A Political Hangover


BY JORDAN SPROUL


Ever wake up on a strange couch with a spinning head wearing a vomit stained t-shirt? If not, congratulations on not being an adult in America, I envy you for many, many reasons. We Americans love our booze. Remember Prohibition, and how long that lasted? 13 years; that’s how long America managed to stay “sober” out of it’s 240 years to date. We love getting wasted and making mistakes that we will never remember making. We’ve all been there, confused and hungover after blacking out during a heavy night of drinking the night before. We try to piece the prior night together, texting all of our friends, watching embarrassing videos and snapchat stories of ourselves, and in general, hating every decision that led to us feeling like we got hit by bus.

We tell ourselves, never again, we’ll never get drunk again, the very idea of alcohol make us want to vomit. Then what happens? In less than 24 hours we’re doing the same stuff all over again. We all have had those mornings, and we will again. America will share one of these mornings together, a nationwide hangover on Nov. 9, 2016 that will last for four years.

Which is yet another reason I envy those of you, who aren’t U.S. citizens, who get to just sip responsibly on your wine as we ask ourselves in horror, what the hell have we done?

America has been drunk since Hillary Clinton officially declared she would run for president on April 12, 2015. Something that came as such a shock to so many of us. We blacked out two months later on June 16, 2015, when one Donald J. Trump decided to run for president. And we have been throwing back shots every day since, thinking in our drunken state: “why not”? What’s the worst that could happen? Well… about that.

The worst thing that could happen is that we elect a narcissistic, disillusioned, misogynistic, bigot with the emotional maturity of a toddler president. I’m not even going to say which candidate I’m talking about, because you know, and that in itself says something.

If this happens everyone who opposed this candidate will wake up on Nov. 9, get on Expedia, check air prices to Canada, take about seven Aleves for their headache and think how did we let this happen. These people got cocky drunk in the past 18 months, laughing at the opposing party, so sure that their candidate could never lose to someone like that. It was impossible. No need to worry about the possibility of losing.

And those who supported Trump? (I got tired of typing “candidate” for the sake of making a point. Surprise! These paragraphs were about Trump.) Those who voted for Trump, even if he wins, will still wake up in a hungover state, to their great surprise. Because they will find that America is not great again after all. Maybe then they will finally realize that hey, that idealized country that they envisioned in their heads has never existed before and never will. It doesn’t matter if Donald J. Trump is president or not, you will still never own this country. We, the people, all of us, own this country, not just those who you deem worthy to. Sorry.

The second worst thing that could happen is that we elect a potentially criminal robot to become president in Hillary Clinton. It’s not much better, but at least robots act in a predictable manner. And if we are going to have a terrible president, I want it to be at least a democratic one who won’t end the world in nuclear war. I’d rather you tax the hell out of me than blow me up. But rest assured, I’ll be there hungover with the rest of you if Clinton wins. It will bring me no joy, only the most minuscule amount of relief. I’d prefer not to move to Canada if I can help it. And for you Trump supporters, what will life be like if Clinton wins? Pretty much exactly the same. You will just be pissed off like a losing football team, and you’ll blame the refs saying how the election was rigged. If you are planning on doing this. Please don’t.

If Hillary wins, I beg you Trump supporters, and Trump himself to accept the results and let it go. The election was not rigged, okay? We have been bombarded by tweets, news stories, videos, hats, t-shirts, billboards, lawn signs, bumper stickers, letters, phone calls, emails, and honestly at this point I’m waiting for my house to be flocked by owls carrying campaign letters, for 18 months now.

It needs to end.

I know it won’t. I know that right around the corner is the next election cycle, and we will go through the same hell again like college kids never learning from past mistakes who go back to the bottle. But whatever brief respite we can get, please let us have it. For the love of God, let it go.

So that’s our current state emergency. Now on to how we messed up so badly to end up here. It would be dumb of us not to try and put the puzzle pieces together and figure that out. How is it that we spend 18 months picking from a pool of the approximately 152 million people that are eligible to be president and we arrived at these two lunatics as our final two contestants? We do a better job picking a winner of “The Voice” than we do picking someone to run the country. Why the hell is that? How could we be so stupid? If we could answer that then maybe next time, we can avoid making the same mistakes again. I recognize that we will. Again, nothing is going to change, but hey, for the sake of trying to make us all feel a smidge better, let’s try to understand.

Alicia Parlapiano and Adam Pearce did a great piece in the New York Times back on Aug. 1 that helps map out how we ended up with Trump and Clinton. It’s titled, “Only nine percent of Americans Voted for Trump or Clinton as the Nominees.” Yeah, that’s right only nine percent of all Americans voted for Trump or Clinton in the primaries. And that actually makes sense, I can get my head around that number. If it had been higher, that’s when I’d be scared. Nine percent of Americans being idiots? That’s nothing new.

Why was nine percent enough?

Well a lot of people don’t vote, especially in the primaries, and those who do are more likely to be radical thinkers. Moderate thinkers with not as strong of viewpoints on politics are much less likely to go and vote. It’s hard to blame them, why go wait in line to vote when you could do literally anything else and have more fun? It’s only the people who are so scared that their country is being taken from them that go running to the polls to vote before the zombies come. Hence, Trump.

But how did we end up with Hillary? She is not an overly radical left wing, socialist candidate, Bernie Sanders better fit that description. So why her? Because we have been conditioned over the years to think that only certain people with certain experience can do the job of President. The Clinton’s and the Bush’s of the world can run this country whereas us normal citizens could never possibly understand on the complexities involved. That takes that pool of 152 million of eligible people and funnels it down to the same type of “elite” people every time. That’s why nothing changes. Because no one different could ever get elected, not without the backing of billions of dollars and a household name. No one normal could be president. And to anyone saying, “Yeah, that’s why I voted for Trump.” Shut up. He isn’t a normal person. He’s a deranged billionaire, slight difference there.

So that’s how we got drunk enough to end up here, we let the dumbest people among us call the shots, while only offering them the worst possible drinks as options. And I really do like to think of Hillary Clinton as the Everclear of presidential candidates and Trump as the Jager Bombs. My only hope? That after this hangover that we are set to suffer through for the next four years, we will smarten up. We will never put ourselves through this again. As fun as it was to not care and get wasted for 18 months straight, and it was a very comical campaigning process in the worst of ways. That it was it not worth it. Nothing is worth the hell coming our way. We need to lock the liquor cabinet and throw away the key.

We won’t. See you in four years.

Cheers.