It’s October 19th and there are a little under 3 weeks left until the 2016 Presidential Election, but I’d like to suggest that the election is already over. Why? You might ask. Is this going to be one of those “Donald Trump has run himself into the ground so Hillary has already won” pieces? No, fortunately not. But I do think the election is already over. We won’t know until November 9th who’s actually won, but for now, I consider it over and done. And besides the day of actual voting, I feel like we could not hear anything more about this election and be fine.
And why is this? Because as oversaturated as the media has been with the drama of this election for over a year now, we’re all decided voters.
In truth, I’m sure there’s a small group of people out there who legitimately haven’t decided who to vote for yet. (I saw someone just the other day start a Facebook thread asking her friends to give non-emotional arguments for each candidate because she was still undecided). But I don’t think it’s enough to particularly sway an election. I think at this point, we’ve all mentally voted one way or another.
There are really four main categories: the Trump/GOP Supporters, the Hillary/Democratic Supporters, Third Party Voters, and Protest Non-voters. Everything I read, every political interaction I have, I’ve found people to be in one of these four categories. You’re voting for Trump or you’re simply voting for the Republican party even if you don’t like Trump. Or you’re voting for Hillary or the Democratic party as a whole or you’re a “Never Trump-er.” Or you think a Third Party vote is better for your conscious or the country. Or you disagree with all the candidates and feel that you can’t give your vote to any of them.
We’ve all got different opinions about the election, but I would bet you anything that we’d all agree on one thing: that we’re so tired of hearing about the election and nothing in the next 3 weeks is going to sway us from how we’re voting. At this point, it’s really too late. We’ve already absorbed so much insanity that we can’t even tell what’s a lie anymore. We’ll justify it however we need to feel comfortable following through with our decision. This will make us seem stupid or ignorant or downright crazy to someone with a differing view. But the thing is, we already feel crazy after all the nastiness and hatred and utter nonsense that’s occurred so it won’t feel too off-base anyway.
I guess the key is, please stop sharing “You’ll never believe what Trump/Hillary has done this time!” on Facebook. I mean, we get it. You don’t like X, Y, or Z candidate and can’t understand how anyone else is actually justifying their vote for them (I’m guilty of this too!), but honestly, it’s doing nothing but fuel our ever-burning internal fires of anger and irrationality.
I will be immensely happy when this election is over because at least (I can hope) for a little while that we might have some peace. (I also recognize that if either of the major party candidates win, the climate is such that either way, we’ll most likely be dealing with just as much anger, irrationality, and hatred as we are now). But at least, for a little while, I can rest easy in the idea that people might stop telling me that I’m ignorant for voting one way or another. Or (more specific to my case) being afraid to let anyone even know what your voting preference is because you worry about retaliation and persecution.
I just hope that 2020’s election (or frankly, any future election) doesn’t feel anything like this one. I’ve had enough presidential election angst for an entire lifetime.