I guess there were some elections yesterday. Not here, and not where you live either, probably. So far as I can tell, there were three. Governors in Virginia and New Jersey and a congressional seat in upstate New York. You wouldn’t think that would mean much, if you didn’t live in one of those spots. Hell, in Illinois all a new governor means is we know who’s going to jail in a few years. But the news this morning tells me it means that Obama-rama is over. According to the perspicacious pundits paid to analyze the electoral entrails, it’s a body blow to the left. It’s the harbinger of a resurgent right.
Mostly, it’s bullshit.
Most Americans like America, and really, it ain’t such a bad place. You take a look around the global village and you realize you could live in a worse neighborhood – in fact, we’re pretty much at the top of the socio-economic food chain. And most of the world agrees. Saw a poll yesterday that said 700 million people would like to live somewhere other than they do, and the spot most of them wanted to move to was the good ol’ US of A. So most of us, we like things pretty much the way they are, and we’re loathe to fuck with the status quo in any major way. I mean we have to put up with the senseless barking from the rabid dogs on the right – the Limbaughs and Becks of the world. And we have to listen to the pedantic, head-patting, we-know-what’s-best-for-you tripe from the left. And we know there are some problems here and there. Healthcare – yeah, something’s got to get done there. And there’s the whole war-on-terror-and-on-any-country-that-ends-with-stan deal, that’s a cluster-fuck of stellar proportions that needs to get unfucked one way or the other. But, despite the rantings of the Birthers who think that Obama is some kind of Al Queda sleeper agent and the railings of the Constitutional-sky-is-falling-Cheney-is-Satan-and-Bush-is-his-servant crowd, none of this is actually a threat to the Republic. It’s just the sort of shit that goes on when you’ve got a big-assed country to run.
So what does the election mean? I think most American would prefer that the government steer a course more or less down the middle of the road. I think a lot of us felt that the Bush Administration was getting a little close to the ditch on the right, and our best option was Obama, who would head over by the ditch on the left. And maybe yesterday was a chance to try to tweak him toward the center line a little. Happens all the time – mid-term elections, and these weren’t even one of those, tend to go that way. It’s a two-party system, so instead of a smooth ride, we lurch from side to side like political drunks. And mostly it works out.
It would be nice if reason could prevail, but the hyperbolic 24-hour media echo chamber is the perfect breeding ground for hysteria. Learned a new word today – nihilarian. It means someone who does meaningless work. And I think much of our media falls right in there – sound and fury signifying nothing.