A Clinton supporter and a Trump supporter walk into a bar. One gets called a criminal, the other gets called a racist. There is no punchline.
It’s no secret — this election sucks. It has sucked for a long time now. And unfortunately, after Nov. 8, no matter who wins, things are still going to suck.
It seems like there’s no escaping it. America is caught in an election horror movie, and it’s unclear when it will end. Our news alerts are always either Clinton’s emails or Trump’s tweets. Facebook has become a desolate sea of those who have been unfriended for their political posts.
This has been ugly. This has been dirty. This has been hell.
But why has something based on such civilized ideals become so brutal? Why are we the people fighting among ourselves when the battle is supposed to be between two candidates? When did the ugliness leave the debate stage and land at our own feet?
“This whole election has been so mean.” “I just feel so gross all the time.” These words, delivered by Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, respectively, during this weekend’s SNL election skit sum up the sentiments of the majority of Americans today.
I feel gross. I feel mean. I’m not having fun anymore.
It’s no secret I’m not a Trump person. I don’t like the guy, and I think his campaign gives a voice to those Americans who embody traits that have no place in a modern, diverse America — traits such as racism, sexism and bigotry.
But nobody deserves to feel hated or afraid because of who they vote for.
I was never in love with Clinton either. As a Bernie supporter, I spent long periods of time earlier this year actively trying to make sure she didn’t make it into the White House. Will I still vote for her? Yes. But my vote is not cast out of love or loyalty; it is cast because I have evaluated my personal values and made a choice based on that evaluation.
Do I deserve hatred and ridicule for my vote? Do Trump supporters?
The election began to feel ugliest when it stopped being a battle between two people and became a battle between the whole country. This is a presidential election, and with it comes one of the biggest privileges we have in this country: the right to choose our own leaders. It is not meant to create a divide in the country.
The SNL sketch made a powerful point when McKinnon and Baldwin chose not to participate in the craziness anymore. It was like a lightbulb — the realization that this kind of hate and anger is not normal and can be stopped.
It is not normal to feel the need to remove your political sticker because you could be beaten up for being a racist or a liar. It is not normal to end friendships over support of political candidates. It is not normal to hate someone because of who they voted for. This is not normal.
I think it’s time we left the mudslinging and the hate speech and the lying to the politicians and became decent, civilized human beings again.
The fact is, Nov. 8 isn’t going to be great for anybody, and 2016 may forever be known as the year that shall not be named. There isn’t a silver lining to this thing and there never has been.
I’m tired of this. You’re tired of this. We’re all tired of this. The least we can do is be tired of it together.
After Nov. 8, let’s try to fix what has been broken by this election. Sit down at your computer and refriend the Facebook friends you deleted in an election-fueled rage. Have a conversation with that Trump/Hillary supporter in your family nobody’s been talking to over the last few months.
Christmas is coming; let the holiday music and lights mend the rifts that were created over the course of this whole messy ordeal. America will not be great again, and being with her will make no difference if our country is left permanently broken by this election.
On Nov. 8, vote. But after that, let the madness created by this election end. It’s time to be something resembling normal again.