We’re finally here at Election Day 2012. Like some of you, I have followed some of these races closely and for a long, long time. Are you tired? I certainly am, and I don’t even live in a swing state that’s been getting bombarded with propaganda for months. Are you nervous about the results? I’ll certainly be disappointed if certain people win, but I think some perspective might be helpful.
Not much is actually going to change no matter who wins.
- The sun will rise on Wednesday just like it did today.
- If the projections are correct, Congress will remain divided, dysfunctional, and incapable of getting much done.
- The economy will continue to slowly improve no matter who is elected. Presidents don’t get issued a magic wand at their inaugurations that gives them control over the economy. Their policies can steer the ship a bit, but the U.S. economy is a very big ship, and no single person or institution has much control over it.
- The federal deficit will continue to grow at an alarming rate. Neither Obama nor Romney plans to balance the budget for several years.
- Climate change will continue. Neither candidate has made significantly reducing greenhouse gasses a top priority, and Congress wouldn’t let them do it if they tried.
- Chipotle will remain king of all fast-food burrito joints. No, I can’t prove that. Just go with it.
- Abortion will remain legal and widely available. I still don’t understand why so many people vote based on abortion rights. Is saving the unborn a noble goal? I think it is. However, to my knowledge, no significant changes have been made to abortion rights since Roe versus Wade back in the 1970s, even after eight years under Reagan and eight more under Bush, both Republicans. I doubt any big changes will occur anytime soon. Like it or not, the fight against abortion rights is as unwinnable as the war in Afghanistan. Let’s move on to a cause that can make a difference, like reducing unwanted pregnancies.
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will not appear, nor will the world end. (That happens next month, remember?)
- Some Republicans and some Democrats will remain convinced that their party is God’s party and the other party is a tool of Satan. All of them are wrong. Democracy isn’t even a Christian concept. Those pagan Greeks invented it centuries before the birth of Jesus. Israel’s rulers, when they had a single ruler, were kings. The people in the early church in Acts pooled all their resources so that everyone had enough, which sounds a bit socialistic to me. I hope someday we can all ditch the idea that Americans are God’s chosen people and that one political party can accurately represent God’s will.
- At least 25 million Americans will remain without health insurance even if Obama wins and Obamacare is fully implemented. Remember, it’s not universal coverage or a government takeover of the entire healthcare system. It’s a major reform of the health insurance industry. That 25 million number could be much higher if Romney wins and somehow manages to repeal Obamacare despite a Democratic Senate, which is highly unlikely despite Romney’s promises.
- Progress toward gay rights and acceptance will continue. Why? The majority of Americans now support them, even if that view isn’t as popular here in the Bible Belt. Support has risen significantly over the last decade.
- The war in Afghanistan will continue at least into 2014 since both Obama and Romney think it’s worthwhile to keep troops there.
- The people who claim that they’ll move to Canada if the wrong person wins…won’t actually go anywhere.
- Birds will sing, autumn leaves will fall, my sons will remain adorable, I’ll run and then go to work, Jenny will go to school, and I’ll continue spending too much time on Facebook.
Yes, some things might change once the new people take office, but I think the media’s relentless focus on the election gives us a distorted view of the actual impact of the government on our lives. So if your candidates win, celebrate with them. But if they lose, shake it off along with me. (I voted for Jill Stein. Her odds are long, and that’s being generous.)
Life will go on either way.