Well, I lost a bet.
That makes me sad, but I’m sad for more reasons than one. I’ll get to that later.
I’m a competitive guy. I don’t like to lose. However, I am writing this at 11:55 p.m. on election night, and by all accounts Donald J. Trump will be our next president.
In case you missed my last column, let me recap the incriminating wager I made with my friend Zach. Due to my own confidence in a Clinton victory, I agreed to use the word CAT in my column 50 times if the DemoCATs (sorry) lost their seat in the White House this week. Zach, on the other hand, agreed to glue a glazed doughnut to his face and run around the Front Lawn if Clinton was victorious.
Obviously I am desicCATed at this unprecedented outcome. However, I’m going to be honest with you. Zach and I both prepared loopholes in the event of an upset in our opponent’s favor.
“You know I’ll follow through with this bet,” Zach informed me last week. “But you failed to specify at what time of day I should complete this challenge.”
He’s not wrong.
“Honestly,” he continued, “I have no problem running around the Front Lawn with a doughnut on my face. Especially if it is 5 a.m., and everyone is asleep.”
Well, my friend… I never specified that I would use the word CAT 50 times in the same column. You know I’ll follow through with this equivoCATory wager. But if you are counting, we might not hit that magic number for awhile.
On a more serious note, I do want to talk about the election.
All the political social media posts have been entertaining, to an extent. But ultimately, they leave me with an empty, hollow sadness. From Trump supporters declaring that “America is ours,” to snubbed Democrats swearing to never “respect anyone who didn’t vote for women and minorities,” the sad truth is that love did not win this week. Look at the popular vote — the margin was less than one percent. Half of the country did not support his campaign. But half of the country also did not support Clinton. The voices on the internet will have you believe this is because America has decided to blatantly disregard the rights of women, Latinos and the LGBT community.
Out of the many, many layers of the political platforms, the one that won the election was change. My family and friends from the swing state of Pennsylvania are among those who voted Republican this year. I know these people, and believe me when I say they did not cast their vote for misogynism, ostracism and what have you. They did not vote for a man who objectifies women and isolates our international citizens. They voted for change. They voted for an outsider. Half of the country decided that maybe, just maybe, a non-politician is the medicine America needs.
If you know me, you know I like to generate an air of nonchalance about the election process. It doesn’t take a psychology major to see that this is a defensive mechanism. I despise conflict, and there are few sacrifices I would not make to bring any two halves into a whole. Unfortunately, this week, I find myself helpless to do so.
“Love Wins” was the mantra of the nation not so long ago. I can’t help but ask: where is the love now? I despise the division we are experiencing, because I truly don’t care about politics. I care about people. At the end of the week, don’t we all want to see love win?
The votes have been counted, but it is far from over. For my part, I just want to say: I love you. I love you all, and I hope you’re able to find peace with the results of the election.
As for me, I’ll be spending the next 24 hours packing my bags. I need to get away until the dissent dies down.
I think I might move to CATada.
I’m so sorry.