In a reversal of roles at our house, Angelo has become uncharacteristically upbeat about the outcome of the upcoming election and I have taken on the role of cynic. It’s more like we switched personalities. He, who rarely tunes in to televised debates or gets involved in fundraising activities, is now glued to his phone, excitedly watching the polls that show Joe Biden a winner. Angelo explains it as his becoming more present-oriented; less prone to having his emotions hold sway over his moods as a result of past beliefs and mindsets. He can still engage in such past processes on occasion, but now more than in the past can sometimes catch himself and for no “reason” at all choose to instead feel content with reality exactly the way it presents itself.
Sure. I am not so upbeat. I am skeptical since those same polls in 2016 assured me of a Clinton win. Nobody in their right mind could imagine a Trump presidency and I don’t think anyone ever conceived that it would devolve into a narcissistic dumpster fire that would end–dramatically–with a rampant virus that brought the US the sad acclaim of being the world’s top outbreak hotspot in a global pandemic.
As soon as he was elected, the GOP jumped happily on Trump’s wagon and, with Mitch McConnell in the driver’s seat, they began shutting down rights and protections for people and for the earth. The Supreme Court was molded to include a questionable conservative ninth member in Amy Coney Barrett; health care and reproductive rights are next on the chopping block.
None of this seems to be bothering Angelo right now. Not that he isn’t concerned about people’s rights and protecting the earth–far from it; helping people is his job. It’s just that he’s so positive about a Biden win. (He is hedging his bet…he cleared his appointment calendar for Wednesday.) He keeps asking me, “What should we have for dinner on Tuesday?” I keep telling him, “We have wine, don’t we?”
I guess what has me so uncharacteristically morose is my tendency to absorb everyone else’s problems combined with an unfortunate naïveté about human behavior. I just can’t get over the single-issue voter thing. Many people are willing to elect Trump again over abortion and I don’t get how those same people–many of whom I know personally–can turn a blind eye to the rest of the mayhem he causes. And he does cause it; look how many people have died from a virus he uses as a campaign tool.
Meanwhile, Angelo and I have both voted already. Another turnabout; although he usually votes–mostly national, often Italian and sometimes local–he didn’t always make it to the polls on Election day. And now he wants to prepare for Election night with a special menu and treats. The other day, Angelo giddily went out on a solo errand to buy supplies for individual Election Night care packages. Treats for special occasions is my thing! How’s that for role reversal? Maybe since human behavior is Angelo’s bailiwick, I should follow his lead?
I should try to feel less responsible for the worrisome course of my external community and attend to my individual body/mind/spirit community to start. I think St. Francis and Gandhi both had something to say about being the change you want to see in the world.
Working up some positivity for this election will take some effort, and it will be essential to access it in the coming months. It could be days before we know the outcome. Angelo may have to go out for more treats.