This is going to come as a bit of a shock to some of you, but I sometimes think about things apart from hoboes and zombies and prednisone. I know! Shocking! I certainly feel shocked. Tonight, let's pause for a moment and talk about next Tuesday - our great nation's general election. I must disclose up front that I am a radical - almost militant - moderate, at heart, but that over the past 15 years or so I have been finding much less fault with the liberals than I have with the conservatives. But fear not, friends of either political leaning - what follows might surprise you.
Now, I am fully-aware that most people have extremely strong, well-defined preferences when it comes to this Presidential election - extending in many cases to Congressional and even local races. "If Romney wins, we're moving to Canada!" "If Obama wins, we're moving to... to... well, somewhere conservative enough for us. Iran, maybe." I've been through those feelings. I felt them in 2004 and a little in 2008. Now, not so much. Maybe I'm just old and tired, but at this point, I'm not going anywhere, no matter who wins. You wanna know why? Because, my friends...
IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! (please watch this clip - it will be the best thing you've seen since the campaign began in 2009)
I know there are profound differences in the beliefs and the practical approaches of the two Presidential candidates, but if you conservatives really believe Romney's posters when they tell you there will be "real change on day one," well, you're kind of an idiot. And if you liberals honestly think that your life, your world, your country will be dramatically improved by Romney's defeat, you might want to just go ahead and prepare to be deeply disappointed.
Okay - I hear you out there, getting ready to turn away from this bleakly cynical sot and go find the latest news on the Kardashians, but before you go, I must tell you that I DO care. I have a preference in this election. I'm just saying that, unlike in 2004 and 2008, I'm not afraid of the other guy. I still love my country, adolescent that it may be, right now. But to borrow from Lewis Black, as he told us all at the DC Improv years ago while we screamed and cheered his arrival onstage - "Let's all just calm the fuck down."
**I have to admit, however, that it's easy for me to dismiss some of the more important aspects of this election. I do not and will not have offspring who will have to live with whatever changes either President would manage to make in the next four (possibly eight) years. I don't have a daughter who might wish to be in charge of her own body, should Romney win and replace some of our aging Supreme Court Justices with conservative ones. I don't currently know of any gay friends or relatives who might wish to have the same rights as everyone else in the US.
I also don't know any conservatives (at least, I don't think I do) whose lives and marriages will be ruined by the thought of gays having rights. I don't know very many millionaires, terrified at the thought of paying a higher tax rate than the one they currently pay. And when it comes to that "ObamaCare" business, I don't worry too much about it. I was screwed by the old system; I'll be screwed by the new system; I'll be screwed by whatever they replace it with, if it comes to that. Screwed is screwed, right?
Okay, so it actually does kind of matter, and there will be implications of a Democratic win versus a Republican one. But here's why I feel okay about this one - why it Just Doesn't Matter: Neither side will be able to accomplish ANYTHING dramatic or sweeping. Anything at all. Remember when Bush couldn't get anything pushed through, from about 2003 through the end of his Presidency? The Democrats in Congress managed to block his every move. They'll do it again to Romney. If Obama wins - same thing. Nothing very big will get done.
That's just how our executive and legislative branches are wired, right now. And it's not the end of the world. The extremes are too extreme, so each side gives not a single inch. Only the most basic, necessary things get done. Given the ideological climate, that's probably a very good thing. Keeps the US from doing anything too stupid. It will loosen up, someday. It has to. It might get worse before it gets better, but as my mom likes to say, hey - we survived Nixon.
We'll be fine. Neither of the applicants for this job is stupid. Neither of them wants America to die. They have different ideas of how to proceed, neither of which is exactly right, but likewise neither will prove instantly fatal to our country. So let's all just chill.
Before I sign off, I must go on record as saying that I GUARANTEE that our economy (GDP, employment etc.) will be in much better shape and continuing to improve in the next year or two. No. Matter. Who. Wins. It's an economy - it really doesn't much care who is in the White House.
See? It just doesn't matter. Okay, it does - but not as much as you think it does, or as immediately as you might think.
Ugh - okay, that is some boring stuff. I would simply delete all of the above, but I'm doing this blog-post-a-day-for-30-days challenge, and I don't have time to crank out another one before midnight. Just go watch the clip again - it's Bill Murray in his prime.
Next time - HOBOES! (or maybe zombies)