On November 9, the nation witnessed something it has not since 1908. On that fateful night, during extra innings and after a rain delay, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
It may seem a small thing from a cosmic perspective, but in 2016, it’s everything. For as we witnessed a bruising presidential election, in which families are being torn asunder and friendships shredded, it’s a useful reminder that it’s not politics that makes America what we are, but we the people.
No matter how down things seem, with a lot of faith, a little luck, and a generous amount of elbow grease, our best days are most definitely still ahead of us. Much like the Cubs, it’s what we do.
This holds true no matter who won last night. Sure, things looked good for Hillary Clinton, but others claimed the numbers were not representative and Donald Trump would win a resounding victory tapping the new silent majority. (This does not include the really loud minority that hung out on social media for the past 18 months or so, doing its best to sound batshit crazy.)
Just kidding, we always knew Trump would win. Congratulations to zem, and may zhey enjoy a tenure marked by gridlock and thwarted plans! Baseball may be the national pastime, but government is better when it mirrors a soccer match. Soccer is marked by low scoring and can end in a tie, which is really the best we can hope emerges from the fevered swamp that is our nation’s capital.
A Victory for All-Day Breakfast
Technically, a presidential election could also end in a tie. In that case, we would have been looking at you, House of Representatives, and the House would have had only one choice: Egg McMuffin. Personally, I would have looked forward to an Egg McMuffin administration, as it would likely produce a heaping helping of gridlock and bipartisan scorn and scheming. Maybe some hash browns and coffee, too.
I’m skeptical that’s what we’re waking up to, or what the junkies went to sleep to. While it’s true that all-day breakfast at McDonald’s is doing quite well and was even recently expanded, we’re probably not about to see it at the executive level, though we have to suspect the president may be enticed by it from time to time.
In any case, rejoice. Take comfort and be merry, for the election is over and the healing can begin. It’s the only way we can start digging into the fresher wounds that will emerge with a new administration. Trump versus Clinton social media tipped past the point of extreme stupidity quite a while ago, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from posting and posting and posting and posting, lest we forget their partisan affiliations.
Now we can move from battling over campaign lies and lofty promises and get into arguing over policies that will never be enacted and, also, more lies. It’s not exactly the World Series, but at least it is more of a battle than a series of speeches and bloviations about battles that might happen.
When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It
This brings us back to the Cubs. Since 1908, the Cubs and their fans have kept the dream alive. For 107 years, they have seen their dreams deferred. Did they throw their hands up, declare defeat, and then try to burn the whole place down? No, they did not. They persevered and, in the process, showed us what it truly means to be an American. As The Federalist’s own John Davidson tweeted:
Forget Nov 8, #ChicagoCubs just made America great again.
— John Daniel Davidson (@johnddavidson) November 3, 2016
And it is the truth. Nothing about our nation, future, or greatness can be captured or destroyed by a single candidate. We are not electing gods to the presidency—although more than a few modern politicians do tend to have god complexes, and not the good kind that leads them to move to other continents and take their supporters with them. They will not make America great again, because that’s not how any of this works.
No, how it works is best summarized in the words of a famous manager, albeit one from the New York Yankees. Yogi Berra, famous for his philosophical musings, explained it thusly: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” And it is definitely not over. If the Cubs can keep at it, slug through all seven games, wait out some rain, and then declare victory in the tenth inning, then so can America, no matter who is sitting in the commissioner’s office.
This is especially important to remember for those of us who saw our ideals lose last night, or those of us who saw our ideals lose when Trump sealed the nomination. Rather than gnashing our teeth and worrying about the arc of history, we should remember it isn’t a straight line and sometimes we round our way to home. It may seem that it moves in a straight line, but to quote Berra once more: “Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.” Whatever happened last night, the sun still rose this morning and the current record will only stand until it too is broken.
So let’s get out there and remember our fellow citizens and that this whole experiment exists because of, and for, us. To paraphrase Harry Caray, we may be a little tired, but that’s only because of our lifestyle. We assuredly aren’t dead yet, and so long as we persevere, there is hope yet to reclaim the pennant.