Don’t laugh! Everything short of getting kicked in the nuts has a positive side. Here comes, in no particular order, my “glass is half full” reflections on the election itself:
- I was wrong. I really thought Romney was going to pull it off. I like surprises. Even if it’s a bad one like finding a snake in your hat.
- The polls were right. I was pretty sure a phone poll in 2012 was the most outdated and ridiculous way to measure public opinion imaginable. I compared it to driving a Model T through a fog bank to a Tarot Card reader. I was wrong. Somehow, even when it took something on the order of eleven calls to get one highly suspect and biased answer, they got it right. Impressive.
- It was beyond the margin of cheat. I really like elections where one person honestly wins. The Big O did just that. None of the recent horseshit with hanging chads and Al Franken recounts. Well done. Further, aside from the innumerate yahoos in Florida, most states managed to count without screwing up. I didn’t want another round of politicians and lawyers performing unnatural acts in my democratic republic.
- It was a contested election. Until sunset on the last day nobody really knew who would win. That’s good!
- Bitching about racism is getting boring. Our nation of free citizens elected and re-elected a black president. Even my dog knows it’s time to let it go. Aside from people who make a living by inciting racism, America is incrementally turning it into a moot point.
- Bitching about religion is getting boring. When politics goes far enough to the left you get folks who aren’t merely “not religious” but they go full retard and become vehemently, aggressively, rabidly, anti-religious. They lose their shit over piddly details like Christmas nativity scenes and wouldn’t vote for an overtly pious person even if their Prius begged them to. When politics go far enough to the right you meet snake handlers who consult the Old Testament about the correct choice for breakfast cereal. They lose their shit over gays and wouldn’t vote for a non-believer if the guy was the greatest choice in a century. The rest of us watched an election between two very different religious world views and didn’t flake out because of the contrast. One smokes, drinks, and swears, and (in deed if not word) appears more or less unaffected by religion. The other does not smoke, drink, or swear, and is so morally upright he makes Mr. Rogers look like the Hell’s Angels. Both men had a good chance at winning and racked up significant numbers of votes. It’s good that Americans pondered diametrically oppositional religious world views without losing perspective.
- Romney was squeaky clean. Romney, regardless of his loss, was the first politician I’ve seen in years that didn’t have a skeleton in his closet (and the press sure looked for one). It seems like nobody in D.C. can get though life without cheating on their taxes (or their wife) or some other dastardly behavior. It feels good to know that at least one person has trod the straight and narrow and still made a good run for the presidency.
- Once you’re thrown out of the plane; incentives to understand the parachute become unstoppable. Many of us have been forced to spend the last couple of years sitting on decisions because things, no matter how bad it looked, might be partially reversible. No longer. Planning for (and acting in reaction to) whatever shenanigans our government has cooked up can now begin in earnest. Here’s one example; now that Obamacare is as unkillable as the living dead we will adapt. Perhaps businesses will carefully stay under a certain numbers of employees or schedule them below certain thresholds of work hours. Perhaps medical students will tweak their studies. Perhaps we’ll all re-examine our health care choices and options. Regardless of your politics waiting has no upside. It’s now a matter of logistics and economics. Abandoning hope for a better situation means we can get busy adapting to what we’ve got. As you construct your personal lifeboat you’re better served knowing the manner in which you’re getting flushed. Everyone reading this blog (including my dog) should be making adjustments based on the information gleaned last week.
- Whistling past the graveyard is done. Ignoring looming issues is for children and fools. I endeavor to stack wood when it’s sunny and intend to feel smug when the inevitable blizzard arrives. During the election most of the Nation took a break from reality; much to the annoyance of this particular ant who gets tired of the company of grasshoppers. We’ll that’s done for good. Try this example on for size; before the election, everything economic was peachy keen and it made perfect sense to use statistics that ignored every unemployed person in California. Today I heard the word “fiscal cliff” 28 separate times in one radio show. (NPR if you must ask.) The “cliff” was created on August 2nd, 2011 by the Budget Control Act of 2011. It became acceptable to discuss it in public on November 7th, 2012. That’s fifteen months of ignoring the lit fuse! Now that Obama’s pet press has finished the coronation of their lord and master they have come to the surface for air. Reality is clubbing them like the baby seals that they are. (Oh…. I like that metaphor!) Not everyone thinks denial is a legitimate state for an adult and folks like me welcome the rest of the crowd as they sample the air in this new environment called reality.