For two months, long-time residents and Tompkins County GOP members Nancy and Jim Crawford ’78 have been running a Republican storefront right off of heavily trafficked Route 13 in Downtown Ithaca with support from the Tompkins County Republican Party.
Like many people, I tuned into the last presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle last week. The fragile masculinity of two American grandfathers and the way it manifested itself took up 90 minutes on every major news-media station and held the attention of myself and 63 million others on Thursday night. In a way, I think that we have been spoiled. I spent so much of the first debate pointing out disrespectful quips, laughing, internally crying and outwardly cursing our founding fathers for drafting a governmental system that could be completely decimated by “an unlikely candidate.” You know, as if ‘unlikely’ has recently become synonymous with racist, misogynist, xenophobic and ignorant. I have been seeing this new classification of the incumbent President Trump as “an underdog.” I had to refresh my definition of the word and found that it meant “a victim of injustice or persecution.” I feel obligated to express my displeasure that we classify the offender, our persecutor-in-chief, as “an underdog.”
Returning to the more tame and traditional Presidential debate that I tuned into on Thursday, I was bored.
Election Day is quickly approaching. It seems as if everyone has an opinion and a stake in the battle for the presidency. However, the tone of the discourse has mirrored that of the current president’s, even as many participating denounce him. Social media and conversation is rife with half-truths, slander and personal attacks. This is not productive and it is downright hypocritical for opponents of the president.
Four years fill up fast and hold a lot. Namely: A rough presidency, personal growth and the mind-numbing confusion and chaos with which each has been punctuated. Growing since I was sixteen has taken the trajectory of a balloon. I lifted off to a path that promised to float higher and higher, expanding my perspective and peering over an ever-widening landscape of myth and knowns and unknowns, but then all too suddenly touched back down in inevitable deflation, landing me squarely up the steps from the Oak Ave circle, staring at some well-intentioned chalk art that I couldn’t help but meet with a sneer. And a sigh.
Good things have certainly sprung from TikTok — whether you see it as the embarrassment of Trump’s Tulsa rally or the inspiration of watching someone sew a dress from scratch — but so have the sinister parts of its nature. Many point to the app’s addictive design, but for me, it’s the high potential of losing myself in a TikTok reality.