Folks, I have it on good authority that the picture at left is of the Obama's arrival at the White House this afternoon for their meetings with the Bush family. Seeing that reminds me of how giddy I still am from election night and I can't wait for his team to get on with the business of governing the country. Yet I realize that a significant part of the electorate is not happy.
I mean the Black/White; Christian/Muslim, Socialist/Communist, Terrorist-sympathizer won, and I’m sure a lot of people are wondering how the hell that happened. Of course, a lot of those folks live here in Texas, which predictably fell into the McCain column on election night. But I’ve noticed something strange since then, and I wonder if any of you are experiencing the same thing. Right now I’m calling it the “If an election happens and I voted for the losing candidate(s), does it still count if I don’t talk about it?” syndrome.
I mean, this was the first time I’d ever come to work the day after a national election, and no one wanted to talk politics. Last Wednesday was a political dead zone around my office building, and dramatically different from the last national election. I could tell that some folks were upset about the results. I also know that a lot of people were very pleased with the outcome. While in conversation with like-minded people I’ve expressed my justifiable joy at Barack Obama’s victory and overwhelming pride at its historic significance. However I (and seemingly everyone else) basically tip-toed around the folks on the losing side of the election, and let them grieve in their own way. Well no more.
This post is my official notice that I’ve ended that policy and will from this point forward express my unbridled pride and optimism towards the incoming Obama administration every chance I get. I’ve been unhappy after elections too, yet it didn’t stop me from discussing the results with people who agreed or disagreed with me. In other words, I don’t really care if you’re over it or not, although I hope you are. You just can’t expect for the nearly 3.5 million of us in Texas who voted for the winning candidate to continue to spare your feelings.
I guess looking back it was predictable that something like the “If an election happens and I voted for the losing candidate(s), does it still count if I don’t talk about it?” syndrome would happen...
I remember a conversation I had in Nov. 2004 with a guy who worked in my building, let's just call him G.D. Now G.D. was a conservative. I mean to the core. The kind of person who would get all fired up listening to Hannity, Limbaugh, and Fox News and come to work looking for someone with an opposing point of view to argue with. Invariably, he’d find me and rattle off the talking points of the day, and I’d invariably rebut them. This went on practically every day for the 2 years we worked together in that building, and while I disagreed with his positions on just about everything, I definitely respected G.D. for his commitment to his opinions, and willingness to defend them in open debate.
After the 2004 election Bush was reelected and a Republican majority in Congress elected, and I made the point to G.D. that Bush and the Republicans were most likely going to overreach, and that it would come back to hurt them in future elections. He vehemently denied that would be the case, and laid out the argument that the Republicans were more in tune with the American people than Democrats/Liberals/Progressives. I simply said “wait and see.”
Well, the Republicans under G.W. Bush not only overreached, they did so seemingly as a matter of policy. So much so that a lot of us were/are suffering from outrage fatigue, making it impossible to stay angry at anything for too long because the next outrage is always right around the corner. You had to pace yourself in order to maintain your sanity during the Bush administration.
And lo and behold the last two election cycles have proven me right, with the 2006 Congressional elections flipping control of the House and Senate to the Democrats, and the last Tuesday’s results speak for themselves. The funny thing is that after the 2006 Congressional elections, G.D. stopped talking politics with me. Just like that. Cold turkey. Anything but politics. I thought it was strange at the time, and an isolated case. However with the overwhelming results from last Tuesday apparent, I recognize it for the serious ailment that it is, and that its effects are more widespread than previously thought.
Regardless, pretending there’s not a problem is not helpful to anyone, so I’m not going to do that. I just hope y’all get over it soon.