You have heard me say that I believe the job of the artist is to hold a mirror up to the rest of the world. I’ve been thinking a lot about this election and what reflection it would cast on the American people. As I thought through this little mind exercise I realized that in this election we are so far removed from anything we have seen before that I don’t really know what the mirror image would show.
To give you some insight into the political life of Bryan the Writer I’ll tell you that on fiscal and foreign policy issues I trend towards the conservative, on social issues I trend left of center. Not too dissimilar to most of you, if the political analysts are reporting their findings accurately. To make it easier, I am basically an average American politically. Where I differ from my more liberal leaning friends is on the question of the size of the government. I am for a smaller federal government and think the states should have as much or as little federal involvement as they want or don’t want. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I am just providing this as background to the following.
Northern Virginia is a microcosm of the world. When things are going well, it’s like a party around here. When things aren’t going so great, buildings are shuttered and the For Sale/For Lease signs show up everywhere. But you are just as likely to find left leaning conservatives and right leaning liberals everywhere.
I remember the Romney/Obama campaign. I was a Romney supporter. Yes, I had a sign in my yard. Think about that … a sign in my yard. Literally there were thousands of signs spread across my neighborhood. Some yards had three or four signs. I actually saw one yard that had both a Romney and an Obama sign. Who knows … maybe a mixed marriage? I can just imagine the dinner conversations now.
Harry said, “Can you pass the ranch my sweet little socialist, bleeding heart, liberal freak.”
Sally smiled, “Of course you pig headed, war mongering, capitalist, jack-booted thug.”
“Thanks sweetie, good luck in the election. When you enslave the nation with your socialist ideologies, think well of me.”
She patted her husband’s hand. “Of course dear, and if you win, please remember to keep some fresh water set aside for me before you let your large corporations pollute the precious clean water we have.”
I tried to count the number of political signs in my neighborhood. It was easy … there are none. Literally you can drive the length of our neighborhood and you’ll see no signs at all. You see a few around town for the local congressional race, but even that election people seem to have had enough of.
I don’t think it’s that no one is interested in yard signs anymore. I think we are reaching a breaking point in the American political life where we are having a Clinton/Trump hangover. We thought it was a great idea when they were partying in the primaries, but when we woke up the next morning to them being actual candidates, we now have to do the walk of shame. Maybe our political underwear is hanging out of our back pockets, hair stuck to one side of our heads, only one left shoe because we can’t find the other one. We keep saying to ourselves, “What the hell happened?”
A lot has been made of what our allies across the world think of our election. I have to be honest, I don’t give a rats arse what they think. While we are wallowing in our own misery, we still have a modern and capable military, our country is awash in natural resources, and we have one of the world’s largest industrial capabilities. So screw em’, we’ll sort this out eventually and this isn’t prom where we need to worry about if the rest of the girls like our dress or not. This is America, and if we want to show up naked to the party with a bow hanging off our thingy, you’d better compliment us on our bow!
Back to us now. Yes, we are in a bit of a rough patch. But we kind of did it to ourselves and we came by it honestly. Yes, I’ll vote. And No, I won’t say who will get my vote. Just know that when I walk out of that voting booth I’ll feel sad for our nation and maybe a little ashamed of myself for having to settle on either a candidate who should be in prison for breaking the laws I took an oath to uphold, or for a misogynist pig who I am not sure I want anywhere near my daughter. *sigh*
-Your Humble Servant