If you’re like me, I imagine you’ve had today — November 3 for those of you playing at home — circled on your calendar (you know, the one with the cute puppies in flower baskets) for a long time.
That’s right. After months upon months of arguing, yelling, debates, gazillions of dollars wasted and lies upon lies, it’s, yes, National Sandwich Day.
I didn’t grow up super wealthy, so I know all too well what a mustard-and-ketchup sandwich tastes like. You’d think I’d be all about some decent modern sandwiches. Yet, I’m not a big fan of any chain sandwich shop, and I can’t figure out how every time one opens up in some community or neighborhood, people act like this is the first chance they’ve ever had to see a sandwich or act as if it’s something remarkable and unique instead of just meat, veggies and cheese between a couple pieces of bread. Although give me a good barbecue sandwich — without the slaw, of course — and perhaps a homemade fried bologna sandwich, and I might care that it’s National Sandwich Day.
Of course, almost no one cares that it’s National Sandwich Day because it’s National Polarization and Extremism Day in America, also known as Election Day, the most important election ever since the last most important election ever. This is the day when we cast our votes in hopes of saving America by canceling out the votes of our stupid neighbors and extended family, who are just a bunch of sheeple trying to send America to hell in a handbasket. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to hell, by the way, but a handbasket is an extremely ineffective way to get there. It’d be a lot simpler to just take I-4 into Orlando, which I know a lot of folks love but is the city I most closely associate with hell.
After today — OK, maybe a few days after today — one side is going to be enraged, and the other side is going to be gloating. Some will be disappointed to such extremes that they will begin war games with their militia groups, take to the streets to protest and score some free TVs or, for those wishing to strike the harshest of retaliatory blows, defriending people on Facebook who are not like-minded and in the same bubble of political opinion. I know that last one sounds very scary, but it has happened to me and, somehow, after many tears, I survived.
If Trump wins, Bruce Springsteen says he’s moving to Australia. I suspect that’s about as empty a threat as every time Barbra Streisand said she was moving to Canada if George W won. If Biden wins, I’m not sure where Scott Baio and Kirk Cameron are threatening to go.
The alarmists on one side say that if Biden wins, America will embrace socialism and become Venezuela. We won’t become Canada, Finland, Denmark, Norway or Sweden or any Democratic Socialist nation that is much better off than the U.S. right now. Nope, just straight to Venezuela. The alarmists on the other side insist that if Trump wins, he will become the next Vladimir Putin. I realize that’s scary because Putin likes to run around with his shirt off, and I don’t think anyone, including Melania, wants that.
One thing’s for sure, though — there is more potential than ever for conflict after this election, one way or the other. Unless an awful lot of folks take a deep breath and engage the other side with open minds and ears, it definitely could get ugly. In a nation where people argue over masks in the midst of a pandemic, I don’t have high hopes for collective reason saving us from civil war. About the only thing that might prevent it is the fact that most Americans are too lazy for warfare.
So, whatever happens today, engage your neighbors and be kind to your political opposites. Be the better person. Heck, it’s National Sandwich Day, so buy them a sub or something — unless they didn’t bother to vote at all.
In that case, buy a footlong and beat ’em with it.