Thursday, November 3rd, 2016.
Well, folks, it's over. That's it. Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States of America. The world is ending. The end is nigh. Goodnight, sweet prince.
How did we get here? There will be think pieces a-plenty for decades about how America for the first time in its history decided to elect a strongman. They will be far more intelligently written than anything I can here produce. Instead, I'll offer my answer to the previous question. We got here because the Chicago Cubs are World Champions.
Trump hasn't won the White House just yet, but at this point how can he not? The Cubs just won a World Series. Nostradamus predicted this, didn't he? It's 2016. Bob Dylan has a Nobel Prize, the Cubs are World Champions, and Donald Trump is the Leader of the Free World. When you put it like that, it's almost poetic. Almost.
I'm a Met fan. I had no rooting interest in this World Series. On the one hand I hate the Cleveland team name and logo and have no real connection with any of their players, but on the other hand I love a good story, and I didn't want the good story of the Cubs to end. The narrative of the Cubs is that they don't win World Series championships. Their motivation, their goal, their want is to win a World Series for their fans. Now that the goal has been achieved and the need satisfied, their arc is now complete. Everything that happens now will be effectively a fresh start. They will likely win several more World Series over the course of the next decade, they're that dominant. But the Cubs aren't supposed to be the dominant team. They're supposed to be the team that hasn't won. Now that they've won, that can only mean that the world is ending and Donald Trump is going to be President.
This World Series was in a lot of ways like the election itself. It was far too long, it had moments of sheer brilliance right next to moments of sheer panic right next to moments of sheer stupidity, and it ended in a highly contested, knock-down, drag out fight. And in the end, it came down to a few people in Ohio.
The most important similarity between the World Series and this election is the emotional element. This election is not an election based on facts. The truth has no buying power. "Truthiness" - as coined by Colbert-in-character, giving more credence to feelings than facts - runs this race. The two people at the top of the major party tickets are so diametrically opposed and so disagreeable in their own ways that emotions by definition have to come into play.
Same goes for baseball. This was a storybook series. The two teams with the longest droughts playing each other, going down to the seventh game, tied into the 10th inning, rain delay, no matter how you look at it this is going to make a really good bad movie. I'll say the over/under on when it comes out is ten years. Baseball is nothing if not dated, which makes it a nostalgic game, and therefore it is built on emotion in a way that football or basketball never can be.
But if you remove the romanticism from the discussion about this World Series, what are we really looking at? The Cubs were supposed to win this series. All season long, the driving narrative has been "Who can possible stop the Cubs?" Them winning the World Series was almost a foregone conclusion. It really should never have gone to seven games in the first place. But since it did, emotions ran high, and ultimately it's a perfect ending to a perfect story - a perfect, emotion-driven story.
So what do we do when the two biggest news stories this week - the election and baseball - are built upon feelings rather than facts? Because the facts are that Donald Trump is unfit to be an employee of any kind at any establishment, much less the President, and the Cubs winning the World Series, in context, is anti-climactic. It's fine for a game to ignore facts in favor or storyline; at the end of the day, the MLB is an entertainment company. The Presidency? The job application process for that office should be a resume contest, not a pissing one. So good for you, Cubs, and thank you, MLB, for giving America one last happy memory.