It's finally, thankfully here.
As a million other blogs have already mentioned, today is election day and so it all begins.
I've been away from the internets for a little while now, as I've been avoiding most media ever since I sealed my ballot a few days ago. I didn't have a chance to turn it in until yesterday (where, to my suprise, I got an "I Voted" sticker! I totally wasn't expecting that!) but once it was in its envelope I was officially done-- with the constant shitty political ads, the constant debate, the constant white noise of "us against them" that has permeated our lives for far too long.
As today loomed closer, people both here and abroad became more and more crazy. We all started to resemble dogs, biting at eachother out of so many fears. Fear of the unkown and uncertain future. Fear of having to confront our own prejudices, both racial and otherwise. Fear of people in distant towns who seem to be against everything we stand for. Fear that the person standing in front of us in the grocery store might make a decision that could potentially take away our rights, our money, the very way of life we've become accustomed to. Fear of the oh-so-ominous "THEM" --the real americans, the city elitists, the republicans, the democrats, the millions of people that don't know us but probably hate us anyway.
Mostly though, I think the thing this country has feared the most is change. Don't get me wrong, we're craving it, wanting it so bad we can taste it. But deep down, most of us know that change in any form is a difficult, painful process. And, unfortunately, "change" is an incredibly ambiguous and open-ended word.
I'm not sure if it's cynicism or optimism, but ultimately I'm not afraid of the future. No matter who's elected, some things are going to change, but frankly, I think quite a few things are going to stay the same, in both a good and bad way. And after surviving one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen, not even John McCain and Sarah Palin can scare me, so tomorrow will not be the day to start moving to Canada, regardless of the outcome.
I keep remembering an old episode of Sports Night that centered around Napoleon's Battleplan. (Think Waterloo, not Dynamite.)
According to Aaron Sorkin, it consisted of this:
First, we show up.
Then, we see what happens.
I am not one of the super-passionate, one of the fervent and almost obssessive supporters this election seems to be spawning on both sides. I am simply someone who believes one candidate is more qualified and a better choice than the other. I have made that better choice. I have, in effect, shown up.
....so now all we can do is see what happens.