Thursday, October 13, 2016
The Ineffective Panda Oracle
I learned something really interesting yesterday. Apparently Bernie Sanders's brother lives in England, and is running for Parliament as the Green Party candidate from the Oxfordshire district most recently represented by David Cameron. (Now that Cameron's stepped down, they need someone else.)
Apparently Bernie recently endorsed his brother. Which made me wonder if the "Feel the Bern" message I found on the tree in Hampstead Heath, and posted yesterday, is actually connected to this election, rather than the U.S. presidential race?
We may never know. I asked the possessed panda in the picture above, abandoned on a park bench on my street, but he remained mute on the subject. Maybe I should have asked him in French. Or Chinese.
Speaking of French, yesterday I was practicing on Duolingo and I got caught in some kind of weird alternate reality where every sentence I was given to translate sounded just a little bit dirty:
"You want to see my vegetables."
"We want to taste the meat."
"I can be a bad boy."
Is it just me?
But anyway, back to politics -- The New Yorker recently featured an article about Trump voters in West Virginia, and what's motivating them. I found it refreshing, because the voters who were quoted were articulate and thoughtful. They're still wrong, at least from my perspective, but I could appreciate their reasons for wanting Trump. One man, a history professor, said he admired Teddy Roosevelt and thought Trump brought a modern version of Roosevelt's bluster and grand vision to the race. I can respect that while disagreeing with him. He's not just waving a flag and chanting a tired Fox News headline or a racist epithet.
I've been feeling a sense of inner calm about politics lately. For one thing, I've voted, so my role is finished. (And admittedly, it helps that my candidate appears to be ahead.) Even Brexit seems more inevitable now, more a matter of incremental coping. All the arguing, the Facebooking, doesn't really contribute much, does it? All we can do is our conscientious best. And I've done it. Now it's just a matter of being open to the result.