GratiTuesday: T.G.I.F.

Thank God it’s Finished!

This long slog of an election cycle has been going on since November 2014, when Jim Webb, former US Senator from Virginia, was the first candidate to form an exploratory committee for a possible run for president. On March 5, 2015, Mark Everson, a former Commissioner of Internal Revenue, formally announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party (remember him?).

I have no idea why the presidential election cycle in the United States is so long and drawn out, but other, seemingly more reasonable countries, appear to have a much better handle on things. For instance, on Aug. 2, 2015, Canada dissolved its Parliament, clearing the way for new elections in October OF THE SAME YEAR. The campaign — all 78 days of it — was an unusually long one for the country.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling completely beaten up and played out. The presidential race was unusually rancorous and mean – even for the US, and we’ve had some pretty nasty campaigns in our history. Even before the two major party’s candidates were chosen, verbal venom, bullying remarks, and vailed innuendos were traded among candidates from the same party.

Worse – because political candidates are, sadly, expected to act like 6-year-olds – was the ugliness among partisans and found on social media. Insults were thrown around without regard for their targets, friends were attacked and unfriended, and falsehoods were passed off as truths.

Tonight, one of the candidates will prevail. I did not use the word “win” because I don’t believe there will be a true winner this year. The person who gets the most Electoral College votes can start making plans to occupy the White House. The person who doesn’t get the required votes will need to decide what his or her next steps will be.

I very much hope that my candidate will succeed and I will be very apprehensive if the other candidate prevails. But, either way, I am concerned most for our country. The wounds that we’ve suffered won’t heal easily and the ugliness that we’ve witnessed won’t soon be forgotten. I’m afraid that they will continue long into the future and, if they do, they could threaten to split us at our core.

I am grateful that this election is over, but – either way the vote goes – I am worried about the results.