With election day less than 12 hours away, I remain conflicted. For me, there is not an easy choice. Neither candidate reveals much in the way of Bravery or Kindness. It is difficult to ascertain any amount of heroic potential from either of the two campaigns. Both seem dutifully focussed on maintaining strict adherence to fundamental playground bullying principles over displaying any sense of the characteristics necessary and becoming of the President of the United States. I struggle to picture either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as leaders of a row of ducks, let alone of the free world. So perhaps let’s consider a different picture?
Let’s pretend for a moment that, rather than casting our vote for the President, we were instead getting ready to hand out the final rose on The Bachelor. The most dramatic election ceremony ever! Except that in this case, though we were introduced to a host of potential suitors, we didn’t actually get to pick the final two. Instead, they were systematically picked according to the preferences of lots of people, most of whom have little in common with us. But let’s not let a little thing like common interests or values get in the way, after all, we are picking someone to spend the foreseeable future with – someone to wake up with, to share our hopes, our dreams and our coffee with. That is exciting! This is a proud moment. We are so lucky. Except, as it turns out, things like common interests and values do matter and, under closer examination, we realize that we really don’t like either of the choices that someone else chose for us? So here we are, we don’t know these people and we definitely don’t trust them but we have to make a choice. It’s our “duty” to hand out that final rose. Producers are in our ear, trying in vain to convince us that one person or the other isn’t too bad or might be good at something? A lot of work has gone into this show and the people are expecting a choice. Let’s consider our options…
We could pick the first option, a less than minimally attractive ego driven narcissist who we know would put us on a pedestal so long as our pedestal wasn’t bigger then hers. She’d use our relationship, like she used the show, to boost her own self worth and popularity but would mostly leave us alone otherwise. We’ll probably have money and lots of hand-me-down gifts so long as we can look the other way in regard to where they came from and show tremendous appreciation regardless. We’ll be very happy as soon as we understand that lonely is the new happy, which, as it turns out, might be a better alternative to sharing this person’s company? Or…
We could pick the second option, an equally unattractive yet much less intimidating character that will ask us to build her a pedestal because she didn’t really know how to build one herself. We’re pretty sure this one got on the show because the casting producer owed her uncle a favor but she’s not really saying and denies the existence of any living relatives, uncles or otherwise. This after having introduced us to her entire family, including her three uncles, on the home town date last week. We’ll get to make a lot of decisions due to a noticeable lack of confidence or self-sufficiency and can expect to have a lot of time to talk to the wait staff at dinners based on an obvious paranoia in regards to ever becoming socially unaware (read as, she’s always on her phone).
So what do we do? If on The Bachelor, we could probably get away with tossing a coin, picking the winner, feigning happiness for a month or so before calling it quits and calling up our ex-girlfriend. This, however, is not the bachelor. It is not TV but it is certainly the harsh reality we face. Though we may not like the choices, we love the opportunity to make them. We can not let the contentious political process distract us from unifying as a country towards our collective potential. By all means vote, but be brave and be kind in the result. Don’t exercise one right now only to deny the more fundamental privileges of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness later. In the end, we will each do the best we can to make a decision we can live with knowing that what truly makes our country great is not the President but the People.
“One man with courage is a majority.” ~ Thomas Jefferson