Fear and Loathing: This Election

The following guest post comes to us via Kelley Dupps, public policy manager for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.

This Election. This Election! This bleeping Election! I can’t even with This Election. This Election even has its own diagnosis: Election Anxiety Disorder. Super. Now pharmaceuticals can be part of the mix!

As a political scientist and avid armchair psychologist, I found myself dumbstruck at times these past 23 months. At other times, I was screaming flamboyant curse words at the debate screen, all while trying to keep up with Twitter.

This Election engendered many descriptions from the field, too:

  • dumpster fire
  • lesser of two evils is still evil
  • liar
  • loser
  • low-energy
  • “bleep” show
  • cluster “bleep”
  • bigly

And now, on Election Eve, I can honestly say I am grateful for This Election. Grateful?! Makes me sound like a privileged jerk, but This Election forced America to have a long conversation with itself answering (or not) some questions.

How do we – as Americans – welcome immigrants?
How do we – as Americans – treat women?
How do we – as Americans – value people of color?
How do we – as Americans – respect Gold Star families?
How do we – as Americans – acknowledge disabled folks?
How do we – as Americans – accept LGBTQ folks?
How do we – as Americans – interact with people who believe in science or the Bible or the Constitution?
How do we – as Americans – advocate for ALL Americans?

All of these questions arose during This Election, and “regular” folks were talking about them; granted, they were talking about whether it was acceptable to grab women by the pussy, but that instance alone was a snapshot of American leadership. And a teachable moment — the dialogue it sparked regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment might someday be seen as a turning point in how Americans grapple with these important issues.

I know the work of Planned Parenthood doesn’t get any more American. We fight for Constitutional rights. We fight for reproductive health and justice. We fight for a living wage, common-sense gun control, and equal rights under the law; we fight against discrimination and the decimation of the Voting Rights Act. Here at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, the people we engage with and advocate for every day fight for a better Arizona — one where opportunity is available to all Arizonans.

This Election also highlighted something else for me. America’s electoral system, like so many of our other governmental systems, is broken. We have seen serious declines in the number of African-American folks voting in This Election; however, not much discussion on the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. We have seen record number of Latinx voters registering to the chants of “rigged system” echoing from the very people who benefit from the “rigged system.” Spoiler Alert: Just because you lose does not mean it’s rigged.

But there are no words to describe my elation that This Election will soon go away and we will all laugh about that silly election of 2016. Right? Let’s hope so — so get out and vote today!

One thought on “Fear and Loathing: This Election

  1. Thanks Kelly–totally agree with you. The challenge will be to move the dialogue to a place of healing. This election has damaged our National soul.

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