How Much Does it Really Matter Who Won the Election?
Some people have told me they don’t really see how much the results of the Presidential election can change their lives. They generally say something like, “Politicians are limited in what they can do. There are checks and balances built into our government, and the chances that one party ends up with control of the Presidency, the House and the Senate is miniscule. Not to mention, the Supreme Court.”
Here’s why it matters—a lot—whether a duly elected President takes office or one who was not duly elected (whichever man you favor): Narratives that veer into fiction are inherently veering into trouble. Insert falsehoods into a story that purports to be true, and it will fall on its face—eventually. In this case, the story is the story of America, and to the extent that it becomes fictional, it loses its inherent power to move people toward what it represents (still including, by the way, values like freedom and autonomy and courage and tolerance).
Let me put this another, starker way: Create a story that infects hundreds of millions of people and the nation they populate with a powerful dose of fiction, and God or the Universe (I prefer God; you might not) will make sure there is hell to pay.
Surgically removing a false thread of narrative from a long-running story is messy surgery. Just ask anyone who has tried to fundamentally change a storyline in a novel. Too many events and themes intersect to cleanly pull the storyline out like a block in a game of Jenga. The tower sways ominously, or it crashes.
The same thing is true no matter where fiction is built into a non-fiction storyline. Businesses that elevate fake leaders by sleight of hand end up led off cliffs. Sports teams that draft players based on anything other than real talent end up losing, often painfully.
Hitler was a false prophet and hater of people—a fiction—who was scripted into the narrative of Germany to try to artificially increase the German people’s false sense of power in the world. He was a drug—like cocaine. And detoxing Germany cost the whole world an unspeakable amount.
Whoever you support for President, we should all support putting the person in office who was duly, honestly elected. Because, ultimately, the truth always wins—and getting back to the truth, detoxing from fiction, while always worth the journey, can be hell on earth.
Dr. Keith Ablow