2012. It’s a year that has long been cause for concern. Did the Mayans correctly predict the world would end in December, or did they just run out of calendar space? How many disaster movies do we have to sit through to find out? Is this going to be the year of doom or the year Katie Holmes outsmarts Tom Cruise? And, where does the 2012 election fit into all this?
As an observer of politics, I cannot help but notice that this election is a cause for concern. For quite some time now, politicians have been telling me that this election is a “stark choice.” As if that isn’t enough pressure, I have heard pundits say a vote for Obama is a vote for socialism, while others say a vote for Romney is a vote for satan. Seriously — somebody actually said that. Sure, the unemployment remains stubbornly high, the panic and passion surrounding Obamacare shows no signs of dissipating and the state of California is embracing bankruptcy like it’s a day at the beach. But is this election supposed to give me heartburn?
Adding to the general unease is the sense that my miserable finances as a student seem to be in better shape than Obama’s re-election campaign. At least that’s the impression I get from all the emails they keep sending me asking for money. I wouldn’t mind helping out, but attending a $35,000 a plate dinner is not an option. (Although, I am thinking of holding a similar dinner to raise funds to pay off my student loan debt. It will only take one plate.)
So is there anything fun about the 2012 election? If you have been as unnerved by this election as I have, well, there is hope. You too can learn to love this campaign season.
After all, consider the alternative. We still have a democracy. The presidency is not being handed down from a ruler to a son. I’m not referring to a dictatorship. I am referring to what would happen if Trump was ever elected president. So, take solace in the beauty of democracy. Mitt Romney can be elected or defeated. President Obama can be elected or defeated. The exception to this rule is Nancy Pelosi. Nancy is forever.
The grind of the campaign will shed some light on the candidates’ personalities. The old question about who would you rather have a beer with is pretty clear cut, because Mitt Romney doesn’t drink beer. Still, it will be interesting to watch the candidates evolve. I predict the most stubborn thing about Romney will be his hair.
Certainly the most entertaining aspect of this election season will be the vice presidents. Joe Biden will continue to embarrass Obama like a date who has had too much to drink at a party. In fact, if Biden’s teeth get any whiter Obama may use them for White House solar panels. Romney’s pick is still a mystery. Will it be the charismatic Marco Rubio, or will Mitt Romney pick someone more boring than he is? And, just who exactly would that be?
The race is tied. The candidates are running at full speed. Are you worried? Don’t be. Learn to love the mess that is democracy. The debates, the commercials, the super Pacs, the emails begging for donations — this is what our forefathers intended, no doubt. It’s better than that other stark choice — the Mayan calendar.
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