Just about everyone is shaking their heads as if they’ve just awoken from a long and troubling dream. We have a President-Elect and his name is NOT Trump. If we try to tunnel back through our dreams which began on voting day, we are not sure if this is reality, the Twilight Zone, or the lady and the tiger.
Hit the REALITY button.
We watch Saturday television the way we used to follow college football in a world that seems long ago and far away. There are jubilant crowds in cities across the United States and around the world. Political pundits are breaking down the election results the way old jocks did their post-mortems on a game that zig-zagged for a long time and held viewers hostage until coffee and other beverages of choice ran out.
This is one that is over — but isn’t over. The Fat Lady sang but there’s a crazy guy at the helm of our collective ship. Many are projecting concern over whether or not there will be a peaceful transition of power on January 20th. Some will fan fears, projecting blood on the moon and the streets. Others caution patience to let the process play out to its finale. Today should be part of that legal finale and it would be the case in most Presidential elections.
There’s nothing usual about this year or this election.
As a retired (TV News) reporter with 40 plus years of baggage, I can safely say I’ve never seen anything like this. I have a ton of war stories already shared too many times but I bow to the current generation of reporters who have THE story to share with their children and grandchildren. Frank Capra and old Hollywood filled our minds with liberal political fantasies like “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” Newer Hollywood gave us a darker views with “Network” and “Wall Street.” All of that being said, nothing prepared us for the reality of November 7, 2020.
Maybe Mel Brooks can shake off semi-retirement enough to give us a farcical sense of what our long national nightmare has wrought for the immediate and long-range future.
I applaud (most of) the media for exercising caution while we were collectively — over several days — yelling at them to give us a final score. Obviously, they were wary of being first and wrong. Been there. Done that. It’s a hard demon to exorcise especially with the threats already issued from outgoing Prez 45. Pilgrims who haven’t been mic holders or ink-stained wretches don’t understand the enormous pressure exerted by executive suits who demand competitive “firsts” but will sacrifice you to critics if you get it wrong.
It’s time to breathe. Celebrate. Don’t vent in anger if it didn’t go your way. Take a deep breath. Democracy works despite all its warts. Savor this moment. You still live in the U.S. and maybe, after all, we’re going to be alright.