Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What the election means to me, or, Some Emo election post

By non sequitur

Hi. I used to blog here regularly (read: compulsively), but haven't done so for some time. I also keep changing my blog name, in a tireless quest to find one that expresses the full depth and breadth of my smart-assedness (long-time readers now remember me). Anyways, I thought I'd pop my head back in with a brief post on the election, more specifically, "what it means to me."

All the polls are now calling the election for Obama; most even have him winning Ohio (Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at the University of Virginia, is predicting 364 electoral votes for Obama). This isn't news, of course, but it makes me anxious and pessimistic. It's all just setting up too perfectly for a nightmare finish. I'll probably spend the evening at home alone, slugging gin and growling at the computer (I don't have a television, so at least I'll be spared that spectacle) until it's clear Obama has won. Of course my hope is that all the young people and professionals who only have cell phones have been drastically unrepresented in the polls, and Obama will run away with it. Until then, though, I won't be able to relax.

I currently live in one of the most absurdly red/socially conservative parts of the country (only possible explanation: this was me in a past life). If Obama does win, I'll probably stagger over to the nearby Burger King to talk trash. "Yeah, we got a black man for president. Bow down, redneck bitchez!!!"

And that, in essence, is what the election means to me. No, not (just) an occasion for drunken trash-talking at the BK Lounge. I'm in my early thirties, and I honestly didn't think I'd see a black president in my lifetime. It would be nice to interpret this election as some kind of turning point in US history or political culture, towards a more progressive and humane public life. But given the fact that Proposition 8 might pass in California, I just don't see it. We're still a nation of homophobic rednecks, even in supposedly crazy left-wing states like California. But we're less racist rednecks than we've ever been before, and if we succeed in electing a black -- and eminently superior -- presidential candidate, we will have taken the most significant step I've seen in my lifetime toward realizing the promise of the Declaration of Independence, and made Jefferson, Lincoln, and King proud.

And all it took was five years of a pointless and ruinous war entered into under false pretenses, the consequent deaths of thousands of Americans and countless Iraqis, a ten-trillion-dollar national debt, an environmental record worthy of Bulgaria in the 1970s, the effective suspension of habeas corpus and the 4th Amendment, government use of secret detentions and torture, the worst global financial crisis since the worst global financial crisis in history, that whole Katrina thing, Abu Ghraib, Dick Cheney's claims that the office of the vice-president is an independent branch of government somehow superior to Congress, Karl Rove, and "Mission Accomplished."

But, hey, I'll take it; don't think for a second I won't. U-S-A, bitches.

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