Resigning Myself to the 5 Stages of Grief Over This Election

I’m on Stage 4 of the five stages.

Depression. 

So much depression.

Because this year’s presidential election is the shittiest election of my middle-aged life, is why.

A little while back, I was all kinds of stoked because we had a really good candidate.

Not perfect—hey, we’re all human, but I liked what he had to say, and I liked his record. Obviously, you don’t have to like the person you’re voting for, but it helps—it helps a lot to like the lucky recipient of your precious American vote, especially if that winner-winner-chicken-dinner is planning to run the flippin’ country.

But we didn’t have a clue last summer that this election wouldn’t be just the usual shit show; that it would turn into a circus.

And not in a good way.

True to form, the Republican party flailed and thrashed about in their predictably batshit crazy way during the primary, except this time they went the extra mile and secured whatshisface as their candidate— a mean and spoiled rich kid with no accountability (because billionaire!) and no sense of personal responsibility.

And from the looks of things right this second, we’re about to hand this dangerous fool the nuclear codes.

But not to be out-batshitted yet again, the Democratic party set about exposing itself like some sort of poorly aging, berserk political flasher about to pee on itself. Right in front of God and everybody, the Democratic National Committee revealed itself as so fucking crooked and corporately controlled that it was downright shocking for those of us who thought a helluva lot better than that of our party.

Well, humble me now, Lord.

We watched the DNC literally lie, cheat, and steal to “nominate” the pre-determined candidate their corporate sponsors paid for. I find it pretty damned hard to muster up enthusiasm for such a candidate, no matter what it says on my voter registration card.

I know, I know, Trump will get elected and it’ll all be my fault for not shutting the fuck up about the rigged Democratic primary and the crooked Democratic party.

So first I went through Stage 1.

Anger.

That was the stage where I pretty much realized it takes some chutzpah for someone to cheat their way to my party’s nomination, and then expect me to trust them.

Years ago my dad advised me to never, ever trust someone who says Trust Me, even if figuratively, and that’s proven to be some damn sage advice, so thanks, Daddy.

I’m outraged that we’re where we are: We’ve handed the keys to our country over to a handful of corporations that control our food, our healthcare, our entertainment, our environment, our news, and our politicians. Shit, we’ve actually voted for these evil entities by continually voting for the “lesser of two evils.”

And we strut around like we’re the best thing since the Roman Empire. I just sure as hell hope we can rectify what this god-awful election is bringing into the light of day before we fuck everything up for good.

I don’t think the anger that coursed through my tree-hugging, justice-minded, system-bucking veins was unjustified.

Then I moved on to Stage 2.

Denial.

I hoped and hoped that in spite of the brazen favoritism, cheating, and primary rigging happening before our eyes, the better candidate would get the nomination; that somehow the party would do the right thing.

  • I kept thinking the vote blue, no matter who crowd really meant that.
  • I kept thinking the Democratic party really was trying to choose the best candidate.
  • I kept thinking that if beating Trump had become the most pressing issue, then the party would nominate the stronger of the two remaining candidates.
  • I kept thinking more and more Democrats would become more and more outraged by the poisonous influence of money on the Democratic party.

So, yeah. Denial. I was right there.

Next was Stage 3.

Bargaining.

It feels like one of those emperor-is-wearing-no-clothes things, where some of us are trying really hard to calmly, logically, respectfully, and intelligently point out the obvious about the Democratic candidate.

But that’s standing in the way of the system we’re bucking, so we get the ol’ “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” line, and are warned that everything will be ruined if we don’t get on board with what was decided by someone who most certainly did not have my best interests, or the best interests of 99% of the population, in mind.

Instead of Democrats using our supposed high intelligence and penchant for justice to demand that our party act lawfully and with integrity, we troublemakers are told to get in line because Trump. I’ve tried to talk about this. Goodness, I have.

I tried and tried to be all critical thinker, and I do think it’s made a difference to some, but the noise from all the un-independent, un-neutral media in America is pretty much drowning us out. Or trying to.

Stage 3 may have been a necessary part of the process, but it got me frustrated and restless.

So then I packed up and moved on to Stage 4.

The Depression.

Democrats (and anyone deemed not “deplorable,” I guess) are told that the acceptable, respectable, reasonable thing to do is vote for the actual politician instead of that very American of candidates, the outsider, or for anyone else, of course, because a vote for anyone but the acceptable, respectable, reasonable politician is a vote for the Hitler guy.

It all sucks so much, and I cannot, no matter how smooth and slick the vote-for-her-or-else arguments continue to be, shake the feeling that this election is basically asking me to choose between gangrene and lifelong dysentery.

Fortunately, my life philosophy/motto is what’s guiding me through this terrible, awful, no-good election:

Think with your head; feel with your heart; go with your gut.

And my gut is out here flashing warning lights and sirens all over this election and the accompanying admonishments from its sales reps.

I have no doubt at all that the Hitler guy is hella dangerous, and just because I don’t believe the DNC’s hype doesn’t mean I’m underestimating the Republican party’s awful candidate.

But if because Trump is the issue, then why did the Democratic party force such a weak candidate on us? It just doesn’t add up.

I have a hunch that the Democratic party thought it’d be super easy to slip ol’ Clinton 2.0 into the POTUS slot, but it’s turned out to be anything but easy, and now the party is running scared. Freaking out, in fact.

Shit, I’ll admit the Democratic candidate is better than the Republican candidate on the qualified-for-the-job side, as well as the curb appeal side, but what I can’t for the life of me go along with, is the possibility of her corruption machine getting our full go-ahead once she’s sitting there in that elliptical office.

Hitler guy vs. the mob. Crap.

Both parties are wretched. They’re bought and paid for and eat-up with corruption.

They both serve the same master: money. Profits over people is what we’re all up against.

We knew this about the Republican party, which has hardly bothered to pretend otherwise, but now we know the high-minded Democrats are one and the same—and not even trying to deny it.

The DNC shoved their pet nominee down our throats. There was never a fair process, and it was never the party’s intention to act in the nation’s—or the voters’—best interest, much less give each candidate a fair shot.

Dammit.

So depressing.

So I’m grieving in Stage 4 because:

  • The major party female candidate we finally have didn’t earn the nomination fair and square.
  • I’m called a misogynist, an uncooperative threat, and accused of sabotage and spreading conspiracy theories when I question her placement as the party’s nominee, and when I question the party’s motives.
  • The pursuit of the all-mighty Dollar with its sidekick, Power, has just about ruined the country.
  • Americans are as gullible as my toddler was when someone used to say, “Got your nose!”
  • Americans watch too damned much television.
  • Even the once-respectable NPR and New York Times are part of the Democratic party’s spin machine.
  • It’s bizarre how willingly it’s overlooked that David Brock—the very same creep who convinced Americans that Anita Hill was just another silly woman when she called out Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment—is running the Clinton campaign.
  • The news we see and hear is selected with the goal of keeping the nation in fear. (Oh, how very House of Cards!)
  • The Dakota Access Pipeline protests were going on for weeks before the mainstream media finally aired the story, and only because social media was abuzz with it, such is the state of news reporting in the U.S.
  • Americans just keep on clinging to the lesser-of-two evils fuckery—how bad does it have to get for us to put our big American foot down and change the fucked-up system we’ve created?
  • So, so many Americans would sooner stagnate in the status quo, damned and determined to make it work, than buck the system.
  • The Democratic candidate we’re supposed to believe is legit is struggling mightily, hanging on to the lead by the thinnest of threads, dragging along sick as a dog, and there’s a runaway bully with a swastika on his arm about to overtake her.
  • My mere concern that the Democratic candidate is perhaps in poor health is the sort of thing that’ll cause all manner of backlash at me for even wanting to discuss it. It looks like she’s pretty bad off, actually, but even if it is “just pneumonia,” I’ve had that mess, and it was no picnic. I’m seriously not sure what pills she’s eating to keep going.

Look, I’m scared.

I’m scared because on the one side we’ve got the doomsday guy. I would have thought it’d be obvious how threatening he is, but surprise, surprise, a lot of people are going with this bone-chilling option.

And on the other side, we’ve pretty much got a Trojan horse, the one who’s supposed to be the good candidate; the one who’s supposed to represent the social justice/everyday American/environmentally conscious/educated/discerning/equality-minded party.

But shit, the Democratic candidate is no progressive, which I’ve said before, but for fuck’s sake, she’s really, really, really not a progressive.

She’s pro-fracking. She’s a paid speaker for mega-corporations, she chose Tim Kaine as her VP pick—essentially telling the progressive half of the party our vote was assumed, and the icing on the cake is that she was in cahoots with the DNC to steal her nomination.

I can’t just “get over it and move on” to elect her to the highest office in the land.

I know, I know; I just won’t shut up about the emperor’s naked ass.

And I’m really struggling with this election.

My gut is telling me that this isn’t just another Presidential election. And it’s not even just an election between a dangerous racist and an ailing corporate puppet, because we’re at a big, big crossroad—nothing will ever be the same after this election.

Assuming the results are real and not concocted, hacked, or rigged come Election Day, I think we’re going to see America’s immense dissatisfaction with all this election has revealed. I don’t think we’re going to see the usual two-party race with a few votes for the outliers sprinkled in, but instead, a tangle of votes all over the place.

Come November 8th, it’s going to be obvious how much damage the two parties did in alienating the voters they were assuming they had.

And afterwards, the usual blame game will commence, and we’ll be in a shitty state of turmoil for a while—I mean, it’s not like we’re all going to calm right down once we’ve got our POTUS.

Unless Trump immediately finds The Button That Blows Up Everything, we’re headed for some serious come-to-Jesus time once this election is blessedly over.

If I sound like a conspiracy theory nut for listening to my gut, for bucking the system, for doubting the integrity of both our major candidates and parties, and for calling the DNC to task for its lack of lawful behavior, then so be it.

The thing is, I have a choice here. And I have a voice.

And I have a vote—my one precious vote that I don’t intend to squander.

If my gut says Oh Hell No, then I’m all ears. Fear tactics and threats only make me want to peel back the layers to see what’s really going on. And I tell you what, if we weren’t actually living this nightmare, It’d be a hell of a lot easier to enjoy the show.

But a lot is on the line. In fact, as far as being the fair and noble nation we say we are, along with a respected world power, everything is on the line.

How about that… I just talked myself off the Stage 4 ledge.

Okay, so on to Stage 5.

Acceptance.

It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay this way.

Let’s you and me roll up our left-leaning sleeves and work on fixing this beast we’ve birthed. I’ll be back around with some solid stuff you can do to help without having to quit your day job.

I’ll have some down-ballot info for you, too. After all, POTUS isn’t the only game in town—those ballots’ll have more than just that one rock-and-a-hard-place choice for us to make.

So I’ll see you next time, you rabble-rousing tree huggers.

Peace out, friends.

Sometimes you just gotta put on your rainbow toe socks to think straight.

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10 thoughts on “Resigning Myself to the 5 Stages of Grief Over This Election

  1. I feel like I’m sitting before a bunch of wine goblets, one of which is contaminated with iocane powder, and trying to choose the right one. But there are no sweet saving graces hiding in the other goblets, either.

    Stein, aside from not being remotely qualified for an office at this level, completely 100% lost any consideration I might have given her when she started up with the anti-vax sympathizing. I think a lot of people see her as “the same” as Nader (who was an awesome mofo), and that is dangerous and ill-informed because she is, actually, no where near as qualified, nor remotely touches the caliber of Nader. And Johnson, well. He sounds like a great choice if you just listen to the words coming out of his mouth, but understanding the ramifications of his policy…obviously I can’t vote for him. That doesn’t mean I kind of don’t want to hang out with the guy. He seems like someone I’d enjoy having some beers with and discussing definitely not-politics. Maybe road trips and smoking dope.

    Of course, every one of us knows all these golden goblets we’ve been given to choose from are actually all poisoned because CLEARLY the poison is systemic.

    And I look at that discarded solo cup someone threw in the bushes over there, and think, “I wonder how “unelectable” my main man would seem at this juncture? I imagine our friends in the Democratic party might be regretting their manipulations, now that they’re faced with the very real potential of Americans electing a man who can’t stop asking why he can’t just use nukes to solve global conflict.

    Regardless who wins, there will be no winner in this election.
    Pookie recently posted…The Artful SummerMy Profile

    • Thanks for your awesome comment, Pookie.

      There may very well be some serious vomitous stomach action going on in the DNC break room right about now. That’s the problem with their little (huge) scheme—it’s not working out like the perfect plan on the white board did. It’d be like winning the lottery if the DNC were to admit to their fuckery (and Clinton were to admit to her frailty) and put Bernie in as the pinch hitter to take it home. But I think what they’re trying to do is just make it to “the end,” and then Kaine’ll be in place, primed for the job. I don’t know how Clinton is going to get through the debates, though. God, Sanders was too much for her; Trump has no boundaries.

      I’m following Stein and the Green Party, and I don’t know what I think yet. I like a lot of what I see, and believe she could rise to the occasion, but I’m not pleased to be asked for money for legal fees after she spray-painted a tractor at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Legal fees for civil disobedience, maybe, but vandalism, nope. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Especially when you’re running for President—the White House is not Greenpeace.

      Gary Johnson lost me big time with his Aleppo ignorance. Go get in the van, Gary; we can party later on.

      You’re absolutely right, no winners on this one.

  2. Oh my God, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!
    Though I had not thought of it as the five stages of grief, you have very clearly addressed what I, and several of my friends, Have been experiencing recently.
    I am struggling hard with acceptance now, and still not sure how I’ll vote. Regardless of the means of her ‘nomination’, it makes sense to vote for the Democrat to keep whatsit out, but why is there this sick feeling in my throat, like I’m swallowing a slimy toad when I think along those lines? I really feel that not much will change if she becomes president. And that’s a whole lot better than the change that could happen otherwise.
    I would love to cast my vote for a third-party just to make a statement. The problem is, I’m not all that impressed with the third-party candidates either. And it would take so many of us to buck the system to get Jill elected. And if she were elected, would she know what to do?
    Bernie, oh Bernie…
    And people are so mean. Women who are supporting Clinton. They look at me like I’m a moron and tell me I don’t understand feminism… not all of them, of course just some. They couldn’t be more wrong about this. Supporting Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman is the antithesis of feminism.
    I’m starting to ramble. I’ll stop now and go get ready for work! Pretty sure I haven’t said anything you didn’t already say…
    Thank you, Coco.

    • I know, I know—that sick feeling.

      Except that I think a lot will change, should Clinton land the job, and for the worse because of #1- the Hillary hatred from the GOP, which will make the Obama hatred look like the good ol’ days, #2- the vitriol specifically from the Trump supporters, OMG, and #3- the immense dissatisfaction of the progressives and independents, who are a large and growing population, never mind the pissed-off millennials and other young voters. Clinton’s glass-ceiling-breaking will not be able to sustain her in the face of so much revolt. But who am I kidding? Hillary will make history, then Kaine will end up as POTUS in the blink of an eye; a nice, corporate yes man.

      Oh, and I totally get what you mean about the feminism thing. That’s some desperate shit right there.

      Ramble on, lady, ramble on.

  3. Bravo Coco!
    Thank you for spelling it out once again, even more clearly. I can’t stand that big money is running and ruining (or at least working on ruining) our country. I can feel the people rumbling and the change coming and I am looking forward to it even if we do have this current mess to live through.

    • It’s astonishing to watch and experience— here we are in the midst of major events on our planet, which is probably no accident. It’s a frightening and exciting time, and I believe that if we listen carefully, we’ll know what to do and why we’re here.

  4. Right on!!!!! I could say a WHOLE lot about my feelings on the subject- and on my views about politics and how I have viewed it for years- but what you have said should get people thinking and grieving enough. Thanks for you succinct words. Please, people- heed them. And just one more note- we have the electoral college- the primary way our votes get skewed so the politician who “the powers that be” want elected gets elected. Where did popular vote go?

    • Thanks, Nancy!

      Though I’ve been speaking out, I’m still trying to process it all. It’s distressing, to be sure. But I guess it takes this sort of thing to get our attentions sometimes, doesn’t it? I’m glad you agree with my sentiments.

      As for the electoral college, ah, what a sticky subject. I intend to do some sleuthing to figure out where we got so out of balance with that. The electoral college and the popular vote are supposed to work together, as a sort of check-and-balance thing. Obviously, we’re way off track—one way to find clues to where we’ve gone wrong is to follow the money…

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