“Here’s the thing . . .” During normal conversation when someone says, “Here’s the thing,” I listen more intently and know that this is what I should pay most attention to. However, during this presidential campaign season, the phrase, “Here’s the thing” seems to have become more of a habit or speech tic similar to the habit some have of ending every declarative sentence with the question, “Does that make sense?”
As we get closer to the official date for the end of voting for the leader of our nation, I am facing the reality that no matter who becomes President of the United States, and regardless of his good intentions and promises, there are many rivers and tributaries between the promises of the candidates and their ability to accomplish their stated goals. The reality is that our electoral system and the established checks and balances of our government will rule in the end.
Hopefully, the Electoral College will vote according to the preferences of the majority of citizens in their state. And, ideally for the intended purposes of checks and balances, Representatives, Senators, and Justices will always serve along with the Executive Branch in the best interest of the country. As we have seen in the past, however, these structures of checks and balances can be politicized to either support or blunt the desires and promises of the popularly elected leader of the land. Therefore, if the reality of checks and balances does not support the highest hopes of the individual voter, it could cause those who worked hard to get out the vote, campaigned for their candidate, contributed money to campaigns, and voted early to lose perspective and faith in whatever they believed in that inspired their activism.
In preparing myself to accept the outcome of the presidential election, I think that I might use the speech tics I mentioned in my opening paragraph. For example, I will answer the literary refrain, “Does this make sense?” with the declaration: It does not make sense for me to stake my whole well-being on the outcomes of this election.
Further, I will pay close attention to how I feel when I say to myself, “Here’s the thing.” For example, I will internally debate my perception of the thing, and tune in to my feelings in order to realize that the thing is, as important as civic attention is to government, there is more to the context in which I want to continue to exist than what the machinations of government can influence. Like you, I have attempted to keep a sense of equilibrium by acting on what I can control and adjusting to that which I cannot control. I affirm to myself that I will not despair and abandon my dreams and the dreams of my ancestors who worked hard and suffered to pass on opportunities upon which I might build.
And finally, here’s the thing: For some, the results of the election will make the world better. For others, it might seem like the end of the world as they want it to be. But for all of us, it is not the end of the world.