With close to zero exceptions, every post on this blog for 15 years has been about ageing. I've broken that rule a few times toward the end of this presidential campaign because I don't think, in the nearly 15 year life of this blog, anything more important has happened in the United States and, possibly, the world.
So again today, and probably for the rest of this week, TGB will be about the 2016 election. It is that important. Whatever the outcome tomorrow, political life in the United States is now irrevocably changed - we just don't now how things will be different yet.
For going on two years, we have lived on a daily political diet of misogyny, racism and xenophobia from one of the candidates along with all the worry and terrible feelings that diet engenders.
I had a paragraph here recounting a couple dozen of the most loathsome things Donald Trump has exposed us to and I even dropped that word we're not supposed to say that begins with an "f" (the political one) but then I ran across Andrew Sullivan's story about his fear for the country. Here is a bit of his introduction beginning with the thought that "an accurate account of the past year...
"...is that an openly proto-fascist cult leader has emerged to forge a popular movement that has taken over one of the major political parties, eroded central norms of democratic life, undermined American democratic institutions, and now stands on the brink of seizing power in Washington...You might agree with Sullivan or not - maybe he is right that he is an "excitable outlier" making melodrama of our predicament but I'm not so sure. I urge you to read his piece at New York magazine. Whichever person wins tomorrow, his words will be relevant in the days and years to come.
"I find myself wondering if I have lost my marbles. It seems far too melodramatic...there are times in discussions with friends when the catastrophic scenarios we’ve been airing seem like something out of a dystopian mini-series designed for paranoids.
"Please, therefore, discount the following as the product of an excitable outlier if you see fit. I sure hope you’re right. But as it seems more evident by the day that Donald Trump could very well become the next president of the United States, it is worth simply reiterating the evidence in front of our nose that this republic is in serious danger."
Somewhere on television over the weekend, I heard it said that for the rest of our lives (more important to young people than you and me, I suppose, but you get the point) we will be asked how we voted in 2016. And if Donald Trump becomes president, the next question will be about what we did – each of us - when the very principles of American democracy were challenged.
Elsewhere, Keith Olbermann has resurfaced during this election campaign after a years-long exile on some obscure TV channel. He is profane and sometimes irritating but I had not realized how much I have missed his bombastic version of righteous anger and indignation.
In his new-ish video show called The Closer on the GQ magazine YouTube channel, here is Olbermann on the crucial importance of Tuesday's election:
As he said, vote in defense of your birthright and our democracy.
MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: The New York Times executive editor announced yesterday that the paper is making their digital platform available for free to everyone for today, Tuesday and Wednesday. So if you are usually constrained at the Times website by the 10-article-per-month limit, that won't be this short election period.