Hillary didn't win, and Donald didn't lose

This just in: America voted and everybody lost. The biggest loser? The American Spirit. You know, that beautiful and messy remix of ideals, desires, declarations, hopes, fears, and hype. The democratic stew that promises so much taste and delivers so much contradiction.

The American Spirit seeks to be fair, affirms the individual, mythologizes success and rewards privilege. In our better days we attempt to take care of our own and make room for the others. We try to live and let live and tread softly. We care to work it out instead of making it worse. That's the American Spirit. And yesterday it took a body hit, followed by an uppercut, and landed on it's ass.

Our collective history tells a story so far beyond true and false that good and bad are the wrong questions. We declared independence from tyranny and enslaved Africans. We destroyed bodies of water and established National Parks. We created palaces of learning and locked the doors to the schoolhouse. It's a wonder we make any sense at all. Somehow we make it work, but our only choices this time around really just worked us.

Hillary didn't win because she brought nothing to the table but the same old, very same old. Cronies and phonies, back room cigars smoked by both genders and inhaled until we all got dizzy. I voted for her, primarily because I figured it's about time for a female President (and the fact that the status quo is better than jumping off a cliff). Others didn't vote at all.

Donald didn't lose because he escaped scrutiny with fast getaways in his spin-a-rama clown car filled with his honky-horn friends. At campaign stops he stomped around in his floppy-top shoes and countered protesters with plastic squirting flowers. He told untruths and promised a future of an imaginary past where jobs were good and apple pies were fresh. Slice this, and watch out for the rotten core.

I want to vote for the American Spirit in all it's goddamn glory. I'm a patriot for progress, a sucker for policies rooted in love. I don't want to settle for anything and pretend it's better than nothing.

America is a dream, not just a nightmare. And we're not down for the count just yet.

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