After months (or years) of fundraising emails, podcasts analyzing polling, social media flooded with content about policies and candidates, we are finally coming to the end of the 2020 cycle. This is my 5th cycle of presidential politics. Every election cycle feels like a Flight 93 election, in the media and in people’s heart and minds.. This year is no different, but we’re here and I think it’s important to share a public service announcement. This election is going to be over and like it or not, we’ll move forward with our lives. Keep calm, wait for the results and accept the election results. It could be the mental framework that’ll help you not lose your shit.
You might say – who are you to tell me to “Keep calm”? I get it. On both sides of the political spectrum, there seems to be an existential crisis. That is why. The frenzy of reacting to every political story, the uncertainty of COVID-19 and constant thoughts of when we’ll have our “normal lives” back. It’s not healthy for an individual, and it’s not healthy for society to be this caught up in feelings of anxiety and anger. When the macro environment is outside of one’s individual control, the Zen reaction is to keep calm (if you can’t totally detach yourself from the noise). It might be one of the few tools that you can use. On the more rational side, the cumulative effect of all the canvassing, phone banking, and letter writing will result in one of the biggest electoral turnout in U.S. history, and if you’ve made a decision to vote or abstain from voting, history is already in motion. Keep calm and watch history write itself.
Wait for the results. The Recount has a good 2 minutes video on the 12 states in play and their ballot counting timeline. Unlike previous elections, we may not get election day results due to the 100 million+ (!) votes casted prior to the election day. That’s over 60 percent of 2016 total votes. It’s an incredible accomplishment of civics and democracy. This year may not be the year to sit in front of the TV to wait for the results. Your body will thank you.
Accept the results. In the United States, we have a legal process in place to dispute election results. Elections are a State issue primarily so States get to take a first pass at resolving the dispute before the electors place their votes on December 14th. Each state has their own laws for presidential and congressional election disputes (it’s complicated), but in general these “toss-up” states are often represented by leaders from both parties. Many people’s interests will be represented and defended in the courts. We don’t riot, we don’t burn shit down, and we don’t hurt others. Once the results are in and finalized, I’m going to accept the election outcome and I hope you do too.
Happy Election Day!