Ever heard of the saying “be careful what you wish for and you just might get it”? I’m wondering who might be muttering those sentiments a few months from now. This damn election could actually force some folks down a road they weren’t exactly prepared for. Because moving forward requires pulling down some carefully constructed barriers. After all, isn’t tacking up a collection of fancy signs with fancy slogans demanding folks not to go that way a whole lot easier than actually making the road itself?
Let me back up a bit.
After unloading the kids from the car after baseball, after feeding them quick “before bed” bowls of cereal, stripping their muddy clothes off, and bathing them and after eventually shooing them to bed, I finally turned my attention to the election coverage.
My husband, who had spent his evening waiting in line at the polls to vote, was already watching the coverage. Things didn’t look good.
I’m not sure I feel like hashing out how badly Florida just screwed up. It makes me feel ill. And in this current state of mind, I have nothing very constructive to say about it all. So I will leave it to Deb on the Rocks, who said it clearly enough last night on Twitter.
And it certainly was not just Florida who lost its ever loving mind. The House lost it’s democratic majority and the Senate barely, baaarely, held on to theirs. Seats were filled with Tea Party newcomers and, I’m sorry but let’s get real, some shady cats.
And John Boehner wept with majority leader anticipation.
My husband fixed himself a stiff drink. I lept at the Halloween candy bowl. And then made myself a stiff drink. Sorrows were drowned if only momentarily.
But I kept thinking about John Stewart this weekend at the Rally for Sanity. (Because, shocker, I was grasping for a little sanity while those results ticked across the TV screen.) I kept thinking about his tunnel traffic analogy. How all of us with different ideals and hopes and religions and political persuasions manage to make our way through traffic jams every day.
“And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay—you go and then I’ll go.
And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst.
Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.”
Yes this country has decided they want change again. Sure, I could go on here about our impatient, disposable, drive-through society with no apparent attention span and a love for all things bright and shiny. And how if we don’t get what we want right NOW, we give up and move on to the next one.
I gather there is no convincing folks that after 8 years of outrageous screw-ups, 2 years of scrambling won’t make it all right again.
Anyway, so we want change again. Fine.
But sticking with Jon’s traffic analogy, there is no doubt that Obama has been up against one frustrating Republican road block after another. No, no, no. You will not make change happen. We will stop you. You are wrong. Always wrong. No we won’t compromise. Nothing constructive will happen under your watch. Never never never.
But now everything has changed. And those roadblocks? Those bright orange cones in the road and reflective signs and Jersey barriers demanding that this administration STOP!!! … Yeah, those? They have now been elected AS the road. Now, they have been elected to figure out which way we are going. They actually have to buck up and help find the path of least resistance WITH Obama. They need to push aside those Jersey barriers and flags and such so this nation might have some damn hope of inching forward. They have to learn to make room for YES, and OK, and LET’S COMPROMISE so that something, anything can progress. This is, in fact, where the rubber meets the road.
Strap on your seat belts, my friends. I’m afraid its going to be a very bumpy ride.