Monday, November 01, 2004

Election Day Angst

No doubt that the presidential election is the one day every four years wherein I question my own psychological stability. Some of my self-doubt on that score stems from an awareness of peculiarities in my own behavior that I submit are by no means unique to me, and may be symptoms shared by many conservatives. I know I am not alone in saying that during the events of the 2000 election, I lay awake for at least seven days (intermittently across that tense month) fretting over the possibility of four years of Al Gore. I felt enormous pressure. Granted, I wasn’t so unstable as to put on 50 pounds or to grow a beard, but if he had been elected, I may have. Even today, the mere thought of a Hillary presidency leads me to reach instinctively for a full bottle of Pepto Bismol. (And something tells me that if she is ever elected, the only drug she would not put under a price control would be that little pink bottle of Pepto, just to spite me and all of the other conservatives that will turn to it as our only relief.)

My psychological instability affected my parenting from the get-go. Indeed, my two oldest sons, who are twins, have already been exploited as a result of what may be my psychological problems. In the run-up to the 2000 election, shortly after my boys turned one, I had two white t-shirts embroidered, one with the name of George W. Bush, and the other with Dick Cheney. Joey was the obvious choice for Bush over Billy because he had more hair and a leaner build. These shirts served as Halloween costumes for the boys just months after we had moved to South Minneapolis, which to this day sports more “No War on Iraq” signs on lawns than trees (and there are a lot of trees). Our Christmas card that year sported the boys in costume, each with a small American flag, and the caption: “May All Your Christmas’ Be Republican.” In one small act, I exploited my kids for political purposes and committed blasphemy. Although that act may not be definitive proof of my psychological instability, it is undeniably consistent with that hypothesis.

So where do I find myself just two nights shy of the election of 2004? Ironically, I am on my now second annual quest with my boys to trick-or-treat at Al Gore's house, which is not more than a half a mile from my own. I have my trusty digital camera in hand to snap a shot of Al dropping little environmentally-friendly candies into the bags of my Darth Mull, Annikan Skywalker, and swash-buckling pirate. One sick man taking a picture of another. The myriad of possibilities for potential Christmas card humor that I could spin out of that picture have my mind in an absolute whir - I am unable to think. And then my neighbor informs me as we are heading in tandem towards Gore's house that they apparently sold and moved out. Utter disappointment. Last year he wasn't home - my theory is that he was egging the Vice President's mansion. This year, even if he hadn't moved, he'd probably be in Florida talking wild conspiracy theories with the rest of the looney bin left. Here's a suggested banner for their rallies tomorrow: "Bin Laden is With Us!"

I remember last year around Halloween, when we were telling the boys that we'd be heading to Al Gore's house. The twins were obsessed with who and what was scarey. So Bill naturally asks me: "Is Al Gore scarey?" Very much so. I may be sick, but at least I am not scarey sick. Let's hope I am on a quest to trick or treat at one of Kerry's mansions four years hence, while I contemplate with dread the run on pepto bismol that will beseige the grocery stores if Hillary gets elected.


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