Tuesday, November 11, 2008
As usual, The Onion demonstrates that satire is separated from truth by the thinnest and most permeable of membranes (if this isn't prescience, I don't know what is). I do indeed find myself re-entering the world of the living, tentatively, warily, toesomely testing the waters, if somewhat less pathetically than in the above video. My obsessive reading and re-reading of my favorite political blogs, while not entirely absent from my life, is more resistable; in fact, I sense less energy in them as well. Mine, too, for that matter.
I still want news; I'm still most interested in how the transition will unfold, whom the President-elect will pick for what positions. I look forward to his inaugural speech, and I anticipate with some anxiety the first few months of actual governing. I don't want to be disappointed in my belief that he'll be a pragmatist, searching for the best solutions from the best people, catering not too much to any political faction.
Mainly, though, for now there's a tremendous sense of relief, manifested in a certain lightness of foot. Ever take a long hike with a heavy backpack? Know that amazing feeling of lightness when you put it down, a literal feeling that you could float away? I guess it's sorta like that: as one who found the Bush presidency nearly unrelentingly leaden in its incompetence and disregard for the law and for reason and for us, there's a giddy joy in contemplating a government run by unapologetically smart and informed people. I don't deny that my glasses are erubescent: still, it's only the most partisan of dead-enders who could deny the difference in style and substance when listening to Obama speak, compared to his predecessor. How welcome, the sense of leaning forward to hear, as opposed to reaching to switch if off.
Are my expectations too high? No doubt they are, fueled by a longing to see things set right, and by the simple pleasure of feeling positive for a change. But I cling to the belief that if enough people demand it, our lawmakers might actually be forced, in numbers large enough to carry it off, to look beyond self and party. In this election, I sense the desire. It could happen. Couldn't it?