Saturday, October 18, 2008


If Barack Obama wins a decisive victory, I'm really going to have to ask myself whether I should continue blogging. Not because there won't still be plenty of horrors and outrages to blog about, but because it will be confirmation of something I've suspected in recent weeks: that I really don't understand this country anymore.

Stupidity I understand. Proud, pugnacious ignorance I understand. I understand people who think Barack Obama is a crypto-Muslim Antichrist whose mission is to replace the current U.S. government with a socialist dictatorship. People like that have been the leading citizens of my country for as long as I can remember.

What I'm having trouble understanding is that America might have evolved into a country in which this sort of stupidity and ignorance doesn't prevail, in which John McCain's robocalls and scare ads don't work, in which the likes of Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber can't fool 50% plus one of the people all of the time.

Maybe it's just a temporary condition -- maybe there's just a huge chunk of voters in the middle who are like the ones in that now-famous focus group of Reagan Democrats and independents who watched a brutally negative ad about Obama and believed it, but didn't care because they simply despise Bush and the GOP right now. Maybe in six months we'll be back in the country I remember, the one that fell for "Kerry looks French!" and "Ha ha ha, Dukakis in a tank!"

But if not, then what's going on is brand new, and I don't think I'm equipped to understand it.

I think Obama wins it by no more than 2 or 3, with fewer than 300 electoral votes. He wins Virginia, but he loses Ohio and Nevada and probably Florida. And since McCain's people are Rove on crack, we'll get howls of "Election fraud!" all day, with challenges to follow if there's even a bare mathematical possibility that those challenges, if successful, can win the election for McCain -- forget the nonsense about TV having to figure out what to broadcast all night because Obama clinches a victory so early.

Maybe that's just me not seeing the outlines of the new world. But I can't get myself to believe that old world is really dead.

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