Something wonderful happened in America last night, in a year when wonderful things haven’t really been happening. And it didn’t just happen in bars and ballparks and living rooms. Most amazingly, it also carried to the corner of the country where it’s been the nastiest of all... the Internet.
For five-plus hours, in the closing chapter of a glorious World Series, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians took us on a national vacation, an unforgettable escape from politics and polls and polarization. Whether red states or blue states, Democrats or Republicans, citizens of Team Trump or Camp Clinton, everyone oohed and aahed and stressed and screamed in unison. Spirits soared and history happened in one of the great cathartic events of our recent lifetimes ― the kind that binds entire communities (or in this case, countries) together in a collective sense of wonderment and pride and just plain joy.
Those are lofty accomplishments for a single baseball game to achieve, but to use an appropriate baseball analogy, game seven hit it out of the park... and boy, did we need it.
This has not been the greatest year for unity or the national spirit. The 2016 election has taken over our psyche unlike any other… and as Decision Day looms, battle lines are being drawn and we all brace for the possibility of an ugly aftermath. Much has also been written about how friendships have been torn apart this season, especially on the passionate playgrounds of Facebook and Twitter. But last night’s seemingly impossible dream of an achievement ― along with the one earned on the field by the Cubs ― was everyone coming together despite their divisions, and members of the opposing sides sharing a moment (or 300) together. For five amazing hours, we actually set our differences aside… and even more significantly (the expected rivalry between Cubs fans and Indians fans notwithstanding), we all got along. Who would have imagined that was even remotely possible on a November night in 2016?
Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, thank you from a bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived yet grateful nation. I do believe you have hundreds of millions of new forever fans.