Inspired By The Anonymous Commenter
One of the most entertaining treatments of American politics I've come across recently would be this excerpt of a David Sedaris essay on undecided voters, brought to my attention by Heather Armstrong of Dooce:
I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
To be honest, it just wasn't (nearly) that easy for me, but in the end I tried to weigh the issues as thoughtfully and prayerfully as I could and vote my conscience. I am hopeful for the future, and I am excited about change. I am glad that other nations may perceive America differently now. And even if the worst comes to pass and all of these socialist dimwits I've helped to elect tax our riches away and give it to the homosexual unwed abortionist crack-smoking peaceniks down the block, I won't be too upset. Because some of them are people that I know and love. And maybe also because I don't have much wealth to threaten. But even so, there's much more to it, and others have expressed similar and differing opinions much more articulately than I am able to at this point.*
One thing that was interesting to Jesse and I as we went through the voters' guide and talked politics this weekend was how different our backgrounds are, and how these have shaped our basic political impulses. He comes from very liberal roots (his parents met in the Peace Corps in the 70s), and mine are rather more conservative (my dad was one of roughly 7 Republicans at the University of Washington in the 70s). Jesse's mom, Becky, went to Canada for a few days this week - she literally had to leave the country to escape the nerves and stress of election day. A McCain win might have broken her.
My sister (pro-Obama) sent out a mass text message on election night that read, "YAY America!!" to which my dad replied coolly, "Not the outcome I was hoping for. Now we just have to wait and see what the policy changes are." And my brother Tim is practically a red state unto himself.
At any rate, Jesse and I have actually ended up in a rather similar place, politically, though we didn't vote the same on everything. I am just thankful the election is over and I can stop thinking about policies and issues and The Government and how I feel about it all for a little while.
*Because it is almost midnight and I just came home from a sports bar where Jesse and I watched the harrowing end of the Blazers game tonight. Woohoo!