After so many months of hand-wringing, back-biting and divisiveness, the election has finally come and gone.
Hopefully now that it is in our rear view mirror, who can begin the healing process and once again begin working together in an effort to heal many of the wounds that have developed during this hard-fought — and sometimes downright nasty — campaign. It’s time we bridge the many gaps that divide us, particularly along party lines.
I would also like to congratulate the newly elected President of the United States of America and wish that person well as they begin to lead our country through these tumultuous times …
Wait. What’s that? It’s not over? Are you being serious? We really have an entire year left to hash through all of this nonsense? You mean to tell me the most significant non-local thing I voted on yesterday was the right to smoke pot?
Much to my own personal chagrin — and, I’m guessing, that of pretty much anyone who has paid any attention at all to what’s been going on in this country for months on end — the presidential election was not held yesterday. Had the election been held, it at least would have narrowed the political rhetoric and vitriol from both parties complaining about all the candidates to one party taking aim at the new president.
At this point — being completely fed up with the process — I’ll take the small victories anywhere I can get them.
So the presidential election remains a year away — but I’ve already just about had my fill. And not from just one party or one candidate, mind you, but pretty much all of them. I’m sick of the guy with the hair. I’m sick of the lady with the emails. I’m tired of the old guy with the socialist (which, as near as I can tell, is now synonymous with “communist”) ideals. I’m tired of the guy with the brother and the father.
As near as I can tell, all of those folks have been campaigning for president since about four seconds after Obama took office — and I’m talking about the first term, not the second.
I suppose this is how presidential campaigns are won these days, however. If you get your name out there early enough — and keep it out there long enough by continually smashing it over peoples’ heads — they’ll probably go ahead and elect you in hopes it will shut you up and you will go away and be quiet in the White House.
I mean, I get how the process works. Americans have a seemingly insatiable appetite for such things, so the national media is going to continue to feed the beast. And that’s fine — it really, truly is fine. But could we at least keep these things on the television channels and newspaper pages and websites that are supposed to be focused on such things? And can we at least keep the discussions centered around subject matter that actually deals with political policy.
It wasn’t long after the first College Football Playoff rankings came out earlier this week that I saw several presidential candidates weighing in on how they would have ranked the top four teams in America. Seriously? Now we are going to try to ruin college football with their nattering and blather? Excuse me, but if I wanted to listen to mindless, ignorant opinions about college football, I’ll tune in and watch ESPN analyst Mark May.
The worse part in all of this, of course, is that it’s going to go on for another year — and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The mud-slinging will get thicker, the personal attacks will get nastier and the chasm that divides us all will get wider.
For me personally, 2016 can’t get here soon enough, just so we can get the whole thing over with and move on to our next great American political pastime — trying to tear down the new president.
Troy’s very own David Fong appears on Thursdays in the Troy Daily News. Contact him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong