On Wednesday I came out to Michigan, and this afternoon I went to the dunes. I’m happy to report that, while visiting the lakeshore, I was oblivious of politics. The beach was notably empty of anything newsworthy. I was beyond the reach of the candidates and their endless campaign. The water of Lake Michigan thudded and surged against the sand, seeped in instantly, and roiled itself all over again, rather like a lung or a heart, the vital system of our country, deeper than the body politic.
For many months, the campaign has engaged and fascinated me; yes, sometimes I felt anxiety, but only this week did I begin to see the end of it, the certainty of a result, and with that vision came disillusionment. Yes, in a little more than four weeks, the election will end, and even if it is so close the victor has to be decided by some unusual process, either Hillary Clinton or Donald J. Trump will become the next American president. And there was something so disappointing about this to me that for a moment I lost all interest, and wished desperately to be somewhere else, somewhere untouched by the colossal sprawl of American politics.
This election is/has been the most followed in all of history. The access to instant information is even quicker now than it was four years ago. The number of folks using internet communication has grown substantially in four years. More “smart phones,” more subscribers to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, etc. . . . By the by, nice picture of the Lake.
Thanks! Because we are all connected, and because there is so much a sense of desperation and of being in this together, it’s harder to regard anyone as having a superior perspective. The openness of Twitter, for example, exposes the personal views of many journalists, making it difficult to regard the work they publish in the same way. With so many papers denouncing the Republican nominee, one wonders how he managed to win the primaries! It exposes the fact that there are many large constituencies out there badly represented by the news shows I watch and the periodicals I read.
In the battle of personalities, it’s easy to lose sight of many important political causes, such as the cause of peace, that matter to Americans but that are getting lost in the furor of the campaign.