The thing about staying up all night is that the evening never ends. It will continue until the sun rises, alerting you to changes in the world around you.
At 3 AM on November 4, 2020, nobody knew who would be the next president. We still don’t know. CNN and MSNBC especially are surely enjoying the horse race. A “NAIL-BITER ELECTION COMES DOWN TO AZ, GA, MI, NC, PA, WI” while much of our audience tries to sleep through something that would in most years be done by midnight. Our horribly broken electoral system may once again fail to do what it was meant to do, balancing power between the states.
Political parties spent millions trying to get the votes of people like me and my parents because we live in a Designated Swing State, even though our votes have been set in stone since November 9, 2016. Everyone on Twitter needed to spend their night screaming at about 300,000 people in Florida, or at a governor who barred over twice that number from voting by forcing them to pay unreasonable amounts of money to vote.
At the same time, there are many on the left screaming at the Biden campaign for not reaching out to Latinx voters in much of the Sun Belt. It seemed that they just assumed they would get the same amount of votes they got in 2016 there, not bothering to see if that was actually the case or if anything strange was up. There was a sense of complacency, that they could just count on things happening because that’s what happened before. Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions about a nail-biter election, it does remind me of what this blog has become for me.
This blog was started to make fun of The Morning Watch (you already know what that is by now, right?), and we’ll get back to that soon regardless of who the next president is, but it’s taken on kind of a higher purpose for me. I never thought that anyone outside my friend group would care about this blog or contribute to it. I never thought that we would provoke a Michigan state representative, much less get to interview his opponent. I never thought we’d reach 100 Twitter followers, for God’s sake.
Here’s what I’m getting at: the Sergei Kelleys of the world are laughingstocks on campuses until they’re not. We can write whatever we want about them or anything else on this blog until we can’t.
For so many campuses across America, it feels like there is a huge campus paper that happens to have a liberal opinion section but makes no attempt to actually curate it that way. Then there’s a publication that is only the conservative opinion section, screeching wildly. The State News and The Morning Watch aren’t the same thing with different opinions. Neither are The Michigan Daily and The Michigan Review at UMich. This dynamic takes place at all sorts of colleges across America.
I think The Evening Look has become a screeching left opinion section in the best possible way. If conservative organizations like the ISI trying to turn erstwhile liberal college students to the GOP are going to parachute in and start publications like The Morning Watch, why should those who disagree just sit and watch? You can’t simply take a numbers advantage for granted. If campus conservatives have better organization on this front than campus liberals and leftists, then they’re going to punch above their weight. The Morning Watch is a bad, poorly written publication with no clout among students until it isn’t. Michigan football’s roster of 4-5* players kicks MSU’s 3* ass, until it doesn’t.
As much as I’d love to say this is a problem of insignificant campus publications, to me it reflects a broader issue of complacency among my fellow travelers. Republicans find new ways to get ahead of Democrats every day, whether that’s in creating effective Election Day disinformation or in twisting procedural rules to get what they want, regardless of how many people they proportionally represent. I’m tired of seeing it, and I hope that this blog can serve as an outlet for both your frustrations and ours about the current moment.
The Evening only lasts as long as you allow. If you go to sleep, you’ll find everything around you is morning before you know it.