Wednesday, November 5, 2008

the day after christmas

On Monday I got a text from someone very near and very dear to me who wrote: "Don't you feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve today?

The answer was yes. Indeed.

On Tuesday, I like many others around the nation, was so excited/nervous, I was about ready to jump out of my skin. Imagine trying to be coherent in the classroom. I came close to letting my afternoon class talk me into migrating from the classroom to a nearby bar with a TV tuned to CNN.

Then Tuesday night: euphoria. One of those capsules of time when all of us will remember exactly where we were at the historic moment.

And now today. On Tuesday, I had gotten an email from Alice Joy, a former capstone kid, who had previously done a piece in my magazine class about the brutal withdrawal among young campaigners who had worked long and sleepless hours for the Kerry campaign. She forwarded this link to a recent piece on This American Life that seems particulary relevant.

She wrote: "I don't know if you remember my magazine article on youth campaign workers in the 2004 election and their post-election depression but this piece just seems like the natural set-up to the article I had written - all these young people 110 percent invested in a cause, pouring all their time and energy into it. I was really thinking just how devastating it's going to be if Obama does lose. It occurred to me, however, that there will probably be some sense of loss for these volunteers even if he DOES win, just because of the inevitable let down once something is over."

The San Francisco Chronicle's Steve Winn also addressed the issue for the rest of us who participated vicariously (Full disclosure: Tom and I did our part in a battleground state at the other side of the country over the weekend. Four turfs in one day, thank you, if you happen to know what that means) Winn quotes media guru Robert Thompson: "This year more than in a very long time, come the day after the election, it's going to feel like the entire nation has woken up in a collective political equivalent of Dec. 26," predicts Robert Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. "The presents look more promising before they're opened. The tree is starting to look a little funky. Reality sets in."

Finally, here's a piece from The New Republic that looks at the end-of-the-campaign from the point of view of the reporters who have been on the campaign trail for what seems like forever.

None of which is to say that the outcome of this campaign has been any less than spectacular. Just that real life will be dull by comparison. bk


Timithie said...

"it's going to feel like the entire nation has woken up in a collective political equivalent of Dec. 26."

Not to be a downer, but don't forget that according to CBS News and others, 46% of the U.S. (percentage of popular votes for McCain) is not experiencing that "Christmas day" elation but something more like the reaction to a stock market crash or finding out your being laid off.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the Democratic majority that is California and forget about all the conservative voters not just across the country but even in our own back yard. Twenty-five counties in California voted for McCain. It was clear that Obama was the favorite state- and nation-wide, but claiming that the "entire nation" feels heartfelt exuberance at his election is discounting almost half the country's dismay and disappointment at the choice.

Just trying to balance things out for you in the interest of fair and equal reporting. :)

Allison Wong said...

I too felt like a kid on christmas on tuesday!! I'm so relieved that Obama won and I can't wait to see what change he will enact as the new president!

Alice Joy said...

The Onion had a lighter, funny-because-it's-almost-true, take on what's going to happen to Obama supporters after the election:

geewhy said...

timithie, I agree with the main point of your post, but I might disagree with the numbers. Of the 46% that McCain got, I doubt all of them were so zealous that they'd be devastated by his loss. Let's face it, he was not a candidate that inspired great devotion among large numbers of Americans — that was part of the problem. I think there were many that voted half heartedly. I'd say maybe 20% feel like they would after being laid off.