Ahhhh, election night. I’ve been home roughly an hour now and I’m a glass in and I just want to listen to Sleigh Bells because it’s simple and dirty and distorted and I kind of just want to bob my head along to a beat right now. I have to keep the volume at a reasonable level, I suppose, because I am no longer the only person in my house. I kind of love that. I feel like I’m getting away with something. There are cats perched around me, just trying to be within reach of me. They are my sitting, slit-eyed sentinels, constantly eying my lap for an in. Just now we all heard a bump in the night outside and they sat up with those crazed owl ears, blinking slowly and contemplating the best way of ignoring whatever it is out there so they can get back to their snoozing.
It’s nearing 2:30 a.m. and I feel wired in the head and shot in the body. Election night does that to a person. I came in to work clutching a venti coffee and I finished off my night with a cup of the black stuff. We won’t even really talk about the unholy amount of assorted leftover Halloween candy the design desk consumed out of a plastic bag. That shit was so unexpected that even reporters were coming over to get handfuls. “You gotta protect your sources!” I told them when they said others were asking where the sweets came from.
Tennessee took a hard turn to the right tonight, it seems. Meh. I find myself unable to get too worked up over it. Steve Cohen still kicked major ass in my district, yay, but as for the rest of the state, well, not too many of my beloved home state’s Democrats have ever really acted like bona fide Democrats, so I’m trying to figure out how a Republican majority will be all that much different. (I am not daring you to show me just how fucked up you can make things, Universe, so calm down.)
As for the country, well, hell. The pendulum is going to swing. I remember the palpable relief I felt on election night in 2008 when Obama had edged out McCain and his wide-eyed, Bumpit-befitted sidekick Palin. It was as if a wave of pragmatic reasonableness had overtaken voters, and I felt comfortable and happy and hopeful. And yet half of the country started buying up ammo because they thought it was the End Times. Fuuuuck.
I’m sad that what I saw as an optimistic, progressive push didn’t last longer but I’d be naive if I believed that this whole system didn’t take a one-step-forward-two-steps-back formation on purpose. It is what it is. What it is sucks, yes, and needs tweaking. I don’t for a second believe that the main thrust behind the tea party is legitimately grassroots or anchored in small-government libertarianism. I’m embarrassed for tea-party supporters who think that their freshman representatives are going to do anything but be steamrolled by congressional Republicans into towing the GOP line. Perhaps it’s somewhat akin to the way I secretly believed Obama would shake the haters off and rule unapologetically progressively without even pantomiming the cross-aisle reach that always inevitably led to Republican loogies being aimed at Democrat eyes. We all know how that turned out. I find myself wishing he was more of an asshole and less of a diplomat. What a country.
God, I’m so sick of politics. But I’m never going to be free of those toxins, I suppose, because I can’t just ever not care. In work or leisure.