I used to say that politics was my football. I don’t give a single care about football. Never have, and don’t understand people who go crazy over it to the point that I often feel they are just faking. But I’ve always loved keeping up with politics. And I’ve gone crazy over them a time or two.
I remember election night four years ago. I started a little news blog and went to the courthouse to cover the local election. I missed my job so badly, and I was beyond happy to be back in the mix, sitting with my peers as the numbers came in.
I didn’t get home until late. The boy, still very small at the time, had waited up for me. I looked at my phone. Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton. He would be president of the United States. I couldn’t even let it register.
“I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about that tomorrow,” I quoted Scarlet O’Hara.
Tomorrow came and sure enough, Donald Trump was the president to be. Popular vote just couldn’t cut it again.
Shortly after that I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. I deleted all of my Facebook friends to keep myself from quarreling with people and posting my opinions for the world to see. I stopped watching the news. My nerves required that I not pay attention to the world so I could stay sane enough to raise my young child.
I listened to things here and there on NPR. Things like locking kids in cages caught my attention from time to time. As a whole, though, I’ve stayed more uninformed than I care to be.
Then entered 2020. The coronavirus forced me to start paying attention. Maybe I paid too much attention. There were weeks when I checked the news probably a hundred times a day.
The week Bob Woodward released those tapes of Donald Trump talking about how he downplayed the coronavirus to the American people I discovered that I could watch the news on my television ( We don’t have cable or satellite, but there is news on Pluto TV). I had to give that right on up before I got hooked, because there are dishes to wash and diapers to change and I can’t sit in front of the television watching Morning Joe all day.
Nevertheless, by the time you read this I will have watched the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. As I’m writing this all I can do is speculate about what will happen. I realize now that in other years presidential debates served as a great deal of entertainment for me. First, all the Democrats would go at each other or all of the Republicans would go at each other, each treating the others like they were just terrible. In the end, when someone finally came out on top, everyone would act as if nothing ever happened and fall in line to support the nominee. Just like a football fan I’d wear a t-shirt with my candidate’s name on it and cheer them on. I didn’t watch those debates this year. I knew who I was supporting. I knew he would lose and quite frankly didn’t find any of it entertaining anymore.
I’m going to watch the debates between Joe Biden and Donald Trump though. I can’t put my finger on the logic of doing so. I already know who I’m voting for. Maybe I’m hoping to stoke some of that sport-like excitement I used to feel for debates. Maybe I’m hoping to start taking blood pressure medication this year. Time will tell.
Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former
Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.