After eight years of one Bush-created disaster after another, progressives have become like lab rats hooked up to an electroshock machine. It's become hard not to expect one more shock on election day: No matter how far ahead Obama is, they'll find some way to steal the election! No matter what white males have told the pollsters, millions will succumb to their deep-seeded racial fears! Even if their influence has waned, right-wing evangelicals will still drive busloads of their unsuspecting grandparents to the polls to vote for McCain! We're still held hostage by our trauma. We can't fully allow ourselves to 'hope' or 'dream' enough to shake our deeply ingrained pessimism.
Well, stop it.
Look, people, Obama is gonna win this thing and win it big. We need to be ready for that, and for the fight ahead. Our real work will begin after the election is won, and we need to get right with ourselves and do it right away. And how?
That's right, let loose. An Obama victory will not be a panacea; instead it will make huge gains possible--rather than huge losses certain. It will also demonstrate that maturity and critical thinking are regaining popularity--an idea that's worth shouting about. So send a loud whoop-whoop into the night sky. Start a dance party in the street.
Celebration is not just frivolous activity. Community organizers know that celebration is absolutely necessary to bringing about social change. After a period of prolonged suffering, celebration is a way to step out of our feelings of grief, to step into the light with a renewed sense of purpose.
This is important, so don't do it half-assed. After you leave the polling station, pick up the party supplies and make sure there's enough for the neighbors. Head down to your local Obama campaign headquarters with home-baked cookies in the shape of Black Power fist jabs. Drop a banner from your apartment window that says "We Hoped, We Won, Now Let's Make It Happen!" The days ahead will require even greater struggle as we try to piece together so much that Bush and Co. have broken--which makes this moment of rejoicing all the more crucial.
We've been losing for eight years, and we can no longer afford to carry forward the dead weight of our pessimism. We need to stop aiming for symbolic victories. We need to think big, be bold, and own this nation's recovery.
To aid in this moment, we've cooked up a little something to help the cause -- a celebratory cocktail. Behold:
THE GOODNIGHT BUSH*
1 sugar cube
8 dashes bitters
2 twists of lemon
Place sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute, splash with 8 dashes bitters (one for each year), fill the glass with bubbly, and squeeze in two twists of lemon (one for each term). Drink, savoring the sweet finish. The sugar comes at the end.
Today we have unlocked the doors of power. Tomorrow we'll bust them wide open and march through en masse. Tonight, though, let's take the opportunity to celebrate. And have a drink.
* Best enjoyed with a well-thumbed copy of the book Goodnight Bush. ----------------- Erich Origen and Gan Golan are authors of the New York Times bestselling parody Goodnight Bush. For more tips on celebrating the End of Bush, go to http://www.goodnightbush.com/.
Erich Origen and Gan Golan are authors of the New York Times bestselling parody Goodnight Bush. For more tips on celebrating the End of Bush, go to http://www.goodnightbush.com/.