Election Blog

I tried not to get too caught up in the election, my natural caution telling me to avoid overblown hopes for salvation. Like many progressives I doubted real change could come in a two-party system, I and believed that elections were a distraction from the crumbling of civilization.

But it was Saturday Night Live that reeled me in! I was excited that once again it could be a force in the world, criticizing politics as only comedy can. Satire and reality blurred as Tiny Fey spoofed Sarah Palin and we were unable to tell the difference between them. We dragged the old TV out of the closet on Monday night to watch Heroes, the only one TV show we watch, to find Heroes had pre-empted by SNL. But laughed our asses off at the show. Those comedians had every nuance of character down pat for those politicians, satirizing their hand gestures, tics, favorite words. But they couldn’t find much to ridicule about Obama! When the real Palin got on stage to say she would shut SNL down for making fun of her, I was stunned. Was this a joke, or was this real?!?

That Monday night there was also a documentary on PBS about the real candidates, following their story. While it pretended to be unbiased, it’s hard for any educated person to present McCain in a flattering light next to Obama. McCain’s only education was to graduate 894th out of 899 students at a naval academy, and his only claim to fame was that he was captured by an enemy in war. Obama had the best education in the land and is the most elegant, articulate candidate of our lifetime. His goosebump-inducing speeches invoke the old-time stirring rhetoric of Martin Luther King, while his quiet dignity recalls Abraham Lincoln. He seems for all the world a sincere, reverent being. He never stumbles, even as he stays humble. He has ancestors from Europe and Africa, and even speaks an Asian language. Truly the global leader. He writes his own speeches!

The documentary showed President Bush officially endorsing McCain. How awkward! McCain stood fidgeting like a little boy … he made Bush look presidential! It was a cringe-worthy moment. Obama didn’t need anyone‘s stinking endorsement!

So we left the TV out of the closet for Tuesday and were unabashedly glued to the tube all night. I haven’t watched that much TV since Tom and Jerry. I’ll confess that my innocent hope trounced my cynicism and my heart swelled as they announced the victory. Even the blond newslady looked as if she had been crying, bless her.

Even if Obama does end up being the anti-Christ, the point is that for a golden moment, I was proud to be American. We can use this moment of transformation to wreak hope, manifest miracles.

I was floored by the decency and humanity of the Obama and Biden families as they took the stage during the acceptance speech. No balloons, confetti or bullshit. It was like a real royal family, unselfconscious, handsome and real. Calm and collected. Even the Kennedys paled in comparison.

On twitter.com, (where one-line comments scroll by in real time from people all over the world), I watched Europe wake up to good news and admire America again. What if we could believe hope was possible? It made the world realize, now that we dared to hope, how hopeless we had been! And in watching all the comments on twitter, I realized how many sane and reverent and funny people there are in the world. The world seemed a fine place for the first time since Reagan. Twitter was a way to connect with the world in the present moment … I had a felt sense of how alike we all are, despite how alone we feel. Twitter is like the firing of all these human neurons in the huge hive mind matrix that we are.

And then .. Ralph Nader came on the TV. His denouncing Obama as an “Uncle Tom” was too much even for Fox News, whose quirky news-anchor attacked Nader. It’s too bad, because Nader has a point. We need to heed his message: Obama’s campaign was financed by corporations; he is not a progressive; we are slaves to the two-party system. If only Nader wasn’t such a sourpuss, such a total partypooper, his message would better received. Let’s hope he stays active as a citizen activist to keep us fighting for what matters. But why couldn’t he let us have our jubilation .. at least for 48 hours, 48 hours of believing in miracles, of smiling at strangers on the subway?

And if Obama should, Goddess forbid, turn out to be just another Democrat in the pocket of our corporate masters, as Nader insists, then at least We the People can be sure that the two-party system is hopeless, and turn our hopeful enthusiasm to fight for a third party that can truly bring justice!


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