"I must steel myself for disappointment," says one friend. "I'm weighing Toronto vs Montreal," says another. "If McCain wins, Americans get what they deserve," adds one more.
Usually I would sympathize with such attempts at self-preservation. Many of us are emotionally invested in Tuesday's election in a way that's beyond rational explanation. Wholeheartedly, or with hesitancy, we cracked our shells of cynicism for Barack Obama and now that we're exposed, we don't want to get punched in our soft places -- which is no doubt how a Tuesday defeat would feel. If not worse.
Yet I am reminded of an interview I read with the comedienne Monique. She credited her success to her refusal to have a Plan B. She was afraid that if she spent too much time investing energy in back-up plans, and that's where she would end up.
That's the risk we face, too. But we're not talking about the fate of one performer's career. We're talking about the future of our country, and of ourselves.
So please, forget Plan B. We are one day away from Game Day. (Backclaps for those of you who have already voted -- you got to score early.). We tend to think of the two teams as Obama vs. McCain. The reality is that the two teams are Obama voters vs McCain voters. Whoever gets out the most voters out in enough states wins. Of course, the votes must be counted, and that's why we have legions of lawyers and watchdogs, like HuffPost, on the ready, and why we're working hard to win by significant margins.
The point is this: on Election Day we are no longer passive commentators and spectators. We are players. We've waited a long time to get back on the field. Now is our turn.
From now until Tuesday, I challenge every one of you to channel your inner evangelical and know that like church, it's not just enough to show up, but it's how many you bring along with you. Voting is just step one. Find a way to bring others. Work GOTV. Or do like CNN's Roland Martin said, make sandwiches and give encouragement to those waiting in long lines. Don't just sit around and steep yourself in anxiety. Find a way to play. The Obama campaign and MoveOn.org have made it ridiculously easy to participate. Today I worked a two hour phonebank shift (a great experience -- one mother even gave me her daughter's cell phone number to call and remind her to vote). You can do it, too.
Barack Obama does not need our worry. He needs our work. He needs us out there, playing the game like the champions we are. Champions don't waste pre-game energy making contingency plans. We need to focus on pulling as many folks to the polls as possible.