Tomorrow we’re going to learn a lot about our country and what its citizens are made of. To say that it’ll be an “historic” occurrence seems trite (isn’t every Presidential election “historic”?), but I do feel (along with pretty much everybody else) that we’re at the biggest turning point as a nation of my lifetime, and probably much longer than that. This is a major fork in the road, and tomorrow we’ll see which route we’re going to be taking for many years to come.
Like CK, I’m happy to say that I’ve voted for Barack Obama twice—once as a resident of Illinois to represent my state in the U.S. Senate, and now once as a resident of California to lead our country, finally, into the 21st century. I’m not as big of a supporter of his as are a lot of people (he occasionally disappoints me with his willingness to politic his way out of every situation that arises), but I feel that he’s clearly the no-brainer choice, as Chas so concisely pointed out.
The truth of the matter is, when making a choice for President, you can judge these books by their covers. I was completely flabbergasted that anybody would take some hayseed simpleton seriously as a candidate—much less actually elect the dumbass—and remained even more shocked when he was re-elected after living up to precisely the comically low assumptions I’d held of him all along… and since then, he’s only gotten worse, as we’re all painfully aware of by now. It’s an infinitely small consolation to be able to say “I told you so” after eight years of watching this fool bumble around in our name on the world’s stage. The point, though, is that we now find ourselves in an even more exaggerated version of the same predicament we faced in 2000: John McCain is such a sad shell of a once-strong man that he’s impossible to take seriously as a potential leader unless you’re a) completely mindlessly partisan, b) a huge racist (overtly or not), or c) not only obscenely greedy and self-centered to the point that you vote based solely on the consideration of a potential tax increase but also so obscenely out of touch that you still believe that tax cuts help our economy in the first place. And on the other side, as Ben so eloquently spelled out, is the complete opposite: somebody who actually fits the role of Leader, somebody who at least looks, acts, and speaks like he belongs in the highest office we have. And this isn’t even getting into the VP candidates, where the disparity gets even greater.
And yet, despite how obvious the choice we’ve been presented with seems to be, I remain doubtful of our country’s ability to make the right decision, given our recent track record. We have more to overcome than just latent racism, not the least of which is the kind of shenanigans that the Republican party has become experts at over the past few elections. It’s hard to watch Recount—which I’ve done more than a couple of times in recent months—without wincing throughout, not just due to a sense of “what could have been,” but also due to a fear of reliving one of our country’s saddest periods over again. Luckily, all indicators point to this one not even being close, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Tonight in my house we’re going to watch V for Vendetta, a film that three and a half years ago gave us hope that maybe the masses can band together after all, no matter what they might be up against, and take their country’s destiny in their own hands. Hopefully the U.S. can do it at the polls tomorrow in a decidedly less dramatized fashion, but the result just might end up being as world-changing as that depicted in the Wachowski brothers‘ adaptation of Alan Moore‘s story.
Thanks to the phenomenon of early voting, my personal decisions have already been officially made (including, importantly, my opposition to state-sanctioned bigotry), which leaves me free to watch with bated breath tomorrow until the results become official. To say it makes me nervous is an understatement; to say that it’s exciting even more so.