What About The Future?

Nov 8, 2016

Election Day is here and, although I don’t like wishing time away, I’m way past ready for the campaigning to end. Yet when I think about what’s next, I have to be honest with myself: No matter who wins, the issues that are dividing us will remain and may even intensify.

I knew I had strong feelings about what we’ve been witnessing throughout this presidential campaign. But it was only after listening to “This American Life” a couple weeks ago that I realized the level of my stress and frustration. 

It was an episode called “Seriously?” and the last act featured a song that imagined what President Obama is thinking about the election. The songwriter, the singer, and the musicians render what some are calling this election’s anthem -- words that got to the heart of my feelings and allowed them to flow freely. And, unexpectedly, I felt vividly American.

I emailed the link to my friends overseas – I think to reassure them that there is still sense and sensibility amid the current chaos, and also to share this inspired and creative piece of art.

So what happens after today? Will the results be clear and uncontested? Will the men and women we elect into office know they have to work for all Americans, not just those who voted for them? It would mean compromise and non-partisan approaches, and that hasn’t worked so well for our current President.

Ideally, I can dream on; realistically, I know that what it means to be American has a vast range of interpretation.

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective.