No matter who wins Tuesday’s presidential election, millions will wallow in deep despair on Wednesday morning.
I don’t mean the kind of despondency that pervaded Baton Rouge on Sunday morning after LSU’s crushing, last-minute loss to Alabama.
I’m talking about apocalyptic hopelessness, a variety born of complete, unabashed acceptance of the super-heated campaign rhetoric that insists that the other guy isn’t just wrong on policy; his agenda is evil and the candidate, himself, depraved.
If you believe Barack Obama and his allies, a Mitt Romney administration will result in a deadly war with Iraq. The country will become a plutocrat’s paradise. Romney and the GOP-controlled House will cruelly deprive women of contraception and will force them to deliver the babies of their rapists.
To hear Mitt Romney and his allies, the re-election of Barack Obama will release the president’s inner Socialist. Free enterprise will cease. Taxes will skyrocket in order support the Democrats’ collectivist agenda. Sharia Law will replace the Constitution as the law of the land.
In other words, no matter who wins, it’s Zombie Apocalypse. The election of the other guy is the end of the world as we know it. The country is doomed.
I’m guessing that most people have friends or family members who hold such views. The good news, however, is that most voters will quickly accept the outcome. They always do. That’s the strength of our country.
On election night, Obama and Romney will likely speak by phone. One will congratulate the other. By the end of the month, should Obama lose, we will see photos of the president extending the president-elect a warm welcome to the White House and pledging his complete support during the transition.
But the dead-enders won’t accept this, at least not for a while. They will curse the outcome and mutter about moving to New Zealand. If Obama wins, some may even talk of taking up arms.
So, how should we respond to predictions of a dystopian future?
To my mind, it’s fairly simple: Tell them their views are decidedly unpatriotic. They demonstrate little or no faith in the resilience of the American Republic.
To my Democratic friends, I suggest that we survived Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. We can survive Mitt Romney. Sure, he will cut taxes on the rich more than I would like. I don’t believe his policies will do a thing to correct income inequality. He may well embroil us in a disastrous war in Iraq.
But the country would survive his presidency.
And, guess what? I think there’s a chance Romney, if elected, could be a decent president, especially if he governs like a Massachusetts moderate and not a captive of the Tea Party. That’s not likely, I know, but even if he doesn’t, the nation will survive. Perhaps it won’t thrive, but it will survive.
To my conservative friends I suggest that you’ve spent too much time listening to the crazed rhetoric of Fox News and Glen Beck. Despite what you’ve been told, our essential American way of life — our whole system of constitutional government – is not at stake.
Do you really believe the United States is so fragile that Obama could, by himself, destroy the United States in eight short years? If you do, then I say you have too little faith in our democracy.
To those of the dystopian left and right, I say: Oh, ye of little faith. If your America is so fragile and weak that four more years of Obama or Romney will destroy it, then what kind of country do you really worship?
It’s a pretty sad, wimpy, pathetic nation that — having survived Bush, Nixon, Carter, Harding and Buchanan — will collapse after only four more years of Obama. Or four years of Romney.
What all this fear mongering proves is not that Obama or Romney would destroy America — that’s an absurd notion — but that too many people simply have too little faith in our great and resilient nation.