November 3rd. Oh, thank God.
Finally, finally, finally it is Election Day. People in battleground districts and states (such as the NY 23rd, NYC itself, New Jersey, and my own Commonwealth of Virginia) will see the last of the attack ads and the self-promoting bullhonkery run by the candidates themselves. But perhaps I am just tired. I’m usually tired, these days. The point is, it’s time to vote. I’m not registered in Williamsburg because I wanted to vote on my home county’s local referenda, but I have already voted absentee. I’ve participated in delicious democracy – and as my old US Government teacher says, “If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain.” (Obviously this excludes the underage, etc. They can complain all they want – goodness knows I did. But now I can use my voice for something other than shouting to the indifferent night.)
I’m looking forward to learning the results of the elections (while scrupulously avoiding my Twitter feed and the partisan bullets flying thereabouts at…yes, at ten in the morning with premature numbers showing one candidate trumping the other in a massive pissing contest). I’m going to get my news the old-fashioned way: From the teevee, like someone stuck in the 1990s.
And I mean the proper six o’clock evening news, nothing partisan. I’m staying away from pundits. You could say I’m detoxing. I just want the facts today, thank you – no spin cycle necessary. I’m enough of a grown-up to have my own opinion and not need one spoon-fed to me.
You see, what I really can’t wait for is the end of the news cycle about all this. Mostly I’m waiting for the end of the 24-hour pontificating about whether or not this is a referendum on Obama’s performance as President so far. The theory, when used as a generalization, is patently absurd.
Let’s look at this through sodas. We have Sprite, owned by the Coca-Cola Company, and Sierra Mist, owned by PepsiCo. If we see the buying patterns of consumers and see that, say, Sierra Mist has more bottles or cans sold for a particular day than Sprite, the conclusion to jump to is not that America is tired of the Coca-Cola Company, that this is a referendum on Coke’s popularity and the popularity of all Coke products. (New Coke is, for obvious reasons, excluded from this model. New Coke is the Rod Blagojevich of sodas. Ditto Crystal Pepsi, which is…I don’t know, David Vitter.) Sure, there’s going to be some people who just hate the Coca-Cola Company and all that it stands for, and will buy PepsiCo products just because they’re not Coke. There will also always be those who buy Coke just because it’s not Pepsi. And then there are the people who just plain hate soda and don’t buy it. But to generalize and say that everybody who buys Sierra Mist rather than Sprite is giving the finger to the Coca-Cola Company is really, really stupid.
Personally, I do hope Democrats don’t jump ship just because of perceived disapproval of the President. That’d just be cutting off their nose to Sprite their face.