Today, for my Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here!), I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way. If you’re new to this series: Here’s the previous installment.
As I write it is Friday, November 6th, the fourth day of ‘Election Night’ and I am freaking out. This essay may be obsolete if a winner’s declared after my deadline, in which case you’re probably not reading this; you’re either uncorking the champagne or crying in your Coors. I was nervous the first night, more hopeful the second night, curled in a corner on the floor sucking my thumb and clutching my blankie the third night.
It’s still too close to call but getting closer. And only everything is at stake.
I, Ramona, am a partisan human being. Aren’t we all? Heretofore I have had zero restrictions on what I say, how I think, whom I love, decisions I make about my body, how I vote or whether I watch Anderson Cooper or Sean Hannity. I am partial to ideologies, philosophies and values that align with mine. Duh.
I like presidents who believe in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, documents that embrace the basic tenets of equality, respect, dignity and a fair shot for all human beings no matter their race, religion, ethnicity, love partner, sexual orientation, zip code, net worth or stock portfolio.
I’m freaking out not only about the election but about the fact that no matter who wins we will still be a country divided, a metaphorical impenetrable ‘wall’ solid as cement, separating two opposing worldviews, polar opposites: those who spend Saturdays at target practice and those who spend Saturdays at Target shopping. Members of each side remind me of high-octane campers competing in an end-of-summer color war, each team righteously indignant about their right to victory.
Did you know that Women on Guard has a special going on now? They’re selling stun guns from their Pink Ribbon Series and donating a portion of the sales to breast cancer research. “…can disable an attacker temporarily by delivering a non-lethal, high voltage electric shock.” Or you can choose from a variety of self-defense products from Taser, one which “fires a 50,000 volt charge from a distance of up to 15 feet” without killing your assailant or Daddy’s Girl Defense Kit, “stylish, fully equipped kit to protect your daughter at $124.95.”
Must we? I repeat Rodney King’s plaintive call, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Must it be US vs THEM? And who are THEY anyway? The grocery check out employee? Your next-door neighbor? Your brother-in-law? Your podiatrist? The guy who changes your oil? THEY could be anybody. Weekend warriors dressed in black, hopping on motorcycles, their girlfriends in tow, meeting up with like-minded Hell’s Angel wannabees at Dunkin’ Donuts?
THEY may not like the Affordable Health Care Act, DACA or the browning of America by 2040 but THEY are going to have to chill because this is where our democracy is heading. Move to Sweden if you want homogeneity. Dye your hair blonde and camouflage your American self right in.
I will be over the moon if my guy wins. (Fyi…I prefer winners to losers). I will also be realistic about the urgent challenges 46, his administration and all Americans must meet head-on beginning the first day of his presidency:
- The pandemic, attacking 120,000 a day, 235,000 deaths
- Economic downturn triggered by the pandemic
- Over 30 million Americans claiming unemployment benefits
- Climate change
- Racial injustice
- Immigration reform
It seems likely the current president will go away but get your brooms out. It will take all our villages to clean up the mess. We can grouse individually as we do it or we can sing as one:
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good
From sea to shining sea.
Pam Goldman is a writer, therapist, wife, mother and (young) grandmother. Her work has been published in The New York Times and VIVA Magazine. She is completing her first book, titled LEFT.