It's good! It's great! It's all fantastic, and I'm thrilled! Really. I do mean it. But something seems to be escaping our attention amidst the exaltation. In spite of the wars, the lies, the torture, the stacking of the courts, and the rollbacks to civil liberties; in spite of the religious fundamentalism, the fanaticism, and the utter disdain toward the population that's been expressed; in spite of the Katrina fiasco, the wire tapping, and the raping and pillaging of our economy for corporate gain (not to mention the ridiculousness and horrendous idiocy of the Republican campaign, including the Palin monstrosity) 56 million, 378 thousand, 316 Americans still voted for the other side.
To humanize that just a bit, that means that 56,378,316 individuals waited in line just as long as you did, and worked just as hard as anyone else, to try to make sure that Barack Obama would not become president of the United States. I don't know about you, but that scares the shit out of me. It means -- for reasons that go way beyond any immediate financial crises -- we're still in very deep trouble.
Who are they, and why do they feel this way? Well, they're 4.6 out of every 10 people you pass on the street. In other words, in spite of an electoral landslide and a historically significant popular margin, we still barely won. Just about as many people wanted it to go the other way.
So, with those facts on the table, how do we pursue an aggressive agenda, and how do we sway some of those people and get them on board to reverse course? One possibility would be to take the route the Republicans took: they forced an extremist agenda down the country's throat in spite of having lost the popular vote (and still kept 46% support this past Tuesday!). Somehow I don't see an Obama administration tacking that tack.
I've been spewing a joke around for the two or three weeks leading up to the election. I've been saying that, should Obama prevail, every woman who can stomach it should immediately go out, find a Republican man, and give him a blow job. Just make sure to impress upon him that the only reason he's getting the blow job is in celebration of a Democratic victory. The theory being that, come the next election, when he finds himself alone in a voting cubicle, his dick will point the way toward the Democratic lever. Kind of a reverse Lysistrata effect. Crass, perhaps, but not an insubstantial strategy.
And now I find myself thinking in even crasser terms. Like, if you've got some money stashed away in these economically stormy days, if you've got some major purchases anywhere on your horizon, time them out for the first ninety days of the new administration. Need a washer/dryer or an automobile? Thinking of buying a new home? Want to get back into the stock market? Hold off 'till after January 20th, and let the numbers show sudden economic improvement during the first three months of a new Democratic majority. Because I've got a sneaking suspicion that those 56,378,316 misguided souls aren't the most sophisticated sailors on the sea.
I'm not suggesting we'd be successfully addressing any of the serious issues that need to be sorted out. But I am thinking that, if they're crass enough, and easily hoodwinked enough, to have voted Republican after the last eight years, we might as well do a little psychological manipulation of our own. We might not be able to win their hearts and minds, or erase whatever bigotry led them to vote as they did. But we should be able to outwit them. Let 'em read a few positive economic headlines just as they're fearing the wrath of God is about to drop down upon us. Let 'em think that, even if the "Godless," "unreal" Americans have prevailed, it might be good for their pocketbooks. And then, maybe then, they might climb aboard the Peace Train. (Though, if you're up for the adventure, those blow jobs might not be a bad insurance policy. Just don't leave the Democratic boys out completely).
Evan Handler is in the midst of a 25 city book tour, in support of "It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive." Upcoming appearances include:
San Diego, CA 11/8/2008
Los Angeles, CA 11/9/2008
Milwaukee, WI 11/10/2008
Columbus, OH 11/11/2008
St. Louis, MO 11/12/2008
Detroit, MI 11/13/2008
Ann Arbor, MI 11/14/2008
Boston, MA 11/16/2008
Atlanta, GA 11/17/2008
Orange County, CA 11/22/2008
Details, exact locales, and times at EvanHandler.com, under "Appearances."