Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 8, 2016

Before and after.

I’ve always been keen on the vibe of before and after. It’s sort of a real-life version of Schrödinger’s Cat, with before lasting until … it doesn’t. Then it’s after, baby, and you can’t go home again.

Today we face the ultimate national before and after. Right now it’s still before. We can all still do something, and that something is vote.

Vote for Hillary Clinton.

I’ve said it before and if there were more time I’d say it again and again: only an active vote for Hillary Clinton can stop the Drumpf-truck. A vote for one of the third-party candidates is effectively a vote for that mother trucker. You might think you’re voting Gary Johnson out of conscience, but, believe me, your conscience is going to feel like crap tomorrow — full-blown after — when you see the results of indulging it.

Before, we have a modicum of hope that we can put all of this behind us and turn our country around.

After, everything we thought we stood for has turned to cat puke.

Before, there’s a chance that reason will prevail.

After, absurdity is the new reality.

Before, history bends toward progress.

After, history is for losers.

Before, we think our vote makes a difference.

After, your vote would have made a difference … if you had voted.

So enjoy the last few hours of before. Tomorrow everything will be different either way, but the country I hope to be living in is the one that just elected the first female president in our history.

Before, we can still imagine.

15 comments on “A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 8, 2016

  1. pinklightsabre
    November 8, 2016

    Damn right, mister. Truth, word up!
    Tune in, turn out.

  2. Phillip McCollum
    November 8, 2016

    At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I’m bucking the trend and voting for Gary.

    I understand where both sides of the political fence are coming from, or at least I think I do — they both believe they’re fighting the forces of evil and are willing to make a deal with the devil, but the way I see it, this country is close to running out of time for peaceful change. I’d like to do my part to get federal funding for a third party.

    Also, from what I’ve seen of Gary, I like his character. Where he may have gaps in experience or knowledge, I feel it’s easier to remedy those than it is to change someone’s scruples.

    • 1WriteWay
      November 8, 2016

      My husband and I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 and, boy, did we regret it the day after. Ironically (maybe, maybe not), I think third-party candidates were more viable then, or at least a force to be reckoned with. And maybe if things had not turned out as badly as they did (the whole recount debacle in Florida, which is where we voted, and which extended everyone’s election fatigue for several more weeks), maybe we wouldn’t have felt so guilty. The thing is, you should be able to vote for the candidate of your choice without worrying if your vote is only going to bolster the chances of the other candidates. Unfortunately, our political system and the moneyed interests don’t even really want two parties. If it weren’t for Trump, voters would likely be having a hard time figuring out the difference between Clinton and whatever Republican contender would have got the party nomination. Yes, on social issues, they can be poles apart, but on trade and financial issues and security issues, not so much. Believe me, Clinton wasn’t my first choice. Yes, it’s awesome we might have our first female president but then we could have had our first old Jewish male president too. Right now our system is based on winner-take-all which, in truth, doesn’t lend itself well to compromise and cooperation. At a minimum, voters should be able to hear more from third- and fourth-party candidates, particularly in the debate settings. These days, the media only reports on the squeakiest, loudest wheels. Most people don’t have the time or wherewithal to do their own research. I really think the media failed the voting public miserably this time (again).

      • Phillip McCollum
        November 8, 2016

        Hear, hear, Marie.

        I can see where you would have had some major heartburn after the 2000 vote. Voting third party isn’t just an uphill battle… it’s like cavemen slinging rocks at Navy Seals.

        I guess it comes down to my belief that no matter the ridiculous rhetoric, no matter how far apart the candidates may appear to be on the issues, our government is set up in a way to prevent much in the way of catastrophic-level damage from whoever’s sitting in the Oval Office. To me, the congressional and local elections have a much greater impact on life as we know it. So I really do see the Presidential election as an opportunity to voice my opinion of how things *should* be, yet take a more pragmatic view of other ballot options.

        Anyway, the political machine is so complicated, there’s little in the way of hard facts, and I think that’s why opinions and admonishments fly around like spitwads. It’s a shame relationships take a hit every four years. Imagine if people were just as passionate about who was being elected to the local school board?! 🙂

        I think we’re all looking forward to getting past this point. Just jam the needle in Doc, because it’s the waiting that’s killer!

      • Kevin Brennan
        November 8, 2016

        I agree with your point about local issue being more important. In fact, in many ways it feels like California is my real country. At least I can wrap my head around it and relate to more than half of the people who live here!

        Out there? Not so much …

      • 1WriteWay
        November 9, 2016

        Well, the waiting is over. The only thing that could make me feel less worse right now was if I lived in blue state …

      • Kevin Brennan
        November 9, 2016

        I live in a blue state, but it still feels shitty.

        No sleep for us last night. It’s like the worst episode of The “Twilight Zone.” Ever.

      • Phillip McCollum
        November 9, 2016

        Sorry Marie. 😦 Half of America is having a pretty bad hangover right now. I guess the important thing to remember is that what’s done is done, and the best thing anyone can do right now is look forward and do their part to fight for what they believe in. We live in interesting times…

      • Kevin Brennan
        November 8, 2016

        You lived in Florida in 2000 and you still voted for Nader?! Did you go into therapy afterwards? 😉

        We voted for Nader too, and even went to one of his rallies. Patti Smith was there. It was exciting. We thought we were making some kind of difference. But it turned out that the two parties weren’t the same, and President Cheney did a lot of damage.

        I wish we did live in a country where voting your conscience was a viable thing to do. I guess if the U.S. were a parliamentary democracy we could do that, and some kind of center-left coalition could govern. Alas.

        Seems like we need some almost existential catastrophe to shake us out of this awful pattern we’re in. I hate to think what it could be, but only something awful is going to unite this bunch.

        Angst. It’s what’s for dinner. 😐

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 8, 2016

      Well, luckily California won’t be a problem for HC. If it were, I’d invite you out for a beer and try to talk you out of Gary!

      I can’t really judge his character by what I’ve seen, but I can judge the Libertarian party, and I know its policies are largely contrary to my beliefs (too much “Don’t Tread on Me” for my taste), and I know David Koch was its VP candidate in 1980. Reading Jane Meyer’s “Dark Money” was quite a revelation.

      Johnson strikes me as a run-of-the-mill moderate Republican, without the social issue baggage. And even he seems not to take himself very seriously.

      But like Marie, I voted for Nader in 2000 and learned that my “how it should be” vote helped put an incompetent in office. No, Bush didn’t win California, but the Nader movement was big enough to cause the debacle in Florida.

      All of which is a way of saying, we know Gary Johnson isn’t going to win today. One candidate is qualified but flawed. The other is utterly unqualified and unstable. One of those two is going to win.

      How ’bout that beer after all? 😉

      • Phillip McCollum
        November 9, 2016

        I’m thinking I should be buying this round, Kevin. 😉

      • Kevin Brennan
        November 9, 2016

        Make mine a double …

  3. Woebegone but Hopeful
    November 8, 2016

    That YouTube vid is one of the funniest, most honest I’ve seen in a long while.
    It’s 7pm in the UK and my darling wife and I are thinking about you guys in the US.
    Overall I don’t think your political class deserve the US population!

    All the best

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 8, 2016

      Great vid, isn’t it?

      As for the U.S. population, half of us are more or less all right. The other half? Totally crackers!

      • Woebegone but Hopeful
        November 8, 2016

        Considering what’s been thrown out by media both in print, visual & audio I understand how that could happen.
        The same thing is happening in the UK
        Orwell’s 1984 should be required reading in UK & USA schools.
        (And finally an extract from one of my favourite authors British a writer in the late 19th century Jerome K Jerome from his book ‘The Diary of a Pilgrimage’
        “But it says in the travel guide,”
        “It says in the travel guide! You be believing a newspaper next!!”
        And that was published in 1891)

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