We’ve reached the end of this maddening election cycle. Three things:
First, if you still haven’t decided, ask yourself one question. Are you better off today than you were four years ago? That’s the question that the challenger Ronald Reagan asked the audience, a week before the election, in his final debate with President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 campaign cycle. I guess you know who won that one.
When both candidates have a track record and one has been president for four years, it’s a fair question.
Second, it’s been a frantic, angry, and falsity-soaked election. If your nerves are shot, I feel you. Even with the court challenges taking place in states like Pennsylvania and Texas, I believe we’ll have a fairly counted election without major controversy (and yes, I lived through the 2000 Bush v. Gore election). So be good to yourself. Take a walk. Call a friend. Make soup. Hug your children.
I recommend this calming experience from the New York Times. (Totally non-partisan, I promise.)
I earned your trust over five years writing about books, authors, and writing clarity. Then I hijacked things by talking about the election in the calmest way I could, because I sensed people needed that. You responded as I had hoped you would, with (mostly) thoughtful commentary. It really did feel like a space where we could respect each other and stop shouting.
The Rationalist Papers is done now, and I’m grateful to you for listening. Whether or not it made a difference in the election, it made a difference for me. That wouldn’t have been possible without your attention.
The time for panicking is past. We most likely won’t know who won the election tonight. But I’m thinking we will pretty soon after. After everything that’s happened, I believe the American election system, flawed as it is, will return the best result for the country.
Take it easy. See you on the other side.