A post-election wish


Like everyone else I’m looking forward to the election being over.  In my life I don’t think there’s a been an uglier campaign season, or one that’s made me more disheartened by the American electorate.  I don’t think I’m in the minority here.

I’m a Clinton supporter.  I voted for Obama in 2008.  I think Clinton is the best candidate this year.  She’s strong, smart, flawed, intelligent, experienced, maddeningly opaque, well-informed and fundamentally good, despite her flaws, as a candidate and as a person.  She’s been through more shit than I ever will, hopefully, and her grace through it all has been pretty damn remarkable.

So what happens on Tuesday if she wins?   Obviously I hope she wins, and I believe she’ll win.  I don’t take it for granted.  Abbe and I still watch SNL, and I was thinking about what I’d want to see in the aftermath of a Clinton victory.  I don’t know if there’s really any chance for a catharsis in this election.  But I had this idea.

I’m picturing a digital short, something Louie-esque.  We see Clinton (Kate McKinnon, one of the best things about SNL and about this election cycle), celebrating with her campaign staff after the win.  The celebration winds down.  Clinton has her Secret Service staff around, but she’s feeling a little lost because it’s been such a bruising and soul-crushing campaign.  She pulls on a hoodie and slips out the door while no one is looking, into the New York night.

From there it’s just pure New York.  Half the people she encounters aren’t even aware of the election, they’re just going about their business, rude and provocative and raw.  She tries to mingle (in her hoodie), but mostly she stays outside all of it, just kind of watching, embracing the weirdness that is New York, coming to grips with the fact that’s going to be President.  Maybe she finally comes across a group of revelers, hears their stories.  Connects with them.  Is one of them.  And all of this in black and white… just this career politician who ends up celebrating with some regular Americans, laughing with them, being connected with them.

That’s how I want this campaign to end.

About the author

Tom Howard

Tom Howard is the author of Fierce Pretty Things (Indiana University Press, 2019).

He received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Fierce Pretty Things won the 2018 Blue Light Books Fiction Prize, and his individual stories have won the Ninth Letter Literary Award in Fiction, the Indiana Review Fiction Prize, the Robert and Adele Schiff Award for Fiction, the Carve Magazine Prose & Poetry Contest, the Tobias Wolff Award in Fiction, the Innovative Short Fiction Prize, the Willow Springs Ficiton Prize, the Rash Award in Fiction, and the Robert J. DeMott Award for Short Prose.

He lives with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.

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By Tom Howard


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