Monday, October 20, 2008

November Fifth

You will wake early with a slight headache. Your eyes will be sore, you will remember tearing up. There is a bottle of champagne still corked in the refrigerator, party food only half eaten. Everyone left surprisingly early, discouraged and demoralized.

How did it all go so terribly wrong, is the first thought that passes through your mind. How could things have slipped so far out of our grasp? The polls were so positive, the wind was at our backs, the sails were full, etc etc. All the leading economic indicators were plainly working against the incumbent party.

And yet, deep down, you had known all along, known that the higher the polls went, the more certain an upset victory became. There was literally no way to win - it wasn't that the system was rigged, or that there weren't enough voters, or the voluntary registration system was an inefficient joke designed solely to disenfranchise, it was all the above. Ultimately, it didn't matter, because there was only one party people trusted to rule, even if they didn't know how. The insurgent always lost, because everyone likes a winner.

And when everyone else had courted euphoria, predicting a landslide above and beyond all conservative expectations, you had stayed back, afraid that the opposition was merely hiding in wait, playing the part of the wounded animal as a means of lulling the enemy into a false sense of security. It didn't matter by how much we had outspent them, or how confident tracking polls had been - the result was the same as if we had stayed home. We didn't win. We would never win.

No comments :