Sunday, November 07, 2004

Everything worth living for

Suffering from post-election depression would be the flip side of heavy emotional investment in the outcome. I'm not sure I understand why. Looking back at what I wrote about this year's election at home, I had an awful lot of faith in the Tories throughout June, and was, of course, horribly disappointed. In retrospect, I am mildly embarrassed by this passage: It still kills me, though. The Liberals and Conservatives aren't that substantially different. Canada had the opportunity to throw out a corrupt and arrogant pack of liars, and chose instead to be frightened by obvious propaganda. It's sick. I think I need to accelerate my plans to get out of here... It's hyperbole. It's not-particularly-well-reasoned hyperbole. It's petty, and angry, and unfair. Granted, I still don't like the Liberal Party, and still plan to emigrate as soon as is feasible, but those were both pre-existing factors. Spiteful, hopeless anger fades after a few days. If Bush had lost the election, I'd be even more crushed than I was when Stephen Harper failed (and greatly fear for the future security of America and the West at large), but I like to think I'd still get over it. For most of the week prior to the election, I actually was expecting a slim Kerry victory, but while I was mildly gloomy about the prospect, I would certainly have been able to get over it. Why? The difference between any two major candidates isn't so large that one or the other would be entirely unacceptable. We live in a society, as it's said, of laws and not men; the system will carry on, more or less, regardless of the players. Losing today just means you have another chance to be vindicated a few years down the road. That's what makes this story so sad. Someone invested such an incredible amount of emotion into the Kerry campaign that he actually killed himself over the election results. That's the direction the depressed folk in the first story are heading if they don't buck up and get over themselves, if maybe not as fast or going quite as far, and that's scary. Yet, they can't really blame anyone but themselves and the liberal echo chamber. If you keep telling yourself in the course of motivating yourself and others before the vote that another Republican administration will be the end of the world, what are you going to end up believing if things don't go your way? As someone who's been there, I think I can say that some people need to (at the very least) calm down. You don't win points for effort for hurting yourself (or others) on behalf of John Kerry. (Via Fark and LGF.)

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