Believe it or not, our nation has had presidential elections where there were two good options. Both 1796 and 1800 saw revered Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson face off. Even as recently as 1992, many voters said, “I really admire George Herbert Walker Bush’s foreign policy, but I think Bill Clinton will do a better job with the economy.”
Whereas this election it was, “I’m pretty sure he committed those sexual assaults and his charity’s a fraud and I still don’t understand why he spent much of his life pretending to be Swedish, but then again, she’s the devil.”
And, as we predicted Monday, this appears to be one of those elections where one candidate wins the popular vote and the other wins the actual election, just to keep things as fragmented as possible.
But now it’s done. You may be happy, you may be sad, you may be planning to move to Canada or finally finish that underground compound you always wanted.
Whatever your mood, take a moment to enjoy some uniquely great things about being American, now and forever.
7. Marky Mark grew up to be an Oscar nominee. You think that happens in North Korea? No way.
1. Our TV Just Keeps Getting Better.
Once there were three major networks, PBS, some random local things and maybe HBO (if your family was rich). Then more and more channels came and even streaming services emerged and people said: “They’ll never create enough programs worth watching for all of them.” Guess what? We did it. Stranger Things? Designated Survivor? Westworld? Haven’t seen any of them because there’s so much good shit out there it’s impossible to keep up. Indeed, our nation’s ability to create quality programming is exceeded only by our nation’s willingness to plunk our collective ass down and watch it all.
2. We Survived a President Who Literally Was Asleep at the Wheel.
This was a pretty standard day for Calvin Coolidge during his stay in the White House from 1923 to 1929: get up at 9, work until a lengthy afternoon nap, go back to work for a bit, get to sleep by 10. And yes, if you do the math, this does add up to a man who ran our great nation while spending more hours dozing than conscious. And America got through it.
3. Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.
If these two can make it work, surely we all can.
4. We Embrace the Foods of the World So Totally You Can Get Sushi From Duane Reade.
Lord only knows why you would do this, but hey, it’s your right.
5. We Survived a President Who Was This Close to Being Comatose.
In 1919, Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke, nearly dying. He was essentially left incapacitated… yet still served out the rest of his term, running our nation until 1921. And America got through it.
6. We Make a Pizza Where the Crust Is Stuffed With Cheese Too.
If Pizza Hut’s offering doesn’t cry out, “Land of Plenty,” what does?
7. Marky Mark Grew Up to Be an Oscar Nominee.
You think that happens in North Korea? No way.
8. We Survived a President Who Probably Should Have Been Institutionalized.
Right before taking office in 1853, Franklin Pierce watched his 11-year-old son get killed by a train. Did we mention he’d already had two children die? And he was a recovering alcoholic? Then Pierce, at a time when any normal human being would have needed years of therapy, became our President. And he was terrible at it, helping to ensure the Confederacy seceded and hundreds of thousands died. And America got through it. (Though this time just barely, since we did have the Civil War.)
He wins, he cheats, he wins more, he cheats more, he wins even more, he throws Tom Brady under the bus, he wins still more, he inexplicably inserts himself in the election at the last minute, he keeps on winning. Whether you love or loathe him, we should pity the soccer fans from other nations who will never get to know New England’s finest, because only America could have made this Patriot. Oh, and don’t even get him started on finger puppets. (He fucking loves those things.)
10. Believe It or Not, We’ve Come A Long Way.
It’s 1925. A woman gruesomely commits suicide. It turns out she’s covered in bite marks… and the man responsible for them is a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon. When sentenced to prison, he reveals he’s essentially been running the state of Indiana, including heavily influencing the governor. Depressing as this election was for many people, remember: We’re doing better than that.