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.