It’s three days before the election, and those of us hoping for a change in the presidency are constantly being admonished not to be complacent. Above all, we’re told, we absolutely must vote and not take anything for granted.
Of course, I agree and have already double-checked that my absentee ballot was received and recorded. But I don’t think complacency is the issue. It’s more like acute anxiety and PTSD after what happened in 2016—not to mention worries about voter suppression, the possibility of protracted court battles over election results, and a rogue President and right wing militias fomenting civil unrest if the election results don’t go their way.
I’m trying really hard not to engage in one of my specialties, globalizing and calamitizing about the future. But I can’t help but feel this is a major turning point for our country and our democracy.
The choice could not be starker. Are we going to embrace the beauty and strength of being a multiracial and multi-ethnic democracy, or cling to tribal politics? Are we going to commit to dismantling systemic racism and level the playing field for all in education, housing, economic opportunity, and access to health care, or continue increasing the stark inequality between the haves and have nots in our society? Are we going to listen to our scientists and develop an actual plan to combat this terrible virus and address the existential threat of climate change, or live (and die) in a state of denial?
Most of all, are we going to be a nation in which decency, character, and compassion matter, or one in which we turn away from the specter of innocent children being torn from their parents’ arms at our borders?
I don’t know about you, but I’m anxious as hell—and so ready to turn the page to a more hopeful future for our nation.