The Republican Revolution 2010
I am prepared for election day.
This November 2 is set to be one of the most historic days in all of modern politics and I am ready. I have grown my hair out to my shoulders, looked into Grateful Dead tickets, and took a job waiting tables at a Tex-Mex joint. I’m going to live in a dorm room with a guy named Wrighteous, drink malt liquor out of 40 oz. bottles (hey, it’s cheap!), and argue about whether “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was the first evidence that the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a band full of sell-outs.
If that all seems a little off the charts for a married father of two with a mortgage, I can only offer this explanation: that’s what I did last time we saw such history in the making.
Oh, I’ll admit it. I’m a cynical bastard. I’ve grown numb, paranoid, and angry over the past two years. Unlike most of the real or manufactured anger in America today, I’ve simply–and quickly–given up. I got caught up in a wash of hope that one man could change a system. I’ve since discovered that the man who gave me hope is either unwilling or unable to work with his own party to achieve reasonable goals. And hence, my short run as an apoplectic true believer has come to an end. I am now able to take a fairly rational/cynical/bored look at our system of governance and accept that we–the people who rose up to elect a man who made us believe–aren’t much different from the head-stomping, witchcrafting, you-betcha-ing folks who are taking their turn to rise up and say, “We will not tolerate this…this year! We will fight this system…until such time that major oil and corporate interests stop funding our efforts!” (And you Tea Partiers don’t get yourself all in a tizzy…we neo-hippies and happy-go-lucky-fascists were probably duped in the same way two years ago at this time, so I don’t think I’m better’nyou).
Indeed, today will be what the 1994 Republican Revolution looked like, if, say, Stanley Kubrick were around to direct the remake. Most of the numbers people and pundits are calling for a Republican rout in the House that will do away with the two years of Democrats using their supermajority to do…well, I’m sure they did something that’s going to change my life, right? Right? In any case, watch television tonight if you want to see:
People smarter than I am have suggested that it’s wrong to look at political elections as part of a cyclical machine that eventually cycles through it’s Jimmy Carters, George Bushes, and Bill Clintons. These are people who spend their day in masturbatory glee, staring at copies of Roll Call, and just being happy there will be some new faces (because there are only so many times you can write the words “Nancy Pelosi” without wanting to chop off your own netherparts). Maybe I’m looking at it with a cynical, simple head, but it’s become clear to me that getting all engorged over elections is as much a distraction as watching American Idol. It’s like watching it rain in Missouri. It’s like dating in college. Just give it another season, another minute, another semester, and it will all come back around to something that you like. There is a reason our planet, our solar system, and our universe look like giant spheres and elipses. Everything circles back around eventually. If you’re a political numerologist, my suggestion would be to spend the rest of your time focusing on one number, because the one that looks like a circle is all you need to tell you the importance of today’s elections.
Yeah, I’m cranky. I have to leave my house for the sole purpose of voting against two people. This week, my country–the one that was once looking for huddled massess– refused to let my friend cross the border for a vacation. The man I supported for President two years ago has squandered the best opportunity my generation will see to change the U.S. for the better. All of this makes me look back at the me who two years ago on election day was sitting in a hotel bar in Costa Rica with some like-minded folks. We drank tequila and toasted a new America. We woke up with hangovers and naively assumed we were going home to a better place.
So, yeah, I’m angry. I’m angry that so little has changed. I’m angry that one the of the few things I hold dear–my hope–was used as currency. I’m angry that the past two years have been so badly mishandled that some (more) very, very horrible people are going to be elected on the votes of people for whom I have the least of respect. I’m just angry. And, yet, I take some hope in the fact that I have a chance to go back to my shoulder-length hair, my job at El Chico, and my spot on the lawn to see Jerry play one more time. Because, its just 1994, man. Somebody pick me up a forty of OE.
That is, I take some hope in the fact that it all doesn’t matter. The only things that change are the faces and the head-stomped people. And my haircut.
A word of advice to anyone who believes the vote today is going to make any difference: please recall what it was like back when Bill Clinton was President and Newt Gingrich’s crowd took over Congress. Recall the revolution. Recall the lasting historical significance of it. It falls under the heading of a word you might know if you spend a lot of time going nowhere in traffic: gridlock.
Meet the new boss, friends. You might recognize him.