On one hand, it’s heartening to know that waiting — and all of the anxiety and melodrama it brings — has always been a part of the electoral process.
Waiting is all we’ve been doing this year.
Waiting for test results.
Waiting for a vaccine.
Waiting to see loved ones.
Waiting for things to get better.
We have a penchant for instant gratification
There are two reasons this wait feels particularly painful.
One, we have a penchant for instant gratification.
If one has money to spend and means to acquire it, we’re used to getting exactly what we want when we want it.
This immediacy is a cornerstone of our commerce and our life. It comes at a premium, leading to the illusion that money and power can make anything appear out of thin air.
But we’re having to hold our breath
But money can’t buy election results, and it can’t buy our way out of any of the problems this year has visited upon us.
But ultimately, a virus can’t be cajoled, convinced or paid to go away, and it could take months before a viable solution even appears, let alone is put into play.
We were told, specifically, that we may not have an instant relief from the long months of political rancor that led us to the fulcrum of this presidential election.
And yet, we hold our breath until we’re blue in the face.
Because we don’t like waiting. Because we want it to be over. Because it feels like everything is happening all at once, and yet, nothing is.
We’re no longer in control
Adjacent to our routines of instant gratification is the very American idea that we are architects of our own destiny.
“We’re used to making decisions about how our lives function, when we do things, where we go. Relying on an external process can be hard”