Although I believe these elections are a sham and a not very humorous joke – I will admit that I went to bed last night feeling rather sickened at the possibility of waking up to a President Romney this morning. 


There’s really only a hair’s width of difference between Mitt and Barack on most major policy issues – although there is a larger fissure on social ones – which are very important to me.  Besides, much as I retain a feeling of contempt for both men, Obama as a human being is far less repugnant to me than Romney.  I’m not sure why exactly, but it’s how I react viscerally.  And so, on seeing the election results this morning, I was marginally relieved.


This in turn got me to thinking of gratitude.  And as this stupid, obscenely expensive, duplicitous and shallow exercise in democracy comes to a close – these are the things I am grateful for:


—-  I don’t have to stomach the repulsiveness of watching Republicans gloat.  I don’t know what it is about these sexually repressed, pasty-faced, white people that so repels me – but I’m always cheered when they’re unhappy.  It’s reflexive, like breathing.  Besides, Mitt and Anne’s smiling faces are scary enough – I’d hate to see their gloating ones.


—-  I no longer (Please god!) have to hear the news hosts on MSNBC refer toRockefellerCenteras –DemocracyPlaza.  How they are able to say this without gagging shows the depths of their complete corporate sell-out.


—-  That Elizabeth Warren – a true liberal (rarer than a dinosaur these days) was elected Senator fromMassachusetts.


—-  Robo Calls!  Last Saturday I went toMassachusettsfor the night.  When I got home on Sunday, there were 8 messages on my answering machine – an unprecedented phenomenon.  For a moment I felt really popular.  Then I played them, and they were all political messages. 


—-  No longer will I have to read or hear well-intentioned, but essentially gullible people enthusiastically ordering me to vote.  Not asking me, or suggesting it, mind you – but more like an imperative.  They are the cheerleaders extraordinaire – put on this earth to inspire the lazy, the apathetic, the uninformed, that they MUST vote.  There’s something slightly bordering on the lunatic about it all to me.  Do that many people really need this kind of persistent encouragement?  I don’t even seriously mind those who have a more balanced approach to the whole thing – who are clear-eyed about politics and Obama and the Democrats, but might still feel it’s important for me to cast my ballot for Obama.  But those people are the minority.  The majority are doe-eyed and nearly worshipful.  And that gets under my skin.  Yeah…yeah…yeah…  I know – there was voter suppression and a lot of issues like women’s and gay rights – and a couple of other reasons that would suggest voting might be especially vital (once again).  But this kind of screeching about it?  I don’t know…maybe it’s just me, but I find it annoying – and I’m so grateful it’s over.


—-  I don’t have to see celebrities coming out for Obama and telling us why we need to vote for him again.  A lot of these musicians and actors are people whose work I love.  But there’s something about it all that rubs me the wrong way.  Obama and the famous, hugging each other – just one big happy club of money, privilege and success, telling all us working folk what we need to do.  This has always bugged me a bit – even in 2008 when I was more hopefully on the Obama bandwagon.  But to be clear, it may do some good for the lesser of two evils side, and that’s all fine and dandy.  Nevertheless, it irritates me, so I’m happy they’re off the campaign stump.


Sometimes it’s hard to find anything to be positive about in the mire of our corporately controlled country and the corrupt government that they purchase.  But – if you try hard enough, as I obviously do – there’s always a ray of sunshine somewhere – you just have to open your eyes and look.

Kate Flannery

Kate Flannery