Interminable (adjective) 1. incapable of being terminated; unending 2. monotonously or annoyingly protracted or continued 3. having no limits --Merriam-Websters Dictionary
Election? What election? You mean there's a Presidential election going on? Really? Seriously? Why…I hadn't noticed.
And so even as the summer begins to end and turns to autumn and we trust in this definitive seasonal conclusion; even as hot temperatures give way to cooler air and the weather will change, guaranteed; even as the Red Sox make their final push for the playoffs and we tearfully realize that David Ortiz will soon not be around for us to cheer him on any more….
Still: one truth, one reality, one stubbornly unstoppable force will not let up or go away soon or fade to black or just get the hint that enough is enough, already. It is this interminable Presidential election. I don’t know about you, but me? I am done with it. Done with the noisy daily coverage that dominates the culture. The blaring headlines in print. The scrolling stories on the web. The jousting social media news feeds that smugly declare “he is right and she is wrong” or “he is the devil and she is our savior”. I’m done with the way the election now seems to creep into far too many of my daily conversations.
“Did you hear what she said?!” “Did you hear what he did?”
In years past the Presidential election used to kick into high gear only after Labor Day. There was even a time long ago when it was considered gauche if a candidate stooped to desperately pressing the flesh and begging people to vote for him or her. Then a candidate just sat on the front porch of their home and welcomed the press and supporters. That was it. Now our candidates are pre-packaged and sold to us like laxative or worse, they are branded like a product to be consumed by the masses. “I’m with Her!” “Make America Great Again!”
It’s not democracy I have a beef with. I usually love Presidential elections. This year as always I’ll be an election worker, checking in voters at the polls, helping folks cast a ballot. I’m an election baby, born on the November Tuesday in 1960 when Massachusetts own John F. Kennedy won the Presidential race. My folks were so excited by his victory that they gave me JFK’s name for posterity.
These can determine the direction we will take as a nation for the next four years. The best elections engage us as citizens to do our civic duty, become informed and vote. Elections educate us about the issues of the day and introduce us to our potential leaders. Elections empower us to do the work of freedom. Unlike a Russia or a China, where free elections are a façade, in the United States elections actually reflect the hopes and dreams and desires of the electorate.
But this election? It’s just too much for me now. It’s sucked all the air out of the room. It’s stifling.
If the election were an illness, it would be of the zombie creating virus type. NOTHING CAN STOP IT! RUN FOR THE HILLS! If this election were a person, it would be that friend of yours who fails to get the social cue a discussion is actually over. You can go home now. If this election were a TV show, it might be “Law and Order”. Click around the channels long enough and you can always find an episode, 24/7. If this election were a Bible story, it would be the woeful tale of Moses and the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. Are we there yet?
Because some other things have actually been happening in the world other than “the Donald” and “Billary” taking pot shots at each other every day. A flood in Baton Rouge that destroyed 40,000 homes. Maybe we should pay more attention to and respond to this crisis. Or the awful war in Syria. Or the drought and unprecedented summer without rain we’ve faced here in the Bay State. Or the fact that on November 8th we’ll also be considering some other very important questions, like the legalization of marijuana. But you’d never know this by listening to the interminable gossip and “gotch'ya!” chatter of this election.
The election that never ends.
Yet there is some good news. It is t-minus a little over two months and counting until November 8th. On that great day we will finally be able to vote for someone and then put this far too often ugly, unending election behind us. Thank God.
Until then? I plan on watching as many episodes of “Law and Order” as I can. At least with that show, I can always count on seeing two of the sweetest words in the English language.