Opinion Columns & Blogs

The steady march of time waits for no campaign, nor president

There are 365 days in a year, divided into 52 weeks. Those 52 weeks each have seven days, which in turns have 24 hours each. Each of those hours has 60 minutes composed of 60 seconds each and there is no way to stop them. Einstein showed us time is relative and may be faster or slower based on where you are, the speed you travel, etc., but in the daily grind there is no reprieve from the steady march of time.

We approach the end of this school year and it only seems like the school year just started. My first-grader will soon be a second-grader and his older sister will move into fifth grade. My friend Russell tells me his two oldest sons will start driving lessons this summer. My day is coming with my oldest. God help you all once that day arrives in Middle Georgia.

Through all of this, it seems a new constant is the never ending campaign. We went from statewide elections two years ago to presidential and local elections this year. The campaign cycle having ending for the president in November of 2012 and the 2016 cycle began in earnest by January of 2013. I find myself exhausted by the whole thing, and it is my job.

Georgia, in presidential election years, has largely been spared the campaign violence on television and radio. For those of us in the media, the downside is the loss of revenue from the campaigns running ads. But new polling in Georgia has the race very close between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Trump leads Clinton by one point. While I have a hard time believing the state will really be competitive in November, we may just finally experience what Florida and Ohio have to live through every four years.

The election cycle this time seems far nastier to me than prior cycles. I have recurring conversations with people who tell me friendships are being jeopardized over positions on Donald Trump. A local activist here in Middle Georgia just the other day put my home address online for Trump supporters. In South Carolina, a tow truck driver refused to help a disabled lady in a car wreck because the lady was a Bernie Sanders supporter. Meanwhile, Sanders supporters are showing up at Trump rallies trying to forcibly shut them down.

A caller to my radio show last week said if we are a nation of the people, for the people, and by the people and the people start behaving like children, the 2016 presidential election is the logical outcome. The only thing more miserable than this miserable campaign season is the certain knowledge that the clock is ticking and time is marching on to December when the 2020 presidential campaign season will begin.

My time, often controlled by the political seasons, can be broken down into campaign cycles. Off-year elections and presidential elections set the pace for travel and set the topics for writing, radio and television. But I have found a silver lining in this all.

The burdens of health and the grating nature of the 2016 campaign season have forced me to calculate the time by other means. The forced retreat from the Internet while in the hospital made me realize I should be measuring time by my kids’ lost teeth, the exchange of bikes from small to large, trips to the beach, and the inevitable return to school. This campaign season will pass. I just wish November would hurry up.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.