I have used the quote “Our long national nightmare is over” several times in referring to the arrival, at last, of election day here in the states. This has been the most rancorous election I remember (keeping in mind that I was only six in 1968, which was probably the former standard for rancorous American elections). Truth is still weeping in the corner, and I fear by the end of the week she’ll go catatonic as the supporters of the losing candidates go ballistic. I wish I was being hyperbolic, but I just remember how things were in 2008 … and 2004 … and 2000 ….
I also wish I could say that we’ve learned our lessons and 2016 will be better, but there’s absolutely no reason for optimism. It’s clear to me that the Citizens United decision changed everything for the worse, that lying and dishonest conflation destroys and does not build, and that American politics is to a huge extent a race for the bottom. But I don’t believe that the people involved in politics understand all that. And they put ever-increasing barriers to any reform (viable third parties, campaign finance reform) in the way of citizens who care.
By this time tomorrow, oddly enough, I may end up almost perfectly satisfied with the outcome of the races I voted in. But it’ll be hard for me to really appreciate that as I see the political landscape trashed as if a hurricane just made landfall. And it’ll be hard to appreciate any victories when I realize that the next presidential campaign will probably start less than 24 months from now.