“It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Someone said it…probably not Mark Twain…possibly some middle aged guy in a bar. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is this one sentence might be the thinking person’s mantra and path to preserving one’s sanity for the next six months.
If you live in a blood red state or a true blue state, you cannot possibly change the outcome of the November presidential election in your state. Regardless of anything you say at any party you go to in Texas or California or New York, those Electoral College electors are going to Donald Trump in Texas and to Hillary Clinton in California and New York.
Chances are you have friends and family who will not be supporting the person you do. You’re not going to convince them that they’ve been fooled, so why argue? You’re in Texas or California–it doesn’t matter.
So, if you’re on Team Hillary and your Aunt Ida thinks Donald Trump is going to defeat the Muslims, the Mexicans, and anybody who doesn’t look like her, let it go. Repeat the mantra in your head while she confirms everything you secretly feared about her, and be happy that she doesn’t know what you REALLY think and what you’re going to do with the money that she will leave you…if you keep your mouth shut.
Conversely, say you’re on Team Trump, and your sister-in-law is going on and on about Donald Trump being a fascistic misogynist with psychopathic tendencies. Never mind that she’d be hard pressed to define “fascistic” or “misogynist” or “psychopathic.” Repeat the mantra and let it go. Trust me, your mother will be glad you did.
But now, letting it go doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. While doing the mantra in your head, practice saying with all sincerity, “How fascinating! I’d like to hear more.” By showing a bit of (uncommitted) encouragement, there’s no telling how far it will go. Before you know it, Aunt Ida is going to be blaming Hillary for Bill’s infidelities (there’s nothing new about women being blamed for men’s bad behavior), and your sister-in-law will be down the rabbit hole talking about Trump just being creepy (“that hair”…”that skin”…”that thing with his daughter”). And everyone else within earshot will clock it for being crazy. As W. would say, “Mission Accomplished.”
For as long as I can remember, folks from both sides have cried out that a particular president would destroy the country. Nixon. Carter. Reagan. Clinton. Bush (the second, not the first…which is kind of interesting). Obama. But it’s 2016, and America is still here…and some Americans are saying the same thing. We live in a democracy, sort of, and we get the government we deserve. And for better or worse, we deserve either Trump or Clinton. And regardless of what you think about either one of them (or both of them, for that matter), the person we elect says more about us than it does about him. Or her.
By the way, if you do live in one of the ten official swing states, feel free to get into a name-calling, hair-pulling, battle royal with your political opponents because your votes matter and will determine who the next president will be. But not mine. Isn’t democracy great?