Our country sure knows how to hype events. Movie releases, sporting events, new products, elections. Sometimes things live up to expectations and sometimes they don't. However, what they all have in common is us. We are the audience: for the movie, the World Series, the iPod. We are not players, producers and designers. We are there to enjoy the results.
An election is something different. It is a personal act that has no resonance without the support of others. It is, in no small way, hope itself. We are powerless. Our vote is meaningless - without others. To vote is to have faith in the system which is out of our control. It's to trust a candidate who we don't personally know. You get no receipt. There are no exchanges. It's the will of a nation reduced to a choice between two words. That's remarkably simple.
All the time leading up to tomorrow, the voices of Buchanan, Olbermann, Will and others have been heard. The shouting, the ranting, the disagreements, the eye-opening astonishments, the amazement, the anger, the fear. It will all be the past. Voting is an instant that leads to the future. It isn't a climax, but a step forward. We will have years not to enjoy the hype, but to ensure the hype because politics ARE of our making. We aren't the audience.