Growing up, I always wanted political lawn signs at our house, and I was always disappointed we didn’t have any. It’s not like it would have been a drastic statement of any kind. We lived in a college town surrounded by some of the last New Deal Democrats of an increasingly red Ohio. Was anyone going to be surprised if we had a Clinton/Gore or a Ted Strickland placard out front?
I mentioned this to my dad the other day. “Well,” he said, “we wanted to, but your mom didn’t think her patients should have to worry about how their therapist was voting.” I don’t know why that never occurred to me, and it makes all the sense in the world. Now, as a journalist, I’m also in a profession that asks me not to declare allegiances when it could create a conflict of interest in my reporting. I understand the instances in which I’d want to be a blank slate for my sources, to be as neutral a palette as possible for them to speak their truths to, and I admire those who can.
This year, however, I do think a vote for Donald Trump is a vote against everything I stand for, as a journalist, as a Jew, as a woman, as an American, as a human being who lives in a wider world. I’m not just saying that as a lifelong Democrat; this year, we’ve been given plenty of evidence by both major candidates about fitness for office. Today’s link roundup is already a bit backward-facing. Poynter, for instance, has already listed its choices for top political journalism of the year. But like a lot of my friends, I think Roxane Gay speaks for me: “This anxiety is exhausting to watch,” she writes for the New York Times. “But regardless of this election’s outcome, Tuesday will not and cannot be the end of the world. We don’t have that luxury.”
Here are some big-picture pieces to tie up the discovery phase of this election, plus some other things — because we have to remember that, in fact, there’s still more in heaven and earth, &c.
- For example, I’ve been really heartened by some of the writing that came out of Beyoncé’s appearance with the Dixie Chicks at last week’s Country Music Awards, a heap of bold political statements just in itself. The conversation that blew up was one about race — the inane assertion that country music doesn’t belong to Black people. Podcaster Kevin Allred proved how offensive that is in a long tweetstorm laying out the many, many Black artists who are foundational to country and roots music.
- It’s no surprise that the New Yorker should produce such an incredible, deeply researched and widely examined thesis statement about the 2016 race. “Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt” is worth using up one of those non-subscriber article views, if you’re not a subscriber. Pair with Vox: “The Republicans waged a 3-decade war on government. They got Trump.“
- For more meta-analysis about the election, look to Politico, “How Trump Took Over the Media by Fighting It,” Jay Rosen, “A Miss Bigger Than a Missed Story,” and Slate, “This Election Was About the Issues.” The most relatable of these, however, is probably Megan Stielstra, writing for BuzzFeed: “Waiting for This Election to End Might Kill Me.” Check out Chris Offutt for Harper’s too, writing from Appalachia: “In the Hollow.”
- I want to link this BBC article simply for the headline, even if you don’t care about Apple fanboys or MacBook problems: “Dongle dilemma provokes Apple price cut.” Did you ever think those words could reasonably be strung together? And yet here we are.
- Clear it all from your mind. Remember that the world can be and is beautiful. Now, go look at MTV’s “The Little Gray Wolf Comes,” about perhaps the greatest animator alive, and his struggles with the Soviet Union, his own ambition and what it means to finish your work.