We Don't Live in a Bubble

Photo credit: jamelah on Flickr
I've been thinking a lot lately how what's going on in politics, especially in the US, is trickling down to every other area of life. Many of us have acknowledged long before now that this isn't an ordinary election season. One candidate in particular has negatively changed the discourse on the national level. Time and time again he's broken what's expected from candidates—that they aren't overtly racist or misogynist, that they aren't mired in fraud and sex scandals, that they will respect the rules of political discourse and expectations.

We've accepted nationally that this isn't like every other elections. "This isn't politics as usual," Michelle Obama said in her speech last week. This isn't normal.

So unlike previous elections, this one has seeped into everything, because the truth is this: we don't live in a bubble.

From authors speaking openly about politics in a way that was never necessary before. From heated Twitter discussions centered around issues reflected in the election debate, about race, about sexism, about women and AFAB people having boundaries crossed by men they respected or trusted. On and on the echoes crash into us, like inevitable ocean waves.

While I was first drafting over the summer, I'd quietly acknowledged to myself how fitting it was that I was writing a politically-focused book during such a politically-fraught time. Of course, the politics aren't exactly the same—one set of politics is completely fictionalized and created in the context of the book world, but many of the themes still resonated: from racial oppression, to a movement against progress, to queer acceptance (and not) especially in religious spaces.

It wasn't until a reader recently pointed out a specific passage in my WIP, however, that I realized just how closely some of the politics mirrored each other—and in retrospect, I'm not surprised. With a conflict so centered and real, affecting so many in their everyday lives and with the potential to affect so many more should the election go one way or another, I expect to see books release in the next few years with echoes of the political landscape today. I'd be surprised if it didn't happen, really.

Sometimes we write to cope with things without realizing we're doing exactly that. Sometimes we write to examine feelings we aren't entirely sure how to express. Sometimes we write to catch the overflow of life pouring endlessly into us even after—especially after—we've hit a limit.

We don't live in a bubble and I can't say I'm surprised to see national discourse echoing in publishing, in bookish Twitter, in thousands of little ways in people's lives every day. With an election as important, and dangerous, and scary as this one, for those who live in the US (and honestly, for many who don't) the echoes are nearly impossible to avoid.

We don't live in a bubble, and whatever happens on November 8th, I'm sure we'll be seeing repercussions of this election for years to come.

Twitter-sized bite:
Author @Ava_Jae shares her thoughts on how current political discourse echoes in other areas of life—and writing. (Click to tweet)

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