If you’re still paying attention, this election is probably causing you a tremendous amount of stress—I don’t mean the easily sloughed-off workaday OMG sooooo bizeeeeee stress, but the high-cortisol, animalistic, fight-flight-freeze stress that seeps into your brain and disrupts your sleep patterns and makes you want to drink and cry and call your therapist and eat all the Halloween candy even though you know it will make you break out.
Yes, this is where we are in this infected laceration of an election.
Yes, the GOP owes James Comey a fucking fruit basket, and yes, depending on what happens next week, James Comey owes the entire country a groveling-event apology.
Yes, we are somehow still talking about emails, even though a many times-alleged sexual predator is running for president. And yes, people are still making a false equivalence between unscrupulous email habits and a pattern of rampant disregard for other people’s humanity.
Yes, even the discussion of a potential split between the popular vote and the electoral college is giving me horrifying flashbacks to Bush v. Gore.
All of these things are true. I write about politics all the time, and I find the prospect of a close race in this particular race legitimately horrifying, because it means that pandering to the worst in human impulses is being rewarded.
And we live in Oregon. There’s not a lot we can do, short of getting on planes to swing states (I know people who are doing this) and calling up our friends and relatives who live in Ohio and Florida and telling them the good news about Hillary Clinton (I hope you’re doing that if that’s you; I’m from Seattle, so, lol).
If you’ve already set up shop in the whiskey and crying closet full time, these are some things you can do to feel better, but mostly I hope you voted. Have you voted yet? FUCKING VOTE. It’s empowering. There’s still time.
All is not lost.
Amid this painful, triggering mess, there’s something I would like you to remember: Donald Trump is a real-life Immortan Joe. But Donald Trump is also what a patriarchy sounds like as it heaves its last breaths. In Sunday’s New York Times, Susan Faludi put this beautifully, explaining that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is a case of facing off with the big boss after fighting similar battles FOR DECADES:
Donald J. Trump and his supporters posit their antipathy as a reaction to Mrs. Clinton’s accumulated record over “30 years in power.” It’s important to recall that she was deranging Republicans on Day 1. Understanding her demonization requires admitting her full significance in our political history, for she is not simply a pioneering woman fighting an Ur-misogyny. Mrs. Clinton faces a two-headed Cerberus, an artificial conjoining that occurred in the early 1990s, of wounded Republican invincibility and wounded male prerogative. Our current political crisis won’t be resolved until those forces are separated and the Cerberus slain.
Let’s slay* the Cerberus! Let’s slay the Cerberus! But wait—it gets even better.
“The G.O.P.’s gender grudge feeds on its own defeat,” writes Faludi. “As the culture moves further away from the conservative ideal — as women gain freedoms, minorities assert rights, same-sex marriage proves commonplace — the monster’s howls grow louder. But the howls say nothing new. This election is the decisive battle in a Thirty Years’ War.”
Say what you want about a coronation, but the GOP was never going to let Hillary Clinton win this election without an ugly fight and a show of sexism running a deplorable gamut from the WTF (“nasty woman“? REALLY?) to the incorrect employment of the C-word (which is ANY employment not pre-approved by someone in possession of one). But don’t you see? If the Cerberus crumbles, it will be a big fucking deal. We are on the brink of huge things right now, and the rising American electorate—the unmarried women (AYOOOOO), people of color, and young voters who are voting in this election—probably look very frightening to those who enjoy the “leadership” of entitled old white men who love failed business ventures nearly as much as terrible grammar.
Do you still feel sad? I feel you. This is sad. It’s sad that this battle even needs to be fought. But it’s contentious because the ramifications are huge. Isn’t it amazing to think that American leadership could finally start to look… American?
And here’s a tantalizing hypothetical: Hillary Clinton hinted in an interview yesterday that she would be open to appointing Michelle Obama to a position in her administration if the only acceptable outcome comes out a week from today.
Imagine that: Michelle Obama in a Clinton cabinet. Can you imagine anything more appropriate? I can’t. These are the beautiful possibilities that are set to emerge if Hillary Clinton does what no woman candidate has done before.
Now, doesn’t that feel better?
*THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A METAPHOR.