The Unknowing Place

Before they slip away and become a mash of impressionistic wisps of memory, I wanted to record my feelings the day after the November 3, 2020 election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Those names are burned into our brains today. But just as last year’s blockbuster movies have faded from our memory, so will this election and, believe it or not, this entire godforsaken year.

If anything, I hope you see me as a person that fights against injustice, inequality and corruption in a cruel system. Maybe I’m one of the more diligent fighters you know. I hope that’s how you see me. It’s who I continually strive to be. (I also hope that you find me to be kind and happy. One of my attorneys calls me “The happy warrior.”)

But even your happy warrior is ultimately just a person. I am fallible, and human.

So, as I woke up this morning looking at a sea of questionable electoral college votes with yet another nail biter of an election, I only had one feeling: exhaustion.

Yet again, pollsters put out wild predictions of Biden leading by 10 points and here we are. 8:00 am on November 4 and it could be anyone’s guess who will win.

Donald Trump is prematurely declaring victory, telling states to stop counting votes (something that doesn’t make any sense other than to allow him to win). Joe Biden is asking for people to be calm and patient.

We all are like middle children caught in between both of these realities. We just all went back to work sitting in the Unkowning Place.

  • The economy.
  • Racial inequality.
  • Covid-19.
  • The presidential election.

All are these massive question marks that could each be more than enough for one human to handle. But they are all just poured on like cement from a cement mixer truck. The heaviness makes it hard to emotionally breathe.

I could tell you it’s all going to be alright. Of course that’s true. One way or another we will move on from this moment to another moment. History tells us that strife always resolves into a calm, no matter the calamity, no matter the division. But that doesn’t matter right now. That doesn’t matter in the Unknowing Place.

Will things get worse before they get better? As of right now, I have no earthly idea. My guess is that in one universe Donald Trump wins and in another universe Joe Biden wins. And then those realities splinter off into nearly infinite realities and outcomes of their own.

Even as a person who lives for the fight, even I was hoping “Sleepy Joe” would win and we all could take a breather.

The biggest differing issues between Trump and Biden aren’t Individualism versus Socialism (as the conservatives have positioned the battle), it is fighting versus peace.

Trump fights. Biden wants peace.

I will be forever thankful for Donald Trump in helping bring the darkest parts of our society to the surface. Racism. Political division. Police brutality. Women’s rights. LGBTQIA rights. Supreme Courts picks.

These are fights conservatives are making us have. And we are then forced to fight against them. It’s not like these are new issues. These are the great American issues. These are the simmering issues that exist in reality. But they are often buried so that we can pretend they aren’t there. But they are there. These are fights we must have.

I am thankful to be here for the fight.

There is another reality Donald Trump has brought into the light. Republicans fight to win. Democrats hedge their bets.

We were all told we needed Hillary last time and Joe this time because they were our best chances of winning. The energized base wanted Bernie. But we were told it was too risky. Well look at where the safe bet has gotten us yet again.

I’m so sick of the safe bet. Democrats are weak and sad. Republicans are strong and determined. When you take the issues away, which party would you rather be part of? I admire Republicans so much for their resilience and tenacity and determination. I want to be part of a party like that.

Today I am content with whatever way the chips fall. And truthfully, I won’t be at all upset if Trump wins. Because at least we get to keep fighting the great fights of our time.

Sleepy Joe is just going to lull us back to sleep so we can all just “get along” and pretend everything is just fine.

I feel the same way about Covid-19. I’m content with whatever the government decides to do. Masks or no masks. But I’ll keep fighting for what I believe. I believe masks represent compassion and kindness to our elderly and weak neighbors. So I’m definitely going to wear a mask and I’m going to ask you to please wear a mask… not because your government told you to, but because it’s the right thing to do.

If Donald Trump wins I’m going to fight against injustice, inequality and corruption in a cruel system.

If Joe Biden wins I’m going to fight against injustice, inequality and corruption in a cruel system.

These are externalities that are now out of my hands. All I can do is what I can do. Both presidents offer their own challenges. It’s not like either of them are anywhere near committed to the fight against injustice, inequality and corruption in a cruel system as I am. So they both are backdrops that require fighting against.

Whatever happens happens. It doesn’t change who I am or what I’m doing.

The Unknowing Place is actually something that has very little to do with me. I know exactly who I am and where I am. Nothing has actually changed.

My advice is to try to be aware of your circle of concern versus your circle of influence. Your circle of concern means a lot to you. But you have almost no control over it. Your circle of influence is what you control. Those are the things you can influence and change. Try to stay in that circle as much as possible.

Take care, if you can. Get some sleep, if you can. Get a little exercise, if you can.

I love you,