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Things that are (Hopefully) Ending with the Election

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Seattle U chapter.

It’s Monday evening as I write this and, like most of America, I am a ball of nerves. For months, this election has been held up as “the election of a lifetime.” This is especially troubling because in my 20 years on earth alone, the political landscape has included 9/11, multiple wars, the biggest recession since the great depression, a global pandemic, a civil rights movement, and about a million other notable events. So the stakes are high, to say the least.

But, on this election eve, I am forced to remember the positive things about November 3rd coming and going––whatever the results. (Though, of course, Trump holding office for four more years will most likely cause the US to sink into the murky depths of the polluted oceans. But that’s an article for another day.)

I’ve compiled a list of all the annoying pre-election things that have plagued the last couple of months. Even if this week is the worst week in American history, here are some things that we can happily say goodbye to as the votes come pouring in.

No more celebrities teaching us how to vote on their Instagram

Listen, I’m all for getting the vote out and I get that celebrities have a big platform. But, in a country where old people have to wait eleven hours in the pouring rain to vote, not knowing how to check a box is the least of our worries. Many famous millionaires have opted for aesthetically pleasing videos showing themselves googling “register to vote” in order to “teach us” rather than donating to campaigns to end voter suppression. While the intention is good (if a little ignorant), this enforces the idea that our system is legitimate. Remember when USPS mailboxes were literally being ripped from our streets? But, no, you’re right, low voter turnout is probably because Camilla Cabello’s Instagram followers didn’t know how to check a box. Totally.

The end of “this is not normal”

At this point, it’s been years. Maybe it’s time to accept that our system is normal and we should probably do something about it before we literally all die. Trump is a scary fascist who has enacted racist law. We all know that. But our first TWELVE presidents were slave owners. In a country that was founded on genocide and slavery, are we really so shocked that we keep ending up with white supremacist leaders? This isn’t to say that Trump’s behavior is excusable, more that he is a symptom of a racist system working perfectly.

We can finally be critical of Joe Biden

I did my civic duty and marked the bubble by his name, now can I PLEASE address this man’s many, many shortcomings? Sure, Biden’s not the worst thing to ever happen to this country, but he certainly isn’t the best. Even while hurricanes swirl around us and wildfires engulf more and more of our summers, Joe Biden has proclaimed that he will not end fracking. While you can argue that his policies are better than Trump’s, how much will “better” really matter when we’re all devoured by the biblical storm that’s coming our way any day now? We’re on borrowed time, Joseph, you gotta do something.

The end of “Vote <3" activism (for now)

Again, telling people to register to vote is a good thing. Telling people they only have the right to complain if they voted is not. Whether we like it or not, voting is a privilege in this country. As long as mass incarceration plagues our systems, felon status will bar many citizens from participating. Equally infuriating is that registering to vote requires a stable, permanent address in many states. Homeless people and even people on reservations struggle to register against the overly complicated system that deliberately inhibits them from voting. Helping people navigate these waters isn’t inherently bad, but using shame to get them there generally isn’t the best move.. Plus, with no election on the horizon, people’s activism will have to center the harder, everyday work. Voting is one of the bare minimums. If your activism ends there, you’re not doing enough. Oh, and if you’re not actively planning a peaceful protest, don’t complain about riots. <3

Maybe we’ll stop ignoring red flags? Maybe?

If you’re waiting for that bombshell to drop about the Trump administration, it’s not coming. Or maybe it already came. Either way, don’t hold your breath. Before he was elected, Donald Trump had multiple allegations of sexual assault. He made racist comments and veiled threats at people he didn’t like. We knew this. Trump’s reputation can’t get worse, but that doesn’t mean some act of divine intervention is going to rip his power away from him. I read something once about how people in power will never cross the line because they’ll just keep pushing the line back. But maybe, just maybe, what he’s done already will be enough.

Kamala Harris’ reign as #girlboss will be over

This very strange thing happens when women run for office. Half the population cracks jokes about how her period will cause her to drop a nuclear bomb in a hormonal rage––okay, that’s not weird, just misogyny. But the other half will uplift her as a girlboss savior who will end sexism and oppression with her womanly instincts. This is probably also misogyny. Refusing to engage with Kamala’s actual policy isn’t the feminist power move you think it is. Identity politics won’t save us. If we see a Biden/Harris win, hopefully the public will manage to critically evaluate Harris’ work as a politician. If not, well, you tried, queen.

The end of the American Empire?

According to Google, the typical empire lasts about 250 years. Also according to Google, America is coming up on year 245. Whether we burn up into a fiery ball or the government is finally overwhelmed by the militant revolution of Democrat parents, we’ve just got to ride out the next couple of years and it’ll finally be over. Maybe.

Looking forward, this week is going to be one for the books. Our world will most likely be plunged into chaos, but I am counting on this short list of things to bring me a small sense of joy. My coping mechanism going into this week includes snarky rants and the occasional joke (maybe you could tell) but I genuinely do hope we all find our peace amid the chaos. Whether you spring directly into action and hit the streets or take a moment to breathe, check in with yourselves and your loved ones, and take this week in stride.

Emi Grant

Seattle U '21

Senior creative writing major at SU. Seventies music, horror movies, and the occasional political discourse.
Anna Petgrave

Seattle U '21

Anna Petgrave Major: English Creative Writing; Minor: Writing Studies Her Campus @ Seattle University Campus Correspondent and Senior Editor Anna Petgrave is passionate about learning and experiencing the world as much as she can. She has an insatiable itch to travel and connect with new and different people. She hopes one day to be a writer herself, but in the meantime she is chasing her dream of editing. Social justice, compassion, expression, and interpersonal understanding are merely a few of her passions--of which she is finding more and more every day.