So tomorrow is the big election. "The most important election of your lifetime" is what they're calling it. A lot of people are going to be disappointed Wednesday morning. This is a given in any election, but this year I'm kind of worried about it.
No matter who wins, the winner will be president. There has been a lot of talk this election cycle about "real Americans". As far as I can tell this is mainly a Republican tactic (and don't get up in arms, I do realize propaganda comes from all sides), but it deeply worries me. Should Obama become president I'm concerned that these self-described "real Americans" will take a "your president-not my president" stance. Everyone is so up in arms this year, passions are running high. It's nice to see so many people engaged in the political process, but I think we need to think back to our time as children on playgrounds-you can't always get your way. Deciding that a president isn't worthy of the office is one thing as a personal view, but we can't let things get out of hand here. Someone is going to be president and, as my daughter says, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit".
I haven't felt very well represented for the last eight years. I'm of the opinion that President Bush was a terrible choice in '00 and was flabbergasted when he was reelected in '04. I've bitched, moaned, mocked; you name it. What I didn't do was decided that if I couldn't have the president I wanted that I don't have to follow any of the rules. I continued to pay taxes, obey the speed limit, vote...I continued to be an American.
This year I'm hearing a lot of disturbing talk to the tune that if Obama is elected there will be riots, looting in the streets, even civil war. One guy got so worked up about it that he was actually yelling at me at work. "Not everyone wants to be socialist!" He was red-faced, angry, almost out of control. I wasn't even arguing with him. Hell, I didn't even bring it up. I realize not everyone wants Obama to win. This is why we have elections in the first place.
I didn't want Bush to win, I wanted Al Gore and then Ralphie-Boy Nader in the last two elections, respectively. Both times my guy lost. "Hell," I thought. "What the Hell?!"
Then next election I went out and voted again.
I realize I'm rambling here; it's morning and I'm only on my second cup of coffee. So let me boil it down. I'm talking to you, "real Americans". Talking about armed insurrection against the government if your guy doesn't win isn't just childish and unrealistic (they have helicopters and satellites and tanks, you know). It's treasonous, poisonous, cowardly talk. Have faith in our system and our ideals as a people. There will be another election in four years. If you can't work within the system that long, if you can't have faith in your own government to meet the challenges of the modern world, then why are you here? How are you a "real American" if you can't accept the system that we've used for over 200 years? "Real Americans" don't undermine their government when they don't get their way. In fact we have words for people who attempt to undermine their governments. One is "rebel". We fought a big civil war with rebels once, creating a rift in our country that people still, to some degree, suffer from today. The other word we hear quite a bit on the news. It's "insurgent", synonymous with "armed enemy combatant."
I hope Obama wins tomorrow. More importantly though I hope our citizenry can wake up on November 3rd and act like a people who can be trusted with democracy. The alternative is a mob that destroys things when they don't get what they want. I like to think we as a people are above that.
Guess we'll find out.
Checks and Balances
9 months ago