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United States


My Thoughts on the Election

alec vanderboom

My feelings are so vague and undefined, I can't even talk about them yet.

On Tuesday, I felt just "weird" all day. I tried to pray. I tried stay off of the last online polling updates. After dinner, I crawled into bed after nursing the baby and I fell asleep 7 PM. I missed all the early exit polls. I woke up at 4 AM on Wednesday to nurse her again. My husband was asleep and the entire house was quiet.

 I had no idea who won the election. I didn't even know if we knew who was President yet. I've never been in such a passive position of not knowing "anything" about any Presidential election ever.

It was just me and God.

I knelt down to pray before opening my laptop to check the results, and I told God "whatever happens, I trust in you."

I felt okay--not peaceful, but okay. God is still God--way above politics and all that. Whatever happens would be for the best for me and my family personally, and our Church collectively.

Then I read the results--or rather found the electoral college map my husband had still up on our computer--and I just, I don't know.

I was in shock.

It hurt to lose by such a little margin. I thought the Republicans would win Ohio. I thought they would win Pennsylvania. I hoped they could win Virginia or Wisconsin.

My husband came and found me totally indignant.

"The gloves are coming off!" I told him. I'm done. I'm done worrying about hurting people's feelings. I told him three things I wanted to do that day--things I'd been hedging about for fear of alienating people (one was writing the Harried Woman Post). He said "go for it."

It's been 72 hours and I'm still in shock.

I can't believe I even care this much. Because I didn't care. I used to love politics. I grew up on politics. I interned on the Hill. Then I started climbing up Mount Carmel, and felt "oh it doesn't really matter, God is in charge." I thought the gigantic Republican field was pretty silly.

Then I got excited about Santorum. In 2006, I read his wife's autobiography while I was sobbing about losing our son in a late miscarriage. This year, it was like having friends from your parish suddenly running for President. Then he left the race, and I stopped caring. I was pretty anti-Mitt. My brother started working on his campaign and I didn't even get a yard sign for him. Then he picked Paul Ryan for VP, and suddenly it was like having another Catholic from your very same parish running for President.

Suddenly, we got to the first debate. That first debate knocked my socks off. I didn't just like Mitt, I suddenly believed that this economy wasn't "unfixable." My husband and I looked at each other and said "we could start a business." We don't just have to sit still and let this economy roll over us. So we started some projects, and the coolest one is that we're working to open up an abandoned Rock Quarry that's behind our house and convert it to a public lake.

It felt good to hope. There was a chance that HHS Mandate could be rolled back in a flash. That my Sister who works for the State Department and most likely will be in Pakistan next year, might actually have viable protection during her stay. I felt so encouraged for my husband, for all of our friends who dread layoffs, or who are currently unemployed and can't find work. I knew in my heart--better times are coming soon.

Now that's gone--and it feels like we missed it by a hair.

The worse thing for me is that I'm so grateful that I didn't go into politics. That was a road not traveled for me--and its so weird to see that political stuff vanish in a flash. It's back to that small quiet room again--just me and God. Together we're eeking out a little life in the forgotten Mansion of  Mother Church.

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us.