Tomorrow will be the first presidential election for one of my boys and possibly the first one my other boy will vaguely remember when he’s older. I am torn between trying to play it off too cool and taking it extremely seriously.
As I’ve stated before, I have been a huge believer in Bernie Sanders for more than 15 years. This election cycle, he genuinely embodied a hopeful, all-in-this-together spirit long absent from the majority parties. Most of my liberal friends supported Sanders, too. Most of my conservative friends supported Rubio and Cruz in the primaries. Now we are all left with the two most unpopular candidates in modern history.
Barring a major shakeup in the next 24 hours, Hillary Clinton will be elected our first woman president. This is a monumental accomplishment for our country, to be sure. I believe she has the know-how and drive to do a very good job. I think she’s probably the best-prepared candidate we’ve ever had. And, although these reasons aren’t enough to make me enthusiastic, my feelings aren’t exactly the most important thing here.
As a father, I think the most important short-term goal I have is to ensure that my boys see me treating all people with respect. I think we need to do a much better job of maintaining and improving relationships with people around us, regardless of how we vote. We’ve been saturated with the anger of post-Walker Wisconsin for over 5 years now. We’ve become so entrenched and spiteful toward each other. When and why during the course of our lives do we allow politics to overtake friendship and family relationships? I was incredibly political in high school, but still maintained solid, comfortable relationships with people who were actively in opposition to my viewpoint. I’d like to recapture some of that past.
Maybe it’s possible to reconcile our differences, or maybe we’re just inevitably headed into an evermore destructive national dialogue. Will November 9th provide the first day of respite, or will we move into even more recalcitrant partisanship?