Still have a mother of a hangover over a month later.
I slept like shit the night of the election.
Not because the networks hadn’t called the election for Biden. I had emotionally prepared to hang from that cliff by my goddamn fingernails for however long it took. Long-hauler, baby. These loins are made of steel.
My sleep was crap because I drank alcohol for the first time in a couple months. Aging has forced me to concede that alcohol stunts my sleep, and makes me more bloated and depressed than usual. Not a good condition for someone trying to do an adequate job at performative parenting. So, I have matured ever-so-slightly and curtailed the good stuff.
’Sides, I didn’t need alcohol for temporary emotional uplift.
I had a new drug: Polls.
Public polls, national polls, statewide polls, internal polls, network and news polls, polls, polls, polls. Delightfully better than most opioids of masses.
Polls with La Croix. Polls with lava cake and ice cream. Polls with salt and vinegar chips. Polls with chewing gum and cheetos and lime Topo Chico.
Polls on Twitter. Polls on MSNBC. Polls on podcasts and in email inboxes and texts from husbands and sisters and neighbors next-door!
Despite the warning of the adverse effects polls have to your mental and emotional and cognitive and democratic health, I consumed them with abandon. Leaned on them, abused them, gave them to friends and family, shared them on social media. All against my best judgment and know-better from 2016. Boy, my imaginary friend Hillary and I could tell you SOME STORIES.
Plus, polls are irresistible because the hangover isn’t immediate. You have to wait for the day after Election Day to feel it. You can go months — even years — before paying that particular piper.
2020 was a motherfucking, disappointing doozy.
My decisions to believe the freaking polls and drink three bottles of Lonestar (yes, my tolerance has tanked) in order to process the emotional chaos of Nov. 3 left me irretrievably unsettled that night, my slumber gritty and pissy and UNSATISFACTORY.
I have yet to recover and have been binging Queen Anne cordial cherries ever since.
Here’s the skinny:
I’m Texan. I live in Dallas. I voted Beto in ’18. Watched my red, suburban district turn blue as all us college-educated mommas decided Trump was ENOUGH. ENOUGH! We voted all over the place to kick those Republicans in the ass!
We were ready to rock and roll, bring on 2020 and the STATE HOUSE and redistricting — crushing the insane Republican gerrymander of 2010 — and the majority of U.S. Senate and the demise of what-the-fuck-happened-to-him? Lindsey G. over in SC and ALL OF IT. All of it! I wanted more than Arizona and Colorado; I wanted North Carolina and Maine and Iowa and Montana and Alaska. I wanted. All. Of. It.
The pyschodelic polls assured us again and again for that this election was more 2018 than 2016. Oh bring the sweet fates of a motivated voting populace ready to rise above and move beyond. Cognitively, I knew the risks I was taking. It all just felt so good. So warm and lovely and comforting.
Well, November 3 came and went. And bupkus.
Okay, I know.
Not total bupkus. It is no small feat we were able to defeat a non-wartime incumbent. Yes. No. It is everything. It is. Biden’s victory is cause for endless celebration for our country and the world. To say it was monumental is no ovestatement.
Plus, our North Dallas Democrat State Rep and U.S. Rep were re-elected — they are hella awesome — so, I was forever grateful for that, especially because they are both people of color.
But, what the fuck, polls?!! I danced with the tiger and got bit. Shoulda known, they all said. Shoulda known. I can barely hear it over the withdrawal symptoms, but I can hear it, damn you all to hell.
The right-wing supporters of corruption, grift, and totalitarianism came out and helped keep our blue wave from smashing the ongoing wreckage by cynical, power-hungry Republicans willing to crush our country for their own self-gain.
of beginning a broad, sweeping recovery for our very democracy, economy — and life of our populac — the second Joe Biden takes the oath
Saving the country will be a much heavier lift. The heaviest lift. A never-ending lift.
2016 was not an aberration. Much (toooooo much. sooooo much) of our electorate is attracted to white supremacist, toxic masculinity. Proximity to power has historically proven more enticing than fighting for social justice, maintaining decency, decorum, and the hallowed structures of a government by and for the people.
Will the lesson ever stop hurting in the relearning? No and I suppose it shouldn’t and I am learning it.
I’m extraordinarily uninterested in anyone (ANYONE) telling me how to emotionally process another faith-in-humanity-crushing election.
Well, polls or no, there is one reason 2020 was just another follow-up to 2016. And 2022 and 2024 are likely to be repeats give or take a few percentage points.
That’s my next piece.