National Public Radio did a regular segment on one of their shows a few years back called “This I Believe,” where ordinary Americans did a 60-second speech about what their core beliefs are. It was quick-hitting, often sad or funny but always interesting.
We’re now one day away from, no joke, the most important Presidential election of my lifetime. It is that not because of events currently going on in the world, but because of the sheer terror and horror that would be caused on a global scale should a vulgar, talking yam who’s a bigoted, narcissistic egomaniac actually win.
Twenty-four hours out from Election Day 2016, a day millions of us are thrilled is finally here, let me tell you a few things I believe about tomorrow:
— I believe, as I have for the past year, that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be elected President. It will be an historic, important day. She will clear 310 electoral votes, win the popular vote by 3-5 percent, and go on to become a good President.
— I believe the Democrats will take back the Senate, 52-48, and by golly we’ll actually get the Supreme Court back to nine members, move forward on closing Guantanamo Bay and fixing this nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and keep moving forward on so many other issues. I believe the Democrats will gain about 15 seats in the House but not gain the majority.
— I believe there will be violence on Election Day, between Trump supporters and Hillary voters, and I believe there’s a high likelihood of someone being killed at a polling station. I’m fairly certain there will be bloodshed.
— I believe we will be hearing for weeks and months about voter suppression of minorities and people of color, and these stories will disgust me completely and surprise me not a whit.
— I believe that picture (above) of Hillary and LeBron James will make me laugh for weeks.
— I believe we all need 38 seconds of an adorable-ness interlude: When the President met Kid Superman at a Halloween party last week:
— I believe on Nov. 9 Donald Trump will go back to his real estate empire and his television shows, and secretly breathe a sigh of relief he doesn’t have to be leader of the free world. And I believe he will smile for decades at the con he pulled on so many, making them think he’s one of them. I believe we will hear more and more stories about what a disgusting human being he is, and he will still continue to be a TV star and not give one fuck about what damage he’s done to America.
–Finally, I believe the damage he has done to America, “normalizing” racism, hatred and pure willful refusal to acknowledge any truth that isn’t what they agree with, will last a long time and be hard to eradicate.
I want to leave you today by first linking to this scathing, hilarious article by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, about being on the road at some Trump rallies in late October.
But more importantly, I want to share two stories that illustrate what our country could be, pending the election results.
The first story is a deeply troubling tale of young children having Trump’s message of hatred and intolerance seep into their lives, with the headline “All the black and brown people have to go.”
And then there’s this story from the Washington Post, of a 10-year-old girl seeing a new student from a foreign country who doesn’t speak English sitting alone at lunch, using Google Translate to write a note to him in Spanish, and then becoming best buds with him.
Your choice, America. What kind of country would you like to live in?
**OK, enough depressing election talk. Sunday was one of my favorite days of the year, that I look forward to for weeks: It was New York City Marathon Sunday, which for those of us who live along the route makes it incredibly cool.
For the first time in the four years we’ve lived along 1st Avenue, the weather Sunday was just perfect. High 50s, sunshine, only a little wind. It’s hard to describe how overwhelming it is, seeing thousands and thousands of runners, many of whom have trained for this day for years, just coming down the street at you in wave after wave.
Like I do every year, I screamed hundreds of runners’ names, then relished their surprised reaction when someone knew them (Hey, you put your name on your shirt, you’re going to get your name called!). I got a great spot this year right along the railing at 62nd and 1st, and must have high-fived two dozen runners.
I saw some pretty creative signs, most done with friends and family’s names, but this one really made me laugh out loud.
There were great costumes as always; I counted a bunch of Spidermans, Batmans, a few Elsa’s from “Frozen,” and even a dude dressed in a tank top and an American flag Speedo.
I once again marveled at the wide range of ages, ethnicities and body types. I was happy to high-five both a 71-year-old man and a teenage girl, each happily running to their own beat.
The New York City Marathon is the best. There’s such joy, agony and pure exhaustion on each runner’s face, and getting to soak it all in up close is one of the great joys of the year for me.
I still dream of one day running this race; I got up to doing a 10K a few years ago and then kinda stopped training.
If and when I do it, I hope I remember to enjoy it as much as I saw so many enjoying their once in a lifetime moment on Sunday.