State of the Consternation
October 7, 2008

I'm terrified. I can't even remember a time I've been so terrified. Maybe September 11 when the last plane was in the air and the phone lines between Boston and D.C. were inoperative, and three of us forwent the T and walked all the way from downtown Boston to Cambridge, constantly looking up. Flinching at every shadow overhead.

I can't remember a time when I've been terrified about an election. The first presidential election I voted in -- Clinton 1992 -- washed over me. I was a college freshman. I heard Clinton speak at Rackham Library in Ann Arbor, but it was from a great, great distance, which is exactly how I felt. Politics and the problems of the country were so far removed from me. I was worried about classes and grades. I was dealing with eating disorder roommates and some new liquid called "beer."

The 2000 election was a disaster and I knew it. I was old enough and aware enough and making enough of my own money to know: this was very, very bad. Four years later, I was sanguine. I was calm. Zogby said Kerry was going to win, and I was wise enough to be beyond relieved. But I was stupid enough to believe it.

I don't believe the polls now. I don't believe the numbers that tell me to chill out about the future of unborn children. Of my friends. Of me and my family.

I watch the debates and I see a woman who very much believes she can get by with a wink and a smile. Who thinks that colloquialisms and "doncha know" and flapping her manicured nails at "all you down in Washington" will lull the country into believing she has a single shred of credibility even when she can't answer a single question Gwen Ifill puts to her.

I don't know when I grew up and started to care so passionately, so indigestively about politics, but I do know that I care now and I'm terrified. I once respected McCain. I used to shrug that if McCain was president, it wouldn't be all bad. Like Jon Stewart, I believed that were McCain and Obama to run for president, it would be the "tonic this country needs."

Sarah Palin is not part of that tonic. If anything, she's an emetic.

Her fixed, Vaseline-d beauty queen smile that never slips -- even when she's talking about genocide -- is insulting and condescending to all woman. She uses it to teeth at us, "I'm just like you. I'm just a mom, wanting to change things with those white men in Washington." I don't want "just a mom," I want someone who knows what she's doing, and Sarah Palin has yet to convince me she knows something about anything other than artifice and dodging the press as overtly as she dodged debate questions.

Because she has a multi-used uterus, I'm supposed to feel some kinship? Faugh. Get back to me when she, along with McCain, aren't feeding the American machine of racism that is baying for Obama's blood. McCain and Palin -- both of them -- are using Obama's color and reveling in the rampant racism that still lurks in this "great country of ours" to win an election in 200-fricking-8!

If anything happens to Obama in the course of this election, I will hold McCain and Palin directly responsible.

So, yeah, I used to respect McCain. I was close to calling myself a "McCain Democrat." Now he just makes me sick.

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