Friday, November 7, 2008

Gettin' on with it

Well, I’ve had a couple of days for the election results to sink in. I’m feeling slightly better. Not recovered, but less ill in general.

I hate that anyone has to lose. I feel the same way in sports; we’ll be watching our team kick some other team’s hind end, and as the game wears on I begin to feel sorry for the losers. The cameras will close in tightly on a player’s face, the misty eyes, the twisted mouth… Sometimes they’ll capture an unsavory word slipping out of that mouth, or a furrowed brow and scowl, and those aren’t as pitiful. But the resigned loser always gets me.

I have to remind myself, in these days, that every single time a leader is elected, there are many who are not elected. I have to remember that in nearly every casting of votes, from the first to this one and beyond, there have been people who celebrated the results, and also people who shook their heads and frowned. Every time the procedure runs its course, there must be a winner—and losers.

Maybe that’s why I’m not good at sports. Aside from my complete lack of coordination, I have too much trouble remaining polarized. I always, eventually, begin to realize that the other side is not so different, really. They want to win, too. They’ve been practicing, too. Without major conditioning and mental training, I’d make a crappy soldier. I’ve never been very competitive, and I like to think that perhaps, it isn’t just because I hate losing; maybe it’s because I hate that there has to be a loser at all.

I especially hate it at this time, in this particular “sport”—which is easily the most violent and heartless available to the viewing public—because this time, the loser was my guy. And his vice-gal.

I think about Sarah Palin, back at home, all the hubbub dying down, normality resuming…and I wonder what in the world she is thinking. Is she secretly relieved? Does she wonder what tornado hit in these last few months? Is she sorry she’s been traveling so much? Sorry she missed time with her littlest son? Sorry she hasn’t been able to spend time picking out nursery colors with her daughter? I have to think she must feel rather blind-sided. (Although not too blind-sided, since she’s sort of left that door open for four years in the future…)

And McCain himself. What’s on his mind? Does he regret running? All that time, and money, and effort. Those countless appearances, speeches, debates… Would he do it over again? Would he think about trying again in the future, if he were a younger man? I didn’t hear his concession speech, but not surprisingly, the few comments I encountered about it were flattering. He’s a classy guy, in my opinion, and I believe he’ll prove that many more times in the days to come. He’ll be okay; he’s dealt with far worse than this. But still.

I didn’t vote for Obama. A lot of other people did—people who believed all his promises, and more. I will admit that I’m taking some solace in the thought that he is probably feeling a bit of panic; you really have to wonder whether he’s as cool about all the activity as he seems. There has to be some level of frenzied realization under that calm demeanor; if there isn’t, there will be. The job he’s “won” is not an enviable position; I’m frankly amazed that people keep trying to obtain it. I feel certain, in my gut, that there will be many days when he feels completely overwhelmed. I know he asked for it, and I’m not going to go so far as to say I’m feeling sorry for him. That would be untrue. He is a human, though—and he’s got a long, ugly road ahead of him.

I heard a joke that this election might be the only one in which the winner asked for a recount. And I laughed—and nodded vigorously in agreement.

BO is our president-elect now, and I will be a level-headed American and accept the clear results of this election. But just as I embrace the "trust God and lock your doors" mantra, we'll be stockpiling some extra ammo and fuel, and praying daily: Lord, help us all.

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