Categorized | Letters

Election 2004: Thanks for the Memories

They interrupted our lives to bring us ten months of political banter, empty promises and the same old talking points. But, in less than a week, it will all be over, barring another Supreme Court decision. (This means you, Florida.)
In less than a week, I can again talk to my conservative friends without feeling the urge to refute everything they say, even if we’re just chatting about the weather. In less than a week, my stomach can start to untangle itself, and the ball of anxiety can dislodge from the back of my throat.
[Traci] Not that I haven’t enjoyed the media circus that has existed if only for its own entertainment over the last ten months. Led by ringleaders Dan Rather and Bill O’Reilly, the media proved to us it can’t balance facts on its brown nose if those facts were stuck on with super glue made of truth. It was fun for a while to guess the bias and political partisanship of the fair and balanced news conglomerates, but soon it became too easy. At the beginning, it was amusing to see the same talking point being mouthed by talking heads—then it just made me sad.
And, of course, I’ll miss all the attention our generation received for our elusive “youth vote.” I know that once the election passes, we’ll once again be those low-life slackers with their loud music, but for ten months, we were gods. But, even though, I love being pandered to as much as the next guy, once my life was threatened by an uninspired hip-hop wash up, I stopped listening. I’m ready to be taken seriously, not be seriously taken by insincere, ineffective, and downright annoying ad campaigns telling me to vote or die.
But, most of all, I’ll miss the name-calling, the personal attacks and the catfights. The dinner table will be awkwardly silent without them.
Death threats and family politics aside, looking back, it’s been a fun ten months. We got to know two men, a senator and a cowboy, better than we know our own parents. We’ve watched them run across the country like chickens with their heads cut off, kissing executives and shaking babies. We’ve seen them on Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Good Morning America, where they’ve shared everything but their sexual fantasies with us. Thank God.
We laughed at the other guy’s mistakes and cried at our guy’s follies. We learned more about the Vietnam War than we ever needed, or wanted, to know. We smiled when Jon Stewart called Tucker Carlson a dick on “Crossfire”, even though most of us didn’t know who Tucker Carlson was before Stewart wiped that bowtied smirk off his face. We frowned when Bill O’Reilly called the Daily Show viewers “stoned slackers.” And we were just plain confused when Zell Miller showed up at the Republican Convention, and then challenged Chris Matthews from “Hardball” to a duel.
After Tuesday’s vote, things may go back to normal. Flip-flops will once again refer to footwear only worn in summer. Evil and terr (otherwise known as terror) will be the only “opponent” our president, who ever it is, will be attacking. And Fox News will once again be fair and balanced. (Pause for laughter.)
But, we will always remember the year of 2004 as the “most important election…ever.” Democrats, Republicans, and Naderites alike can all look back fondly and say “We survived.”
And now, back to our regularly scheduled lives.

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