Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pleased as Punch but also Disheartened

After an interminable election cycle, my guy won yesterday. Historic, to be sure, and I am undeniably thrilled that Americans set aside their (yes, I'll say it) racism long enough to take an unprecedented chance on change that came in a package that wasn't entirely to everyone's liking.

But I am equally dismayed by the mean-spiritedness I've seen on both sides of the political spectrum, not just during the campaign, but now that the election is more or less a done-deal. And I'm not talking about the talking heads that I watched obsessively on cable all day and night yesterday. They exhibited a modicum of journalistic restraint during coverage of returns; I actually heard Karl Rove on Fox News express positive, if grudging, respect for Obama's accomplishment.

No, what saddens me is the attitude and behavior of 'regular people', the people I encounter in political discussions online, in forums for and against candidates, parties, and platforms. Name-calling, disparaging personal attacks, seemingly intentional misrepresentation of others' positions; it was bad enough during the campaign, but now that the contest has been called, it is still going on! Despite what I saw as an extremely gracious concession speech by McCain, I saw some of the least-graceful responses from supporters on both sides. And the booing and sour-grapes of the losing side wasn't the worst of it, in my opinion.

What disturbs me the most are the words I hear being spoken by people who backed the winning candidate. I participated in a chat room for supporters of Barack Obama last night, and after he was declared President-elect, I was chagrined by what I read. During McCain's concession speech gloating, derision for the crowd, and a general fuck-you-losers attitude prevailed. The crowd was referred to as "assholes" and "a bunch of fucking losers". One chatter said "I want to see her [Sarah Palin] cry"! Someone else claimed that "McCain hates America"; another participant actually wrote that "We turned evil back today". No matter how much I disagree with the policies put forth by the Republicans, I don't believe that they are evil, and at the very least I have no doubt that McCain does not hate America. What happened to being gracious winners???

I hope that everyone, everyone, on both sides, heed McCain's call to unity under the new POTUS.



  1. Note: The following is just my opinion, not trying to start more bad mouthing!

    I've always felt that Obama supporters are more vocal in their opposition of McCain than vice versa. Maybe it's because there are more Obama supporters? I don't know. But it was pretty upsetting for me last night to see what people were saying after McCain lost. It's like when your favorite sports team loses the championship game; you don't want to be heckled by the winners, you want to commiserate with your own fans.

    I think we can all get along with one another we just have to play nice, buckle down, and push on.

  2. Hey Velma (& others),

    I definitely agree. I thought McCain's speech was extremely authentic and heartfelt...and if he had talked as he did then throughout the election people might have seen him differently. You can plainly see that he loves America: period.
    I don't agree with his methods, but his intentions are in the right. And I was excited to see his call for unity after the speech- very well done.
    And I was surprised by the boo-ing within that crowd and others because neither Obama or McCain condoned such behavior. In fact, it goes against the heart of Barack's message - Hope & Belief: Yes we can. The 'we' is what we have to view ourselves as if America is going to get out of this debacle we are in.
    Anyhow, hope all is well with you.
    Ciao bella!

  3. Wow, I guess it's nice here in my bubble. I only heard people say they thought McCain's speech was heartfelt and gracious and that it reminded them of their previous perceptions of McCain (ie. before current campaign). That's the way I felt too - I thought: wow, this guy sounds very different from the McCain I've been seeing on the campaign trail and he's not as bad as I thought he was.

    I have heard a lot of bitter disappointment about prop 8 though and I fully share in that. Very sad about it.

  4. Politics is very ugly and brings up very raw emotions in all that participate. In our family (extended) we have both sides of the fence and even then, we can't discuss politics. We get upset and angry and very emotional. However, we have never gloated or rubbed anyone's noses in it. It's a matter of how you are raised and what you believe and that's all there is to it. I can't even begin to understand, like you Velma, why people would behave like this. What's the point?


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