An infamous 1969 news story has it that twenty-three people at an apartment complex in Pass Christian, Mississippi didn’t take seriously warnings that Hurricane Camille would be deadly. Instead, they partied, raised their glasses, mocked the weather men.
They all died, blasted by the storm they were told was coming.
That story came to my mind as I considered the carefree overconfidence of voters who thought no way Donald Trump would win. I’ll bet Trump supporters experienced a whiplash of their own, going from anger to joy.
Angry voters got their wish. They should adjust to not being angry, and many will discover how difficult that will be. Anger is an addictive adrenaline. Overconfident voters – along with the media – had ice cold water (if not a hurricane) thrown in their faces.
Now that the electorate has swapped moods, we are all just waiting. Sure, business continues. Government transitions. Life goes on. Everyone’s busy, but we can’t keep thinking the way we used to. And now, at least where I live, the snow is about to fall.
I am treating these holidays and political lame duck period as a time to regrow my brain. In his 1991 book Winter: Notes from Montana, Rick Bass writes about the value of winter and quiet as a way, not to forget, but to readjust and become stronger:
“Perhaps all the snow in the world will fall, burying everything, such silence, and then I will come out of it in the spring, different, cleaner, not born again so much as built up. I’ll laugh at more things, and not get so angry at decadence, at laziness, at deceit and the theft of time, the theft of truth, starting with the President and going all the way down to the grocery store.”
It’s a good read, in journal form, a perfect daily nibble of one man’s thoughts from a cabin in Montana. We could all use such a cabin, whether you intend to support or loyally oppose. And if you are apolitical, it’s a great little book to help you hide from Christmas.
Mark Morelli is a New York Times Bestseller reader.