“The important thing is to let every one of your friends know your true feelings,” writes my friend on the eve of the elections, “even if you think they don’t love you back. So just in case I’m gone tomorrow, ” he concludes, “please vote against that asshole, Obama. Love you all, Thanks.”
I was taken aback by his message, of course, especially since the reference to Obama was made hyper-emphatically in caps in huge, red twenty four point font. But then, I immediately realized that it was as though I was looking in the mirror because I felt pretty much the same way about Romney. I voted for Obama again this time because I felt he was an honorable, principled man and, rightly or wrongly, I felt the opposite about his opponent. At the same time, I hoped my candidate would lose, because the bear market in social mood will continue for the next several years, and whoever is president will quite wrongly get the blame for the depression that goes along with it.
No matter who wins tomorrow, the divisiveness in the nation is greater than at any time since the period following the Gilded Age of the 1890s. The rancor, hate and polarization is to be expected now, and it will only get worse in the years to come.
For this reason, I’m determined to keep my own passions at bay, because the passionate state of mind serves only to destroy relationships. In the end, the solution to our national and local political problems will not be addressed properly until the recrimination and blame games subside. That is not forthcoming right away.
In the meantime, I don’t care who wins the elections. I just hope my community of friends and neighbors hang together. We need each other. I am glad my friend sent me his message. He signaled his desire to both have his opinion and continue our friendship. I gladly return the sentiment and hope that, as we have done in the past, we continue to break bread together.