The fast approaching end of the semester is not the only thing currently holding us LL.M.s in its grip. For, even if FINALS, papers, and grades can be frightening and play-less at times, there are much worse fears in this world. One of these is the fear of elections, also called HORROR ELECTIONIS. It has been creeping up in the souls of YLS students and staff at an ever-increasing pace. By now, it has reached a commanding influence on our minds that can no longer be ignored.
This has not always been the case: In the beginning of the year, the Republican presidential debates where moments of playful cheering among YLS Democrats (making up about 90% of the student body). There was this angry orange ogre making a fool of himself and of his party. So what? It was mostly laughter that was filling the room.
Contrary to some blizzards, the orange ogre, however, was not akin to BENJAMIN BUTTON. Instead, rather than regressing, he constantly grew in size. He grew and grew, his gruesome growth leading to some serious HORROR ELECTIONIS. This horror now is powerful enough as to even threaten the immaculate walls of Yale’s ivory tower. Like Saruman, under attack of the Ents, we tried to fend it off as long as we could, rallying to save our PRECIOUS BUBBLE by insulating us from the evils of this world.
Official subtitle: “Spells thrown by Death Eaters (aka Donald Trump and his allies) in order to crack/break the shield (BUBBLE) around Hogwarts (Yale).”
In vain, however: The orange ogre was relentless in his quest to shake our peace. He even forged an alliance with dark forces in the east, i.e. France, Poland, Switzerland, and Germany. HORROR ELECTIONIS is getting stronger and stronger. We must all hope that the forces of evil will not succeed. Otherwise there might be no BUBBLE left within which to enjoy your LL.M.
(The allied forces of evil are gathering in and around Mordor.)
On the other hand, it is somewhat of a relief that HORROR ELECTIONIS has reached this place. It wouldn’t have shed a very favorable light on Yale, had the craziness surrounding it gone completely unnoticed. It is, after all, graduates of YLS (Hillary), HLS (Ted Cruz), and some other schools, who play the national drama’s leading roles. Despite this fact, up till quite recently, the student body, when politically active, was mostly occupied with itself. Questions of campus and staff diversity, of inclusion, and safe spaces (see HALLOWEEN and WALL WARS) where governing most minds. This has profoundly changed: By now, there is hardly a class left that doesn’t feature a passionate argument about the required skillset of presidents, the red line towards incitement of violence (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/opinion/the-trump-campaign-gives-license-to-violence.html?_r=0), the lawfulness of Obama’s DACA-Program (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/us/politics/supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-obama-immigration-actions.html), and other issues this coming election has put on the line.
Observing this transformation as well as an entire country being pulled deeper and deeper into the primaries’ political theater has been one of the most interesting aspects of my time in the US. Even if it is possible to follow these developments from abroad, watching them from close up adds much flavor and depth to the experience. This holds despite the fact that HORROR ELECTIONIS, for obvious reasons, tastes more bitter than sweet.