Surprising myself, I haven’t followed this election particularly closely. I was very intense about 2000 and 2004, a little less about 2008 but still really into it. This time around, I’ve kept my distance. Only watched one of the debates. Have checked explicitly political blogs only every few days, until maybe last week when I started checking in a little more often.

For me, the 2004 experience was awful. Here was such a demonstrably bad president, getting re-elected because, I don’t know, 9/11 and reporters who didn’t like Kerry? I suspect some of my relative lack of concern this year is just nihilism. It helps that I don’t think Obama has been a particularly good president, and he’s done some stuff that I consider reprehensible. Yes, I held my nose and voted for him, but I admit that some thanatotic urge in me would be satisfied if he lost.

Part of my relative calm, though, I would attribute to optimism. Politics is more than just the presidential vote, more than any vote. I think our problems are too big to find adequate solutions in mere “normal” electoral politics (although elections are an important part of what can lead to the changes we need). And I hope this recognition is dawning on more and more people, and slowly a new Left is emerging that is equipping itself to deal with current realities. This will continue regardless of who wins today.

Of course another part of my nonchalance is the predictions of Nate Silver, America’s Nerd Boyfriend.

Anyway, I’m going to a nerd election-watching party with law students and am totally bringing my laptop so I can refresh data streams? You all have plans? Maybe we should make predictions about what time the election will be called? I’ll take 2:30 a.m. Eastern.

4 responses to “Suspense”

  1. ssw says:

    Ah Dave, It wouldn’t seem like solid election coverage without hearing what you have to say about it. Thanks for posting this, despite your nihilism. What is that anyway? It sounds dangerous and catching. Where do you go for updates about what’s happening? I Need some online go-tos…

  2. Dave says:

    Let me be the first to point out how wrong my time prediction was. We re-elected a war criminal, but at least he’s our war criminal. We dodged a bullet. Now, much more work to be done.

  3. FPS says:

    Ha, a friend asked for three-word reactions on fb and mine was “dodged a bullet.”

    I just saw that you posted this. I was supposed to do social things, but…well, I got a headache, but I also just suddenly felt like sitting at home with the tv and the internet. It was still social. It lacked only the swell of energy you get in a crowd with each little piece of good news. That was what was so memorable in 2008, in an Irish bar in midtown. But…this was a different election. One had far more complicated feelings. I voted without really feeling like I was holding my nose because the alternative was so repellent in so many ways but…yeah, let’s hope a lot of things change.

    Anyway I wouldn’t have felt quite the same as last time. Last time people were literally dancing in the streets. I saw a black guy running down the street yelling into his cell phone “we have a black president!” It brings tears to my eyes, truly, to think of the optimism that was in the air.

    Maybe he’ll fix some of the worst shit this time around. Drone strikes, indefinite detentions. Likely not, but…

  4. ssw says:

    Romney’s concession speech felt SO mormon. Maybe I can’t help but hear that in his tone. I’m just glad it was him losing. whew.