Saw a great bumper sticker in Portland last week: "Re-defeat George W. Bush." Now that's funny. Even if you were, like me, part of the victorious minority who voted for the President four years ago, you gotta admit that's clever. And it's certainly superior to "My child is an honor student at Ritalin Elementary."
I am an avowed homer. But I think I'm pretty good at keeping my allegiance to team/school/candidate from clouding my sense of reality. For example, two weeks ago against the University of Florida, my beloved Tennessee Volunteers were the grateful beneficiaries of not one, but two egregious blunders by the officiating crew, which the Big Orange resourcefully parlayed into a last-second victory. I shed no tears for Gator Nation. If UF (or do they prefer FU?) never wins another game, it'll be way too many for me. But my devotion doesn't supersede the reality that the refs helped my team win...and that the forces of evil are occasionally thwarted in this life.
I get the feeling this Chief Executive election - and maybe a bunch more before - is more about whether our guy wins than what really results from the outcome. It's so much easier that way, no? If we win, we gloat and all is Right (or Left) with the world. If we lose, we politely declare the imminent arrival of the gates of hell prevailing upon us. Neither outcome, if we're really honest, prevents us from nor encourages us toward that to which the prophet Micah called the people of God 3000 years ago: "to live justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly" with God. If we so choose, we can live that way regardless of how many chads are dangled.
Think of the worst that could happen if the guy you're not voting for wins. Elephants, even if a Kerry administration gives homosexuals the right to be contiguous with one another in the contiguous 48 states and beyond, that hardly impedes your ability to treat everyone in your circle of influence with dignity. Donkeys, the swashbuckling Bush could slash millionaires' taxes like Errol Flynn - who, it should be pointed out, would be allowed to marry in a Kerry administration - and it still wouldn't preclude you from seeing to it that those in need near you are accounted for.
I don't think America gets better from the top down. I'd say it's the other way around. So whoever graduates from this year's Electoral College with top honors, maybe we should all concede the truth of another popular bumper sticker, however scatological and septic its message may be. That way when "**it happens" to those around us as **it invariably does, we'll be more prepared to grab a mop than point a finger.