Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An American Eulogy

I typically don’t write about anything other than sports in this space, but today is different.  And yet, today I have the same feeling I had after the unbeaten Patriots lost in the Super Bowl.

That night, and the following morning, I reeled at the notion that everything I knew about football, about talent, organization and expectations, were somehow wrong.  That all the knowledge and experience I’d accumulated in my life were worthless.  If a team not expected to play in that game, a team so overmatched and so long on odds could somehow defeat a team chasing perfection, how could I make sense of it?  For all those reasons, it was the last NFL game I ever watched.

Now I sit here this morning, again overwhelmed by what just occurred.  How could all the polls and all the pundits have been so terribly mistaken?  What was their knowledge suddenly worth?  How could a candidate with no organization, no ground-game, and no political experience compete against a Clinton political machine?  How could a man who ran a campaign hobbled by scandal after scandal, a human anti-PC sound bite, not only survive but triumph?

These are questions we are all asking today.

Yes, America is divided, but not like before.  It’s not a division of left versus right, a squabble over over tax policy or education reforms. America is divided by basic human decency, as those who would stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves are drowned out by those who care for none. Nothing born of the basest instincts of man turns out well.

I have read the history books. They tell us there was once a Roman empire. A British Empire. That history also tells us that all empires must fall. America was founded on a core set of beliefs. Last night, those principles were fatally upended. The era of American exceptionalism is at its end. To borrow a line from last night, this feels like a funeral for America.

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