Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Edvard Munch’s painting really captures what I’m feeling in these last few days before the election. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and it makes me feel like the universe is expanding so fast now there’s going to be a tear in the space-time continuum and I’ll wind up in an alternate reality where there’s only one show on TV and it’s “2 Broke Girls.” On a loop.
If I had any faith in my fellow Americans I could relax a little bit, knowing that common sense will prevail. But 25% of us still think the sun revolves around the Earth, a third of us believe in ghosts, almost half of us are down with Creationism, and more than 40% believe in ESP. To hardcore Trump voters, common sense means tearing the system apart and starting over with some kind of cracker paradise where our Negroes have been pacified and all babies speak English from birth (like Jesus). They think common sense is to be able to use whatever racial epithet you want in whatever company because political correctness has run amok. They think making America great again is to drag it back to the Gilded Age, pre-IRS, pre-Federal Reserve, pre-income tax, pre-manned flight, pre-civil rights — heck, let’s go all the way back to when there were only twelve amendments to the Constitution. (Fewer = simpler = common sense!)
No, I don’t have faith in my fellow Americans, so the guy in “The Scream” expresses my existential anxiety to a tee.
I got to feeling this way two other times, once in 1980 when it started to look like Ronald Reagan was going to win (and he did), then in 2000 when it started to look like Al Gore was going to win (and he did too, but then … didn’t). And yes, life went on after those fiascos, but I got no pleasure saying “I told you so” all the time. If Trump wins, I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel DirectTV and stop reading timely newspapers and magazines, take up some kind of hobby that keeps me indoors (lens grinding, housefly dioramas?), and refuse to speak to anyone who likes staying “well-informed.” Maybe I’ll go back to the Gilded Age, living a life of daily toil and thinking “quiet desperation” isn’t so bad, really. At least it’s quiet.
When I emerge in 2020, I wonder what kind of world it will be out there. That cracker paradise all the common-sense crackers dreamed of? Or a post-apocalyptic dystopia where “2 Broke Girls” is the only thing on TV …