Suffering From Election Fatigue
Wednesday - November 05, 2008
It was fun while it lasted, but I am over it.
And I know I’m not the only person in America with Election Fatigue Syndrome.
Finally, we’re done. Now we can go back to living normal lives, whatever that is. No more pundits, no more tracking polls, no more sitting for hours mesmerized by magic electoral maps on the TV.
Oh. My. God. What the heck do we do now?
Let’s face it, we have been transformed by what has felt like the longest presidential race in history. (It was.) All the emotional highs and lows have altered our chemistry, leaving us bi-polar and exhausted. And the roller-coaster was relentless. I would start the day feeling giddy only to plunge into grumpiness by late afternoon, done in by talking heads on cable shows, radio commentaries and Internet bloggers. I wasn’t the only one. I have friends who could rattle off the slightest upand-downticks of all the major polls and discuss the differences between Gallup, Quinnipiac and Rasmussen. People I never had a political conversation with before suddenly were experts on ground games and battleground states. Who knew we’d turn into a nation of armchair pundits?
But, hey, it’s a good thing. It’s been refreshing to see so many folks engaged on so many levels. I can bet that before this historic race most people were happily ignorant of things like primaries and caucuses and had only a fuzzy knowledge of the Electoral College.
For once the nation got to talk openly about previously taboo topics. This time everything was on the table. We saw the extreme ugliness of religious intolerance, sexism, ageism and racism. But this time there was pushback - we saw determined and surprisingly successful attempts to rise above the slime and to openly and rationally break down the barriers of bigotry and fear.
The driver of all this was, and continues to be, the shocking economic breakdown that turned the status quo upside down. Suddenly our financial survival was at stake and all bets were off. Old prejudices faded into irrelevancy. What mattered now was clarity and character. And leadership.
So now the election is behind us. You may be ecstatic or you may be depressed.
But it’s over. Take a breath, take a nap, take a Motrin and get over it. It’s time to put away the gloves and stow the bitterness.
We have a new president who has fought hard for the right to lead us. He has earned our support. He needs it. He - and we - have work to do to set our country right. Nobody thinks it’s going to be easy.
In fact, most experts tell us our situation will get worse before it gets better. But we at least have a chance at a fresh start. This may be the end of the election, but it’s the beginning of a new era.
So in the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all get along?”
Yes, we can.
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