Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is that all there is?

I got used to it, like waiting for the Monday night football game. It became a centerpiece of activity in my home. We would gather round the tv set, rooting for our favorite, shouting and screaming when things were not going our way, often shaking our collective heads that what was being portrayed on the screen had no touch with the reality of the day. It seemed like the longest running show in town, and it has no more episodes to run. The debates are over.

How will I fill the vacuum? From what seems like the beginning of creation until last night, we have been given an endless barrage of comments, replies and retorts. We have seen the candidates on the defensive and on the offensive. We have heard completely offensive statements, and been subjected to statements that could not be defended. We have listened with disdain to distortions, and half-truths. We have been overwhelmed by the candidate of our choice and underwhelmed by everything said by "the other" one. We have fallen in love with everything good and right in our champion, and have wondered, often loudly, how anyone in their right mind could possibly consider a vote for the unworthy opposition.

We got a brief glimpse of the fringe players in each party. We heard the rhetoric repeated ad nauseum. We left some of the participants in the dust ( Rudy Guiliani, what were you thinking?) and others wondering how everything got away. John McCain was pronounced dead early on, and is still standing, though he seems about to fall over at some points these days. Barack Obama took on the Clinton organization and steamrolled them into submission. We have seen what seems like a 100 round prizefight or a Tour de France that lasted for almost 2 years. Can there be anything left to say in the brains of the candidates that has not been said 10,000 times already?

What remains is the inescapable conclusion that almost everything discussed carries little or no relevance today. Like the poster that portrays New York City at the center of the universe, and the rest of the world having virtually no significance, the ECONOMY has now overwhelmed all other issues. We are shaken to our core and want to know only who got us into this mess, and how do we get out of it. The Democrats ( and most of the country) believe that the Republican mis-administration has led us into this nightmare. John McCain can only try to disassociate himself from the party that has put him into a leadership position for the last 26 years. His attempts to create a chasm between the economic crisis and his part in its occurrence, have largely been unsuccessful.

To tell you the truth, my head is spinning from everything that is going on these days. Like almost everyone else, I am walking around in a daze, unable to fathom what is happening. In less than 3 weeks, with the millions of words that each candidate has spoken over the course of 2007 and 2008 floating somewhere in the universe, we will pull the levers and wait for the outcome. Like people standing over a slot machine, we will stare intently to see if we have chosen a winner. Let us hope for all our sakes that the answer is a resounding yes.

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