Wednesday, November 14, 2012

About Last Week

Last Wednesday, 63-million of us Blue Americans were breathing long sighs of relief.  The race to the White House had been far too close for our comfort, and many of us spent several days pinching ourselves with delight over the final count. 

It was over.  Our guy would be sticking around to finish what he started. 

That morning-after last week, I decided my writing tone would be far too gleeful to be deemed responsible, so after sending a few texts and changing my Facebook background photo from FORWARD to fireworks and tweeting one or two poignant lines from the President's acceptance speech - I walked away from the 2012 election. 

I did not watch my beloved Daily Show.  I listened only to old Radiolab podcasts when I needed a dose of NPR.  I glanced only briefly at headlines before recycling the newspapers.

I was recovering from PESS - post-election stress syndrome.  The entire country is in the throes of it.  I'm not talking about the mouthy commentators on MSNBC/FOX - I'm talking about the 122,747,434 of us who cared enough to knock on doors, give money, attend rallies, make phone calls, wear buttons, post signs...and vote. 

Whichever candidate(s) you supported, I hope you are taking care of your politically weary soul in some way. For me, it is writing.

Not all my favorite people won last week.  A tirelessly passionate PhD education specialist and friend, Judy Jennings, was making her second run at Texas' infamously arrogant and ignorant State Board of Education.  She earned a respectable 41% of our super conservative district's vote, but she did not triumph over the Executive Director of the TX FFA Association.  How could she?

I met Judy years ago when we were candidates for different seats on our local school board.  She lost that election, too.  But Judy always stands back up, dusts herself off, and reminds herself she is a brilliant woman with a knack for understanding what works in public education and what doesn't. She doesn't seek elected office for the money (none of the positions she has sought are paid), for the notoriety, or to use it as a stepping stone to higher places.  Judy simply believes in the system enough to want to participate at a level that desperately needs her expertise.  She is my hero. And I hope she tries again. 

But she has got to be exhausted...perhaps a bit bitter.  There's a chance she's stopped to think about what she might have done with all that time and money if she hadn't spent it trying to make life better for teachers and students in Texas schools. 

And I figure that's how Mitt Romney feels too. 

Did you catch the compassionately funny way Saturday Night Live depicted post-election Mitt Romney last weekend?  I think it's worth watching, no matter what color you use to paint your politics. Surely we can celebrate good comedy writing together...


I absolutely believe my friend Judy would love a little time to learn how mayonnaise is made.

If you're not chuckling a little bit past the certainty that the future of the country is on the ropes because your guy lost last week, I leave you with the lovely truth that your blue friends (and your country) managed to muddle through a second George W. Bush term. 

And, if this whole piece has just brought on a fresh wave of PESS, I'll respectfully and quietly offer a quote from a wise guy who just became the 17th US President to be elected to a second term (!!): 
"These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty."
Peace, all.

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