The last polling is almost done, the commentators are finishing their final commentaries and the analyzers are analyzing their last. What can be said that hasn’t been already said?
After months of attempting to logically assess the choice the country makes on Tuesday, I now find myself in an introspective mood…more ‘feeling’ than ‘thoughtful.’ And, emotional memories of the past overwhelm cognitive pragmatism of the present.
As a child in the fifties and sixties I was lucky enough to grow up in a time of American greatness. My parents and their friends were products of the Depression and World War II; they have since been labeled as the ‘Greatest Generation,’ but at the time, they were simply grownups who greatly appreciated what their struggles had produced: peace, relative prosperity, stability…and, a nurturing and safe environment in which to raise their kids.
Old age has its benefits and drawbacks. I guess it is human nature to look back and long for the ‘good old days’ whether they were so good or not. But, they sure seemed that way. It sounds so trite now…never feeling the need to lock the doors, playing outside in the summer from sunup to sundown…parents not wary of our safety, neighbors and family that could be counted on.
All was not perfect. The Cold War; the struggle for civil rights in the South…later, the beginning of the Vietnam War. But, through the challenges, the country held together. Right and wrong were not relative terms; there was good and there was evil. Spin was what the earth did on its axis, not perversely interpretive versions of reality.
Change is inevitable; dealing with it always difficult. However, learning how to operate a smart phone is one thing, observing attempts to deliberately destroy our great country is something altogether different. My mind tells me it is happening before my very eyes; my heart fights back, perhaps an involuntary, primeval defense mechanism to keep from going insane.
Like for many, this election transcends all others in importance during our lifetimes. I first voted in a presidential election in 1968. The country persevered through Watergate, then Jimmy Carter’s incompetence. It survived Bill Clinton’s immorality and lies, but not without damage to its moral fabric.
But, will the country as I know it survive Obama’s first term? Perhaps so. Will it survive a second? Likely not, in my view.
A pundit I can’t recall postulated: “We might survive Obama, but can the country survive those who voted for him?” A reasonable question, but for another time.
So, at last, the time for voting has arrived. All the prognostications will be forgotten by Wednesday morning, and we’ll be subjected to endless talking heads explaining what we can easily explain to ourselves. The 2012 election will be history, and speculation will begin on 2016.
Thus, the cycle lives on. But, will our country?