Friday, November 7, 2008

What a relief!!!!

I am so pleased that the political season is over. I’m not going to lie, I’m thrilled with the result. As President-Elect Obama and his family took the stage on election night, I had a thrill I haven’t had since the 60’s. It was the thrill of optimism. Optimism that our country will once again garner some respect on the world stage. Optimism that we will actually face down the looming environmental crises. Optimism that the economic underpinnings of this country can be salvaged before we see breadlines and rationing. These things may be inevitable, but it would be nice to believe our leader is at least awake at the wheel.

But really, it is the end to the election cycle that I most relieved to witness. I can’t believe that the TV commercials that play over and over - like the radio show in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day actually change anyone’s mind. The repetitive nature of them makes me less likely to vote for anyone. They certainly don’t change my mind. It is so obvious that the person or organization responsible for them is just hoping that like the “Apply directly to your forehead” commercial, or the “improve your love life” emails that we see day in and day out, the sheer mind-numbing number of times we are exposed to this crap will eventually make inroads to our subconscious and we will become the willing zombies they are looking for. Obviously it works or it wouldn’t keep happening. If it was up to me I would say the election cycle is 4 months, there will be a half-dozen publicly sponsored debates and other than that nobody is allowed to advertise. Think of the billions spent on “I’m candidate x and I approve this message” that could have been spent on helping people with their mortgages or subsidizing home heating credits for poverty-stricken families. It is an absolute joke.

Anyway, the election ended on a really high note that struck the right balance of optimism and sleeve rolling up, and although the stock market has continued to tank for the first few days of this “new era” everyone seems to be in a better mood. We can only hope that this results in some kind of rebound for our battered economy and public confidence. I have never seen people so gun shy about spending and going out. Even after 9-11, when things were plenty bad, the traffic in our store and others I have observed wasn’t this slow. I don’t blame people. After the last 8 years of mismanagement and bad vibes, it felt like the sun might never warm our faces again. Now, I think it just might.

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