Nobody comes to this blog to read about the election, and I don’t want to write about it, but as I rode my Hunter Biden bike this morning I couldn’t help but think about it:
Yes, it’s the Hunter Biden bike because of all the bags. Get it? Because he’s a bag man???
Oh, lighten up, I could also have made a Trump joke instead, only there isn’t really any orange on the bike.
Anyway, like everyone else, I woke up this morning slightly anxious that we still don’t know who will be the next President of the Canada’s Saddlebag of America, and that this Schrödinger-esque situation could persist for some time. But, as always happens, I felt better about it all just as soon as I threw a leg over the bike and started pedaling. Oh sure, maybe it’s just the endorphins talking, or maybe I’m painfully naive, but here’s why this may be the best possible outcome given our current cultural moment:
No matter which side we’re on, too many of us think we’re absolutely right. We think the other candidate is a Nazi, or a Communist, as the case may be. But in truth nobody’s absolutely right–about this, or about anything. (Yes, of course you can be absolutely right about some things, but not about mundane stuff such as which old guy gets to be President for the next four years.) Yet a swift and decisive win for either one of those old guys instantly allows millions of people to think that millions of other people–the same people with whom they share a country, maybe even a town or a street or an apartment building–are not just wrong but inherently bad. And yes, while winning feels good, thinking you’re absolutely right and good and that your neighbor is absolutely wrong and bad is really no way to live.
But instead, here we are in a situation where, no matter who ends up winning, it’s obviously pretty close. Maybe this is a gift. I see people lamenting this result as a symptom of our “deeply divided” country, but what if it’s a good thing in that every single one of us is now forced to reconcile ourselves to the possibility that the other guy could win? No more voting, no more phone banking, no more driving around with a giant flag on your pickup…unless you’re a ballot counter or a lawyer for one of the candidates or a Supreme Court justice or something all you can really do at this point and sit on your ass and wait.
And while we sit and wait, we can begin to let go of some fear and anxiety and allow ourselves to entertain the notion that no matter who wins it’s all going to be okay. We’re still extraordinarily lucky to live in the time and the place we do–maybe the luckiest humans yet to have lived. We can choose to believe a certain result means we’ll all perish imminently due to climate change, or live forevermore in some kind of Orwellian cancel culture nightmare. Or we can acknowledge that we live in a not-perfect but ever-evolving place where most us just want the best for ourselves and the people we love–and, more importantly, where that is an eminently attainable goal. That doesn’t mean forfeiting being passionate about our beliefs, or that we should be complacent, but it does mean at a certain point we have to accept that others feel just as passionately about things with which we disagree.
If we allow ourselves to realize this, maybe we’ll be so busy hugging each other and rejoicing in our newfound humanity that we won’t even notice when they finally announce a winner:
Ah, who am I kidding, it’ll probably be four more years of this:
But hey, I can dream.
Moving on, yesterday we took advantage of the quasi-holiday nature of Election Day and took a short family bike ride:
I bought this for her at the Philly Bike Expo back in 2018 and she’s been using it ever since, both on and off the bike, and it’s the reason we were sure to get a rear rack with her new Clem Smith, Jr. It mounts in seconds with magnetic straps, it holds a lot of stuff, and obviously it’s nice to look at.
Ah yes, bike stuff…it feels good to focus on what’s really important in life.