I am so grateful for the Red Sox this season. In addition to being entertained by David Ortiz’s epic final season in Boston, the younger players are exciting to watch as they consistently score a bounty of runs for our often-spotty starters. I am especially thankful for baseball this year because politics are such a horror show that I’ve started reading the newspaper through my fingers in hopes of missing the truly gory parts. I can’t decide if I find state or federal politics more distressing these days but they’ve both driven me to log more hours watching NESN.
This year’s presidential race is definitely my main nightmare. For all intents and purposes (sorry Bern, it’s time to give up) we’re down to two candidates with nearly equally high negatives. Oddly enough, their policies probably make them both centrists, but they are both repugnant to the other’s supporters, so this presidential race among the ugliest and most divisive ever. Come November, close to half the country is going to have a visceral dislike for the next occupant of the White House and it’s going to be a(nother) nasty four years.
Why does this matter? I think it’s important for Americans to at least respect the person we call president and commander in chief. When the country is split — as it has been since the 2000 election — and the two factions are at opposite ends of the spectrum, the tone is rancorous and every single initiative is attacked and undermined before it is even launched. We’ve seen these ugly politics in Rhode Island too. This week Governor Raimondo announced that GE would be creating 100 high paying jobs in Rhode Island and I quickly saw criticism of the $5 million tax incentive package she negotiated. The negativity is stunning — the landing of these GE jobs is the best economic development Rhode Island has had in years — and some couldn’t manage to celebrate it for a day. Sad.
The day after the election in November, I can only guarantee one thing: a huge number of Americans are going to be very disappointed with their new leader. I just hope that whoever gets elected has the ability to create a bigger tent than our last two presidents have so we can once again feel like we’re all on the same team.