Thursday, November 3, 2016

Actually, the Past Totally Sucked for Lots of People

That's what 2016 really comes down to. South Park had it right with "Member Berries," the fictional happy-fruit of nostalgia that the adults on this season have been eating to make themselves feel temporarily happier ('Member Reagan? 'Member Debbie Gibson?)

People like to 'member how great the past was, but actually, the past totally sucked for lots of people; at least on an institutional if not an individual level.

Seriously, think about it. There was slavery, cultural genocide, segregation, women's fight for suffrage, and social inequality in almost every sphere of the domestic economy. 

I couldn't help but draw some superstitious parallels between this World Series and the election. The team in red with the absurdly racist logo losing in a nail biter to the rag-tag blue team that hadn't seen a World Series win in over a century. 

As if to prove my point, Trump literally just tweeted a threat to the owner of the Cubs for "secretly spending $ against me" and "they better be careful they have a lot to hide." Super classy and presidential congrats to America's World Series champs, don'tcha think?

There are very few people left on earth who were alive the last time the Cubs won the World Series 108 years ago, so it probably felt to Chicago like it would never happen, and in such an epic way, too.

The past 18 months have been harsh on minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and women in America. It's been truly awful to watch an alt-right movement of white supremacists become mainstreamed, and have the KKK officially endorse a legitimate contender for the United States Presidency. It's even worse to watch your friends or family side with someone endorsed by the KKK. It makes you question a lot of assumptions.

All of this is happening--ironically or perhaps not at all--at a time when the first black president could quite likely be succeeded by the first female president. It's no coincidence that the slogan of the candidate endorsed by the KKK is "Make America Great Again." America was great then, but only for a select few for some not very good reasons. 

I like to think of myself as a realist rather than a pessimist, and sometimes even a cautious optimist. I'm not saying all women should or do love Hillary Clinton by any means. But even if they don't, realistically I think most of them will be feeling on Tuesday just a little bit like all of Chicago does tonight.

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