I’ve received many frightened tweets and over the top messages on Facebook about how President Obama is going to come in and take away people’s access to social media. Let me assure you that this will not happen. But let’s suppose it did, would we really be that much worse off? I mean, would it kill you to spend an extra hour with your kids or perhaps engage in a conversation as opposed to texting your way through a conversation? My guess is: no, but I think it’s a testament to our democratic principles that none of us will be forced to try. Taking away your social media privileges would achieve nothing politically and given how bat-shit crazy everyone goes every time the President makes a controversial decision my guess is that he wouldn’t waste political capital on something so meaningless. Remember when he wanted to try the 9/11 hijackers at a court near ground zero and how that quickly translated into the President somehow revoking the Constitution and instituting Shari’a law? Yeah, I remember how well that little experiment in more democracy worked out – I wouldn’t expect that kind of treatment again.
In the aftermath of the election both sides need to take a deep breath and settle down. Already I’m hearing my liberal friends get all hot and bothered about how they’re going to “hold the President accountable.” By doing what exactly? Going on the Ed Show? Liberals are the least effective protest group in the history of the world. Remember the Occupy movement? Yeah, some movement that was. It was stopped when the Mayor effectively said: “get off my lawn.” Way to hold their feet to the fire boys! The truth of the matter is that the country is more partisan than ever but also more connected than ever. I no longer have to wait until the holidays to hear my crazy Uncle’s political beliefs because he posts them all over Facebook where it is impossible to ignore them. More is not necessarily better, my friends. I was intrigued by a comment that someone said to me in the halls between classes yesterday:
“this is the greatest day ever,” he told me. “Halo 4 is sitting at home waiting for me to play it.”
This is what divides Americans right here: Halo. He thought this was a real joke and enjoyed telling everyone about it, but think about it for a minute; in ten or fifteen years who is going to be happier with the way they spent their time: the guy who stood in line at the voting booth or the guy who couldn’t be bothered to get off his couch and stop playing Halo long enough to vote early? When President Obama said we faced a choice in this election I don’t think that was the choice he had in mind. Still, I had other friends who took a better attitude. Daryl walked into class and announced:
“Man, I voted for President Obama five times already!” Good for him, right? No, a teacher actually sat there and tried to explain to him that he was the problem with American democracy. She tried to tell him that voter fraud was a serious issue and that he shouldn’t engage in it. Of course, if she had ever taken any time to get to know Daryl she would have known that Daryl is seldom, if ever serious about just about anything. But this is the problem with many in our country: they just can’t take a joke. You see, this joke was funny because Daryl is black. My teacher thinking that he was not only black, but serious attempted to call him out on it only to be looked at as a racist for the rest of the day (and possibly quite longer when you think about it.) All told: issues like voter ID didn’t do anything for anyone. They didn’t deliver states for Mitt Romney and they may have actually helped boost turnout among minorities. Perhaps the next time Republicans decide to fear monger the shit out of some worthless issue they’ll do so to the white man that way they can chip away at what remains of their ever shrinking base.
My favorite story from election day however comes from the conspiracy theorists and the Ron Paul supporters. I can’t tell you how many times I hear:
“I don’t know why you even bother, the election is rigged.”
I always sit back and let these people talk because not only do they think they have something insightful to say they believe that what they’re saying is going to change hearts and minds.
“I just want someone who is going to stand up and fight for less government,” one Ron Paul supporter told me.
Think about the incredible idiocy that it must take to hold that view. You want someone who is going to stand up and fight against government? You mean they’re employer? Who does this? Folks who vote for the protest candidates don’t have a real appreciation for democracy nor do they really care about the results. I’ve finally figured out that the Ron Paul voter and the non-voter are really the same person because wasting a vote like that is like whispering who you’re going to vote for in the dark when no one is listening. We don’t care that you’re wasting your opportunity to actually make a difference, we care that you’re making a fool out of yourself.
Some have said that they don’t believe that this election will benefit them personally and I must say that I’ve never really understood that point of view. If you have a job or even if you don’t, you had a stake in this election. If you’re a college student: the stakes couldn’t have been higher. If you want health care coverage but can’t afford it or couldn’t afford it because of a pre-existing condition, this election matters for you too. We like to pretend that certain things don’t matter in life to diminish their overall importance to us, but we do ourselves a disservice by doing this. America realized at some level last night just how invested it is in its’ leaders and they voted for people who will lead. That is no small accomplishment and it’s something that we should all take great pride in being a part of.