The day after Election Day 2016 (USA), I concluded that for the foreseeable future, I care mostly about four things:
Not necessarily in that order. But in that grouping.
This is not a political post, in the way that real life isn’t political.
As I began to come to grips with the fact that Donald Trump was indeed going to be the next president, I heard a voice in my head explain why Hillary Clinton didn’t win, despite my absolute certainty that she would, and handily.
The voice said, “America needs to be challenged. Hillary wasn’t going to challenge the country in the way it needs to be right now.”
At first I thought this was my good old reliable Rationalization Engine kicking in. Dull the pain by trying to feel about for a silver lining, or a grey one that passed for silver in the correct lighting. Oh well, the people have spoken, the government they deserve, yada yada.
But then, I saw and heard people resolutely declare not that they were Moving to Canada, but rather throwing themselves into, for example, charitable pursuits. They were going to help the homeless damn like whoa. Or self-interested goals. They were SO gonna paint still life arrangements. They were totally going to Get Back to Nature.
And I wondered if those things would have happened had the election turned out any other way.
So it was with me. In that moment of recognition, above all else I believed that my rock, nay, rocks, were Art, Music, Truth, and Beauty. And in whatever way I could, I was going to immerse myself in those pursuits if for no other reason than to not drive myself crazy, or as David Frum would quip months later, to “set [my] hair on fire just because [my] side lost.”
To an extent, now that we’re three months into 2017, the knee-jerk reactions and resolute declarations have more or less given way to Waiting and Seeing, mixed in with Fighting the Good Fight. Real life tends to win out. Jobs need to be worked, groceries bought, bills paid, children reared.
My pillars of interest have remained, fairly intact.