Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The Morning After:
In times like this, I wish ballots were more like multiple choice exams. After the boxes to check for Candidates A and B—and maybe even Candidate C—they need one more choice: "none of the above."
Taking a spin through social media offerings last night was depressing. A few tried to interject some levity, of course—like this tweet from a history professor advising, "Republicans: Save Your Country—Vote for Clinton."
Of course, opening up the article the tweet led to, one quickly realizes it refers to an entirely different Clinton from a far-removed election cycle. If only pulling up an article from the archives of a long-gone century could make it all better!
I am tempted to take a detour into the hiding places of times past. For those few ancestors in my family's lines who held—or at least ran for—public office, it would be interesting to see what the local journalists and newspaper editors chose to report about them. With today's online resources, it wouldn't be hard to locate such commentary. Maybe the local residents reading those editorials and election results had as much to grumble about, over their morning coffee, as we do in pulling up our election results on our laptops and tablets.
In perusing those newspaper archives of centuries past, we might also pick up the sense of political fiascos, corruption, cronyism and other woes that surely plagued those ancestors, as well. After all, I'm talking about researching a family who lived in New York City (my father's) and another one who spent generations in Chicago (my father-in-law's family). Surely they had their share of doubtful political decisions to complain about, as well. Perhaps as long as there are politicians, there will be plenty to complain about.
No matter which side you pinned your hopes on—or hoped to cast your vote against—your wake-up call this morning surely came with a cold grip of reality. I wish sage advice could include burying your head in your genealogical pursuits in hopes of making it all disappear. On the other hand, if history does repeat itself, perhaps our re-discovery of the lessons learned by our ancestors can provide a little bit more than merely genealogical enlightenment.