As I noted below, we’re almost there in this election cycle; almost there in that this time tomorrow polls will be getting ready to open for real, and this time on Wednesday we might know how things turned out.
I thought about writing some perspective on this election from the point of view of an observer who is, as I describe myself, just a guy who tries to get through life without bumping into the furniture. I don’t have any degrees in political science, I don’t know much about algorithms, and I know even less about the arts and sciences of reading the trends in polling and punditry. But I’ve been around long enough to know that we’ve reached a stage in our country where some of the things we take for granted are no longer just things we take for granted. Some are bad trends; I thought we settled the question about voting rights for all people almost fifty years ago, and I thought we dealt with questions about access to birth control even longer ago than that. But there are some good trends, too. Twenty years ago the idea of same-sex marriage was radical; now it’s the law in six states and stands a good chance of passing in a few more. More and more people are becoming aware of their role in the process, too. If the 400 people I saw standing patiently in the pre-dawn darkness Saturday morning waiting to vote is any indication, voter apathy is losing.
And we are about to decide whether or not the election of a black man was just a one-time thing; a revulsion against an incompetent and misguided administration, or an actual course correction in America’s journey.
We’ll know in forty-eight hours, but as for me, ever the optimistic cynic, I am cautiously hopeful. What more do you want?
As is ever the case, Charlie Pierce sums it up with a report from an Obama rally up the road from here in Hollywood, Florida.
There will not be many more of these. There are three more days, and then Fired Up and Ready To Go will join All The Way With LBJ and I Like Ike as ancient prayers. If he loses, there will be a powerful movement to render him, and these rallies, as footnotes. If he wins, he will be president again, and it will be a dusty, grinding job for as long as the calendar allows him to do it. At the end, with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” pouring out of the speakers, he turned from the podium and, just for one second, he did a little dance step. And then you could see the discipline reassert itself again. Ever since he came upon the scene, he has been a candidate who has had to rein himself in, someone who could sing Al Green, but just a line, someone who can dance, in front of an adoring crowd, but just one step, and then gone again. On the press riser, his senior staff was watching him do it, and they all smiled, and the sunset fell across their faces.