Monday, November 28, 2022

I am starting this column the Monday evening before Election Day. Unfortunately, I am not clairvoyant. If I were, I would know what mood husband #1 will be in tomorrow night. I have a feeling it won’t be pretty. And I am not going to wait until the final results to finish writing this. I don’t want it to cloud the tone. But I wanted to take a walk down memory lane to eight years ago. We were on our first cruise and it was lovely. But it was Election Day. And our current president was ultimately elected. We met these folks in the lounge where they were showing the results and they started to tell us that Obama’s campaign staff would show up at the senior centers in Florida and have all of the residents vote, even if they thought the year was 1960 and they were voting for Kennedy.

We had already gone back to our cabin when the final results were in. The staff was screaming and shouting and husband #1 wanted to jump over board, but I wouldn’t let him…it was a long night. By the time you read this, we will have survived another long night, but it is what it is and I hear Nefesh B’Nefesh might be sponsoring an emergency aliyah flight. No matter who wins, this is a nonpartisan column, after all.

In any event, this painful, hurtful election got me thinking. What would happen if student council elections were run like elections in the rest of the country? After all, the student council is designed to teach students about democracy and voting and all that other good stuff. If this election has taught us anything, it is that people are cruel. Any topic is fair game and all skeletons can be brought out of the closet…no matter how old they are.

The innocent 7th grader who is running for president had a penchant for hoarding snacks back in the 4th grade. He had been banned from the candy machine. This year’s 10-year-old class representative poisoned the class pet when he had brought him home for the weekend, but told his classmates that he had hopped away. And the secretary of 6th grade? Her mom writes a controversial column for the local paper…the possibilities are endless. We are supposed to be good role models for our children, but it is almost impossible to shield them from what goes on in the real world because of the advances in technology. It is all out there. And it is really unfortunate.

I had innocently posted a picture of son #3 wearing a political hat and my comment was, “I’m with him,” meaning that I was with my son. Apparently, that wasn’t clear and a whole debate, nasty at times, ensued. Hey people, it’s my kid and he looks adorable in the hat. Chill out, life is too short.

On Election Day morning, I was walking in Votee Park and it was like the beginning of a joke, “A Catholic, a black person and a Jew walked into a bar…” The three of us were discussing this bizarre race. And what we all agreed on, without knowing who was supporting whom, was that no choice was a good choice. And that the three of us were not to blame… We each wished each other well and went along our merry way. Praying that we still had a country to live in the next day.

So hopefully, you are reading this. We have a new president and the sun has continued to rise and set. Perhaps we learned something from this election — that someone who has no political experience whatsoever can run for the highest office in the land, that someone who put the country’s security at risk can also run for the highest position in the land and that, even behind closed doors, someone is always listening.

Let’s just hope that, whoever takes over the reigns of our United States of America does a better job of bringing us together than the election did of tearing us apart.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow


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