nominees at the Roll Call of States at the two national conventions, then onto the ballot casting of early voting and Election Day, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, and Canada first scuttled its Parliament and then voted on new members. Canada also voted in the popular Justin Trudeau as prime minister. By the by, Canada’s 2015 federal election, at 11 weeks long, was the longest in Canadian history.

Other things that occurred during the nearly two-year-long race for the White House:

The Chicago Cubs won the first World Series in 108 years.

We also saw the real ‘day the music died’  with the deaths of David Bowie, Merle Haggard, and the interminable Prince.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m afraid I might be suffering from what some columnists have called “election fatigue.” The condition makes it rather hard to focus. It’s been a very long, very arduous road to Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. And no matter which side of the aisle you stood on, you were sure to be bombarded by all sorts of bad news within five minutes of turning on your television.

“Donald Trump said this…”

“Hillary Clinton deleted that…”

So went the ledes during the evening cable news talk shows, the late night comedy show monologues, the newspaper headlines, and perhaps worse yet, the Facebook status updates from friends, family and colleagues.

I’ve lived on this Earth through a few presidencies, and have long taken pride in the civil process our forefathers mapped out for our representative democracy. Some of the candidates I’ve voted for have gone on to serve as president, others haven’t. Regardless of the outcome, I’ve always respected and admired the people courageous enough and selfless enough to want to try to lead our beautiful, diverse, ever-evolving nation.

I have to admit, though, that this election cycle has felt different than ones that came before it. This election cycle was perhaps one of the most bitter I’ve ever seen. From my perspective, it elicited impatience and lack of empathy among many. I find that troubling.

However, I’m proud to name among my friends people who voted for Donald Trump and people who voted for Hillary Clinton. With rare exception, the conversations I’ve participated in or observed among them has been respectful, thoughtful and engaging. I see among my friends and family a desire to see our country be prosperous, to see our loved ones safe and successful, to see our leaders possessed of wisdom and surrounded by smart advisers.

No matter what side of the aisle we fall on, we all share similar hopes. At long last, the election is over, and hopefully with it ends the tendency towards angry rhetoric. This isn’t my country, or your country; it’s our country. We have to live in it together. Onward, to a new day!

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