On the 2016 Election



“I think we make an easy mistake believing the election is about something intrinsically, and that the candidates who speak best to that thing win their respective nominations and then duke it out. It’s tea-leaf reading that only appears to have been right or wrong in hindsight.

The election isn’t about anything until we have the candidates, and until the candidates make it about something — whatever the starkest and most debatable difference between them is. Sometimes — hopefully — that coincides with what is most on the minds of most voters.

If it’s *that* you’re wondering about, I think this time around it’s a broad question:

Who is our country for?

Who, especially, is its economy for? Who does its justice system serve? Who do its laws and its legislators protect? I think we’re at a rare moment where nearly all Americans in their daily lives feel like the answer to that broad question is “Not me. Not my family.”

All of the sub-issues that seem to be the focus of our recent political attention — economic inequality, racial justice, immigration, so-called “religious freedom,” congressional districting and voter enfranchisement, same-sex marriage and queer politics, the gun problem — feel like they’re all fundamentally about that.”

As a disclaimer, these are not my views, but simply those of a friend I felt were worth sharing.