4 Things To Remember On Election Day

presidential-electionIt’s difficult to talk about this American election without somebody going off the deep end.  People all over the world have drawn their own Clinton/Trump battle lines and are defeating them to the death.  Plus, from what I’ve seen in my own country, neither side is taking any prisoners and both sides are shooting the wounded.  Nobody on this planet is indifferent to what’s going to happen in America today.  This is full contact politics. and it’s not for the faint of heart.

However, this is America’s Election Day and we need to remember a few things before tearing our hair out, shooting our mouth off or declaring the Antichrist has risen and the Apocalypse is upon us.

1 — These are Americans.  They’re loud, they’re noisy, they’re brassy, and they’re rude to each other — but they don’t mean anything by it.  Most of the shouting done during an election is just rah! rah! rah! from the cheap seats.  It’s not serious.  The time to take Americans seriously is when they’re not shouting at each other.  (Remember what happened when they quit calling George III names?)

2 — Americans are not as dumb as the rest of the world thinks they are.  The stereotypical redneck from Rubberboot, Arkansas is funny — to a  point.  However, remember that Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Disney — and a whole lot more — are all American companies, fueled by American ideas.  This election might look a bit hillbilly from the outside, but most Americans know what’s at stake and are making their choice accordingly.

3 — The President of the United States doesn’t have as much power as a lot of people think.  The beauty of the American system is that each one of the three branches of government keeps a wary eye on the other two branches — so nobody really steps out of line.  Rhetoric is easy, and all candidates talk a good fight (see #1) but the President of the United States is not a monarch, a dictator or even a pro-consul, and once they’re in the Oval office, they find that out — very quickly.

4 — The sun is going to come up tomorrow — just the same way it did the day after Lincoln was elected, or the morning after Teddy Roosevelt was sworn into office, or even after George W. Bush won The Battle of the Hanging Chads in 2000.  (FYI, every one of those events was labelled the end of the world — at the time.)

This is our time, and regardless of who wins today or what the various media outlets say about it, it’s not  going to be the end of the world.  However, just one more word of advice: buckle up, boys and girls! The next four years are going to be interesting.

Women Can’t Win

hillaryOkay, folks, this is 2016.  We’re a decade and a half into the 21st century, 300 years beyond The Enlightenment, over 120 years since women first voted on this planet, but, for some strange reason, we still have to put up with this crap.

Take a look.

Eight years ago, everybody and her sister was calling Hillary Clinton frumpy for her infinite collection of pantsuits — up to and including some weird up-the-bum photographs of Ms. Clinton from behind.  Fast forward.  This week, Hillary all but locked up the Democratic nomination for president (first woman ever, etc. etc.) she gave a semi-acceptance speech in a super stylish mega-expensive Armani jacket, and — wait for it — social media went berserk.  Suddenly, Clinton’s an elitist cow.  And these weren’t just a few snide remarks; people were digging in their heels and really letting her have it. (It’s incredible how insulting a person can be in 140 characters.)  The last time the fashionistas got this excited (“bitchy” is such a hard word) Sarah Palin’s skirt was too tight and “OMG! Who’s paying for her underwear?”  And let’s be clear: this Twitter, Facebook, Instagram ambush didn’t come from Trailer Trash America.  There were no bathrobes, bony feet or bedroom slippers in sight.  No, no, no!  These social media snipers were (for the most part) sharp-dressed, serious, high-end urban professionals who wouldn’t say “fat girl” if their lives depended on it.  What’s the deal?

I’m not naive.  I wasn’t raised by wolves.  I understand that there’s always going to be a double standard — pie-in-the-sky gender politics be damned.  Women always have been — and always will be — judged differently from men; it’s tucked into the chromosome count somewhere.  (And, remember: it’s not necessarily men doing the judging.)  My problem is this current crop of social media malcontents are playing both sides of the street.  Their selective acrimony is a wonder to behold.

For example, any woman who’s ever walked the Red Carpet knows there’s a target on her back. She better get it just right because the knives are out and nobody’s taking prisoners.  On the other hand, find a bathroom mirror selfie on YouTube where somebody’s ample ass is stuffed into a two-sizes-too-small corset, yoga pants and rhinestone Reeboks and nobody says a word because — that, friends and neighbours — is “body shaming.”  One question: what the hell’s the difference?

In less than six months, Hillary Clinton could become the most powerful person — PERSON — on the planet.  She’s going to have the ability to obliterate Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran and everything in between, before breakfast, wrapped in a shower curtain if she so desires.  It’s unbelievable that there are still people spilling ink over what’s hanging in her closet — as if that really matters.