I’ve worried about presidential elections before, but I’ve never been hopeful at one. Not even when Bill Clinton got elected way back when. I was happy that Clinton was going to win, but never was there such a feeling of collective anticipation of good things to come.
Maybe it’s because we weren’t coming off of W Bush and Cheney’s Misadventures in the White House. The absolute worst presidential administration -ever-. EVER. As Chris Rock said in his HBO special KILL THE MESSENGER, “He fucked up so bad that America no longer trusts old white men to run the Oval Office.” And that’s saying something.
Today has been difficult. Difficult to concentrate. Difficult to sit still. Difficult to pay attention to anything outside of the election. Facebook has taken off in ways I find absolutely amazing, with political debates and support messages flying back and forth in peoples’ Status messages and comments on the status messages. Conversations happening and people egging folks on to get out the vote, regardless of party. Twitter was pretty cool too, watching some of the special topic groups and the up-to-the-minute “reporting” of everything that’s been going on regarding individual votes and voting.
The news coverage aspect of it has been great. I know, for example, that there was one incident where a polling place had to be allegedly shut down due to overzealous McCain supporters shouting and raising ruckus outside of the polls. I also heard of two alleged members of the Black Panthers somehow ‘menacing’ a neighborhood polling place in Philadelphia. Or so the tweets mentioned.CNN and BBC still haven’t picked up on the blurbs, so they might not have happened, or the news moguls are just too busy focusing on the bigger picture.
I feel very hopeful about Obama winning. I like the idea of the America that an Obama presidency paints. And for all of the talk about how evil “Socialism” is, I challenge anyone to explain Social Security as anything other than a form of socialism. It’s not like the American economy has been unregulated since the days of Tammany Hall and the original monopolies. What’s wrong with a balance between caring for fellow Americans and ensuring a minimum standard of living, AND having the American Dream for those motivated to climb the ladder to heights of wealth and prosperity? Nothing that I can see.
An Obama win doesn’t feel like a “magic bullet” to me. On the contrary, if Obama wins, it will feel like rolling up our sleeves collectively and getting ready to clean up this huge mess we’ve inherited from the blindness and arrogance of the current administration and those who put people like that into power. There is much work to be done, but Obama in office feels like a leader who will see us through it. Change. It feels real now.
Or hopefully it will feel real tomorrow.
And if McCain wins, I hope that the Obama sticker on my car saves it from the mob.