Wednesday, November 05, 2008

There Is Indeed Honor In Defeat

Well, I was wrong about some things. I thought the Obama bubble had burst. Maybe it did, but clearly, what remained was so permeated that it carried him all the way through to Election Day.

But I am truly sad. I have been a backer of John McCain since 2000. For eight long years, I've been steadfast in my support for McCain, never wavering once. Even on his positions such as gay marriage and abortion, I have stuck by the Senator in tough times. I drove all the way up north in January to cast my ballot in futility, knowing this state would probably go for Mitt Romney in the GOP Primary.

For whatever reason, I logged into my facebook account tonight to check people's status, and found all but a handful were elated for the victory of Barack Obama. I thought about posting something to counter their joy, but what would it have done? Make me look like the villain, no doubt. Besides, everyone goes through life with at least one of their McGoverns or Goldwaters. Tonight, McCain is my Goldwater.

As I drove down to Frenchie's in Ypsilanti to watch the returns with some political science professors of mine, I was fortunate enough to sit with Dr. Richard Stahler-Sholk, my Comparative Politics prof. I had asked him if this time around he voted strategically and he said he did because "we needed to get the Republicans out of there." He was an avowed Ralph Nader supporter back in 2000 and 2004, but it didn't surprise me that this time around he wouldn't take any chances.

It was unfortunate that I couldn't follow the election this time around like I had last time, despite my enthusiasm for McCain. I am no longer in college, and I don't interact with poli sci people on a regular basis like I did just two years ago. The turnout at Frenchie's was depressingly low, just as it was in 2004. In 2000, before I was a regular face in the Political Science Department at EMU, I went to the election party at the Tower Inn, and watched with everyone as the election returns came in. That night helped propel me to concentrate my studies more in Political Science than history, as I felt the poli sci profs were more interesting and students had a better sense of humor.

In one month I lose my cat and McCain loses his bid for the White House. Both are devastating, yet, I saw both coming. The shock may have been quelled by that fact. But the depression will ruminate for a little longer until probably after January once Obama is sworn in. In the meantime, I'll be reliving this day when the Electoral College meets to elect Obama, and then when the House and Senate certify the results. All culminates in 75 days when Obama is sworn in as president on January 21.

I listen to McCain exit the campaign with grace tonight. He thanked his family, his fellow supporters, and Sarah Palin. He reminded us as candidates have before, what a tremendous burden the campaign is on their families. He urged all his supporters to get behind President-elect Obama and left it at that. I'm left thinking the good guys fought the good fight, and once again, lost.

I can't help but think, after all this, that all pundits and activists owe McCain a collective apology for all the stupid articles and books written about him and once and for all repudiate comments that compare him to Bush. It's only the right thing to do, which is why I'm not counting on them to do it.

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