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Postscript: Election 2012

Before I return to my usual schtick of hating on celebrities I’ll never meet, I’d like to say a brief word about last week’s presidential election. I know. I should leave well enough alone. It is, in fact, all over. After all, most of us are recovering–or experiencing withdrawal–from a presidential campaign high that lasted way too long and at some point became the cultural equivalent of a six-year-old’s stomach after two chili dogs and a stint in a bouncey house. Even those of use who had decided to “Just Say No” were affected. 

Although it probably should be, this post isn’t a small shout out to all the folks who read last week’s post. I appreciate the feedback–positive and negative–because it means (hopefully) that you took the time to read. Even though I probably deserve to be called a hater, this post also isn’t about the fact that President Obama gave the okay for Yemen to be bombed mere hours after practically every one I knew and six degrees from me seemed so elated about. They feel that by re-electing Romney we dodged a bullet; that remains to be seen. What I do know is that some brown folks still haven’t successfully dodged drones. But this post isn’t about that either. I will keep quiet about Rather, it’s about Florida.

As many are aware, Florida wasn’t officially declared a blue state until Saturday. Four days after the election. In the interim, I read many Twitter messages and Facebook pages deriding the state, telling the officials in charge to quit trippin’ because the election was over and Obama had won. There were even suggestions that equated vote counting in Florida with the stages of grief the GOP was experiencing that many were laughing at. Maybe I should just ignore the social media water cooler talk, but this scoffing at Florida seemed really misplaced. Perhaps some of us should rethink that position, especially when some of those same folks were encouraging voters in Florida to stay in line because their vote was so immensely important to the political process and a race we were too nervous to be smug about before the votes were in.

More importantly, I think if pressed paused on shaking our heads at Florida, maybe we’d consider the idea that experts were able to declare a winner without word from a state that heretofore was so crucial and worthy of our collective attention. Moreover, perhaps we’d consider the fact that we engage in a political process where, frankly, some votes are more important than others based on geography alone. This is why I didn’t bother voting–again–for a third party candidate. The two-party system and the Electoral College render that effort individually symbolic and self-satisfying. In fact, it was this same Florida twelve years ago that was part of the reason folks claimed they were moving to Canada in the first place. (Sidenote: Has anyone ever done a documentary on Americans who actually moved to Canada? I’d like to hear from them.) So, maybe instead of being so haughty about the present because things went the way many wanted them to, we reconsider the past and use it to prepare for a future where every vote no matter the state actually, consistently means something. Just a thought.