Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh what a world, what a world - a political thought process, so avoid it if you're not in the mood

I spent the most historic night in my personal American history recollection on the phone with my parents.

"It's a part of being a revolution," my dad said. "Every election, we're a part of something historic."

"Have you gotten into the cooking sherry?" my mom asked me.

No, seriously. "I never in my life imagined this could happen," she said, softly, and I was struck anew by what a magnificent process actually exists.

I am, to put it lightly, a cynic. I live in a state where my vote didn't matter--other than to prove that 37% of the population thought the other 63% had a Really Bad Idea on what to do with the future. Practically speaking, what does the purported Head of Our Country have the ability to do? They can all promise whatever they want, but that doesn't mean they can persuade Congress or Senate or even states to do much of anything. They can pick up a red phone, and if we're lucky, they can avoid making a total ass of themselves and not foul up foreign policy more than we've already managed.

If possible.

It's all we can really ask of anyone, including ourselves. Short of sending a telegram to everyone up on The Hill that reads "As a part of this American Republic, you have failed to meet my expectations. As you are in my employ, please consider your contract terminated. Have your bags packed and vacate the premises no later than 4:00 p.m. today." And then what? I hear there are some monkeys at Hogle Zoo looking for an opening...

It's the first year in the entire year of my life--almost 18 years--that I've voted FOR someone instead of AGAINST someone. As I said, I don't hold any illusions. I just hold the hope that someone can at least uncrock politics slightly. And even if they can't, for it's a slippery slope, as Grayson Spaulding pointed out before taking that plunge off the New York Ferry, I can at least still hope for the next four years that someone will TRY. As I said to my mother, this is the closest thing to feeling like a part of the 60's revolution I can ever get. The times are a-changin', and whether you're for or against you're part of something unprecedented. "So flower power didn't work," John Lennon said. "We'll find something else."

Here's hoping, John. Here's hoping.


Rachel said...

Amen, darling. Amen.

Juliann said...

Seriously. It was a good feeling. . .

But you know what was not a good feeling? So many people in the little on camera snapshot/soundbites were saying what your mom said, "I never in my life thought this day would come" (implying when a black man would become President.) A lot of black people, especially. And YOUNG black people. I really had no idea people felt that way. I had no idea that anyone, in my generation at least, had so little faith/hope in where we've come over the last handful of decades. I had no idea there was still such a perceived chasm between races. I was a little ashamed that I've been walking around all this time looking at other Americans one way and expecting they saw me the same way. I didn't know some people were looking at me thinking, 'Well, SHE'll never vote for a black guy.'

Am I just naive? I was actually shocked at the reaction of the country and the world and THEN the impact and the importance of it hit me. I really saw the results as a Democrat winning over a moderate Republican, but you're right, it was/IS so much more than that. It IS historic.