The election is not the end of the world

COLIN HORNING, Sports Editor

Election season in the United States can be a contentious and stressful time. Political ads fill the airwaves on every T.V. and radio station. They are played before every YouTube video, in between social media posts and constantly surround topics of discussion by our peers in the real world.

Everywhere we look, we see messages from campaigns and non-partisan groups urging us to vote like our life depends on it. This all is to be expected when two parties are desperately trying to either gain power or hold onto it, but election season can a lot of times cause emotions to run high in our country. The constant reminder that there’s an election coming up and that we need to vote can bring stress along with it. Especially when we’re constantly bombarded with political ads proclaiming that the fate of the nation depends on which politician you vote for, it’s easy to see how people can get so emotional during election season.

Most people nowadays have started treating their political parties similar to their favorite sports team: we cheer for them no matter what and despise our opponents. It’s natural for humans to be wary of their competition; our opponents, from a primitive standpoint, are seen as a threat to our well-being.

Of course, the opponent of our favorite team is not actually a real threat to our well-being, and most people know this. Sports are a fun way of holding intense competition in society while knowing that the outcome of the game won’t affect our lives in the end. Unfortunately, politics is not like this. Politics, similar to sports, are competitions between two sides, gearing it out to decide an eventual victor. Different from sports, however, politics has become something that people actually see as a threat to our well-being if the outcome doesn’t go our way. Individuals on social media are threatening to leave the country, march in the streets or even resort to violence if the results of the election don’t go the way they would have liked.

If my favorite team loses, I won’t be particularly happy about it, but life goes on. After all, there’s really nothing I can do about it anyways. Similarly, if an election outcome doesn’t go my way, there’s not a whole lot I can do in the immediate aftermath either. Again, life goes on. Sure, the candidate I voted for might have lost, but there will be another election in a few years and maybe things will swing my way that time around, similar to how my favorite team might have better fortunes in their game next week. I worry, however, that an increasing number of people are beginning to treat the outcome of one election as a life-or-death situation.

Much of the political rhetoric going around these days is indicating that the 2020 election is the most important election in American history, which indicates to people that if their candidate doesn’t win that life as we know it might be taking a turn for the worse. Regardless of the way in which one leans, if your side doesn’t win, life goes on.

Sure, the politicians in office might not be ones we agree with. But there are options as well. Holding those in power accountable and getting involved politically for the next election cycle are just a few things. But rather than treating an election outcome as a threat to the well-being of the nation itself or acting like our lives have taken a turn for the worse just because of one election result, we need to remember that the world keeps turning. Sure, the bounce didn’t go our way this time around, but general elections are held every two years at the national level. So instead of treating an election outcome as the end of the world, we should start to treat it like a football game in which the bounces didn’t go our way.