Oftentimes my friends come to me for my hot takes on current events. And who could blame them? As one of the only Political Science majors in my friend group, I gotta keep everyone up to date with the happenings of the world. It’s practically my civic duty. Well that, and, you know, voting. But recently, I’ve had a dilemma — my friends ask me, “Hey, what the hell is happening with, like … everything?” And I have no choice but to shake my head and shrug. Every day feels like it unearths a brand-new constitutional crisis, and it’s overly apparent that we’re living in truly unprecedented times. New, unprecedented challenges arise every day for this nation … except for things like white supremacy and police brutality. Those things are completely precedented, unfortunately.
The year thus far has been an absolute doozy. There’s numerous threats to our democracy: the Supreme Court is set to have a conservative lean for decades to come, a pandemic is continuing to take huge swaths of our population, and I’m pretty sure Trump has violated the Hatch Act like … 37 times? I think it’s up to 37 now, although it could have gone up since I checked this morning. And can we talk about that election?! I mean, at the time that I’m writing this, it’s actually a few days before the election … but I’d put money on the fact that there’s gonna be some crazy shit going down. And I know whatever happens would go over most people’s heads … but I’m a Political Science major, and the fact that things are going over MY head is truly what scares me.
Obviously, the more chaos the election generates, the worse things will get. And in the event things DO get really bad, (which, let’s be frank, it probably will) we’ve got a few paths going forward. The depressing path includes sitting around and waiting as the United States enters a death spiral, while we spend what little we have on enough food to survive until we build something out of the rubble. Or maybe we don’t build anything, and we simply die. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on that option, because dialectically speaking the most depressing outcomes are usually what happens. Alternatively, we could just have a civil war, but I think most people would much rather grab a beer and watch the destruction of the world in peace. Alternatively — and this is the one I’d like to have happen — the US could just pull a full-scale balkanization. This would still probably cause a crap-ton of chaos for a while, but hey, I like the idea of living in a state called Cascadia.
Regardless, the moral of the story is that I’m completely exhausted politically, so I can’t even IMAGINE how hard this must be to understand and live through for you guys who aren’t in Political Science. I wish I knew what would happen so that I could try and prepare, but right now the plan seems to be sitting around, trying to stay healthy, and dying right as I turn 65 so that I don’t have to think about my lack of a retirement plan. My professors gave me election day off, though. I guess that counts for something.