Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So, How're We Doing, Election-wise?

We are in as good as a position as a party could hope for. The other side is on the ropes, and the trends all seem to favor our side. I think in the national polling numbers there will be some tightening as we get into the final couple of days. But I think that's more than offset by the gains in key states. Not too long ago, Pennsylvania was thought to be a swing state. No more. Florida was out of Obama's reach - the media thought old Jews couldn't get past their racism. Then Ohio was a firewall for McCain. All of these states will, I believe, come over to our side on Tuesday. And who would have thought that Virginia -- Virginia!! -- home of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and hordes of bible freaks -- would be on our side. I think there's even reason to be hopeful about Indiana and North Carolina.

If Obama does as well as I think he will, the Republicans will suffer an unmistakable rebuke. I have long thought that there would be a sudden collapse of the Republican movement, a sort of "emperor-has-no-clothes" moment, and I think it's here. A perfect storm of events have come together to throw those drowning bums anvils. First is the large generational shift in party identification that seems to occur about every 35 years or so. Then, the election of a moron who screws up everything he touches, and manages to bankrupt the government, sink us into not one but two endless wars, destroy an iconic American city, and on his way out drop a nuclear weapon into the gears of our economy. Throw into the mix the arrival on the scene of a once-in-a-generation leader like Obama, add in the empowering effect of new technologies, and top it all off with a Republican field the least-bad of which was John McCain, a man of whom someone said, "even his friends don't like him."

We are in the midst of one of history's turning points, like the onset of the Great Depression or the bombing of Pearl Harbor. And while it seems like what we are seeing is the end of an era (which we are), we are also witnessing the very earliest stages of the next. Our future is likely to be marked with widespread economic hardship, a frustrating inability to improve our lots, and no real end in sight. But it will also be marked by a renewed spirit of unity, a re-focusing on the good things that make America one of the "good guys," and finally an economy poised for sustained growth while not also killing the planet simultaneously.

The greatest challenge for us all is how to create jobs that pay a living wage, and I'd very much like to solve at least enough of that puzzle to employ some folks and earn enough for myself. But for now it's like trying to peer through think fog -- the outlines of something are there, but I can't quite tell what. I do know that my current situation if not altered will lead me through an existence which will bring me nothing but regret.

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