We at CatSynth are political nerds/enthusiasts, and also believe in civic participation for the greater good. So elections are always an exciting time. Yesterday was no exception as we transitioned from our daily routine to preparing to host friends to watch the returns. There was an electricity in the air that went beyond our unseasonably warm weather. I took a brief break to rest and meditate before jumping in to watching coverage and interacting on Twitter. So did Sam Sam.
In the end, it was like a normal election. Some important things went very well – like the takeover of the House. Some things didn’t. The Senate results imply more trouble for the judiciary, often the most important thing. A few results were heartbreaking, like Beto O’Rourke losing in a close race to the exceptionally odious Ted Cruz in Texas, but I took solace in some other defaults, notably almost as odious Scott Walker, Kris Kobach, Dana Rohrabacher (from Orange County here in California). I even take a bit of perverse pleasure in watching the infamous Kim Davis go down to defeat. My home state of New York seems as dysfunctional as ever, but perhaps with a better chance to clean things up than they have had in a while.
The day after, one reflects on the mix of results and moves on with life. It’s another exceptionally warm, sunny day for November in San Francisco, and I’m eager to get back to cats, synthesizers, music, and art. It’s a far cry from the day after the 2016 election when it truly felt like it could have been our last. I was working in an office on Market Street, with US flags fluttering on tops and sides of many buildings – it was tragic, heartbreaking, fearful, by far the worst I had experienced in my lifetime. And it was just days after Luna left us, so the experience was even darker and devoid the comfort of my beloved cat. This time I woke up much happier, as there was more good news awaiting than when I went to bed the previous night. And Sam Sam was there to jump on the bed and remind me that it was time to get up and feed her. There is
Before we move back to our regularly scheduled topics, a few quick thoughts…
- Close to home, I was happy to see that San Francisco’s Prop E – funding for arts – passed. This is great news for organizations that I am involved with, whether as a board member, artist, audience member, or reviewer.
- The people of Massachusetts affirmed the rights of trans people and other gender minorities in a ballot proposition. It’s great to see support at the ballot box, but it should have never been there in the first place. California’s Prop 8 (2008) may seem like ancient history, but the memory is still pretty raw…
- If anything, the rural/metropolitan-area divide seems starker than ever. We at CatSynth are city creatures, but also love many aspects of rural America, and it’s sad to see that division get even worse. That’s one I would like to write more about, but with a little distance from political events.
- Another is the continued push-and-shove around “nationalism”. For me, it’s an unequivocally dirty word, and it’s frustrating to see centrists offering bromides to nationalism even as its most sinister aspects are ascendant at home and around the world. I still believe in cosmopolitanism and the idea of an “anti-nation”. But this is another topic that requires careful thought for a future article.