It’s after 10PM on the night before the election. The clock is ticking. In just a few hours the polls will be open. And then, suddenly, it will all be over.
For more than a year, our airwaves and digitation have been filled with blow by blow descriptions of the race for the presidency of the United States of America. The drama, the blistering criticisms, the soaring eloquence, the name calling, the polling data, the debates and pleas and solicitations and robo phone calls have sucked up all the oxygen in our rooms and left us numb.
Soon it will be over. Like the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Masters, the Stanley Cup. There will be winners and losers. Delight and despair.
And soon, if not tomorrow, there will be a painful, lumbering, necessary and traditional acquiescence in the result. The victorious will be gracious, the defeated will be reconciled.
If you have been reading these blogs, you know that the old judge has been rooting for Donald Trump. He has had his misgivings, to be sure, but he came around mostly because of concern for the kind of a Supreme Court the candidates envisioned.
And you know that this old blogger is the patriarch of a large family, some forty-two people in all, scattered between Savannah and Los Angeles, who lay claim to graduate and undergraduate degrees from no fewer than sixteen colleges and universities.
It is hardly a monolithic crowd. Opinions about politics are as diverse as academic loyalties.
My beloved spouse and mentor urges me to downplay the panorama of political opinion. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t risk alienation of loved ones. Elections aren’t important enough to sacrifice the loyalty of blood and bed.
So tomorrow, my vote will be cancelled by children and grandchildren and I will strive to understand how they see the world differently than I do.
Not an easy task for an old man who thinks he has learned a lot in nearly nine decades. Not easy for an old political war horse who believes that voting is a sacred obligation to understand those who refuse to exercise their franchise or who eschew the hard choice between the major candidates.
Still, if you listen, there is much to hear. My granddaughter Clare, for instance. She is in Ireland, traveling, learning, experiencing life after earning her degree from the University of Michigan.
She writes a blog. Beautifully. Her words reveal sensitivity, understanding, appreciation. She writes about her parents in words that show how well she knows them and their commitment to each other.
And now she writes about Hillary. Not as a student of history, nor as a political pundit, but as an intelligent, ambitious and confident young woman who can empathize with a female climbing the ladder of political leadership so long reserved to men only.
There is, of course, an element of truth in Clare’s description of the woman she calls “Madam.” and there is no need for her to ruminate about the dark side. She is, after all, a supporter and a voter. If she can cheer for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines in good conscience, she can surely root for Hillary Rodham Clinton without apology.
For me it is enough to say that I am immensely proud of my granddaughter, even as I realize that she is cancelling out my vote for President. I can comfort myself in the hope that when she has piled up enough years and tallied up enough hopes and disappointments, she may inch a little closer to her grandfather’s political outlook.
In the meantime, I urge you to read her blog and see if you don’t agree that Clare is a special and talented writer and a credit to her parents and the whole Brennan clan.
Here is the link: