Seeking joy and meaning in a joyless mind and meaningless existence

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why I'm Glad Obama Won

I am absolutely thrilled that President Obama won a second term! Unfortunately, a large part of that pleasure stems from some less than admirable areas of my lizard brain.

Four more years!!!
First a confession…I didn’t vote in the election. Having been called to jury duty last year, I assumed I was still on the election rolls from when I lived in Tennessee before. (I thought election rolls were the source of jury pools in every state.) By the time I actually looked into my status, it was too late for me to reinstate my eligibility.

I have a lot of latent guilt about voting anyway.  I know enough to know that it is a sacred duty and grave freedom that isn't to be taken lightly.  The problem is my flighty, neurotic personality makes it astounding that I am able to hold down a job and live independently, let alone be well-informed about all but the broadest issues.  I am particularly ill-informed when it comes to state and local issues, which can often be even more important than the national ones.  So I want to vote as an expression of a right hard won by patriotic blood, but I get annoyed with myself for not knowing more about the issues at hand.
When I lived in California, I enlisted the aid of a frighteningly well-informed and reasonably level-headed and like-minded friend to explain the issues and give background on the candidates.  Not ideal, but a better stewardship of democracy.

Taken Down a Notch

When I was living with my parents when I moved back to Memphis, every weekday evening we would have a salad together while my parents watch the O'Reilly Factor.  After a while, I could no longer join them for salad because I just couldn't stand it any longer.  Don't get me wrong...There are plenty of issues I agree with Bill O'Reilly about, and he's not a rubber-stamp conservative.  He thinks about each issue and examines it critically.

I just got so sick of talking heads!  Liberal or conservative, I just got tired of pundits and the endless blathering on both sides of the partisan divide.

But the main thing I detested, vis-à-vis this election, was the smugness!  I was fed up with the cocky way all of these people—the annoying Laura Ingraham, the dreadful Ann Coulter, the tedious Dick Morris, etc. and their undisputed king Bill O'Reilly—act as if they know everything about everything and that anyone who thinks, believes or even experiences life differently from them is a naïve fool who doesn’t know nothin’ from nothin’.

I realize that they still think that after the election. (And I certainly know that conservatives have no monopoly on snugness!)   But at least the dramatic re-election of Obama will dampen their enthusiasm and handicap their attitude that they’re prescient wizards with their finger on the pulse of the American people. They believe white, heterosexual middle-America epitomizes this nation, and they finally learned the true meaning of diversity.