Early Signs of Election Withdrawal

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Only one more night to go and I’m sick. I feel like my sinuses are filled with mercury and that my spine may be seizing up and ripping through the skin on my neck. I’m not sure what I have, but I know I don’t have health insurance. I do however, have Web MD, which (aside from letting me know that the pain in my neck could be anything from a ‘simple strain’ from such activities as ‘painting a ceiling’, to a narrowing of the spinal canal) shows me the afflicted area in the form a neutral, male figure who’s parts flare up with red hurt lines when you click on them. Pretty fancy stuff.

I guess it’s not all bad, what better time not be able to sleep than in the home stretch of what has to be the longest Presidential Race in the history of the universe? This race started on November 3rd 2004 and has left a trail of ruined careers and dreams in it’s wake, not to mention any flickering ray of optimism I may have had about the future: I used to like both of these guys when this thing started, but the longer the candidates get left out in the spotlight, the more the shiny gloss starts to melt off, revealing those robotic skeletons programmed to repeat the same old practiced lines and bits; questions have to be dodged, lines have to be towed, and side-bars must be blown into scandals. The early show is exactly the same as the late show folks, and all of a sudden throwing a vote Ralph Nader’s way is starting to seem like the principled thing to do.

Considering all the talk about diminished attention spans in this country it’s odd that everything seems to be getting longer: professional sports seasons have been creeping a few weeks later each year, the holiday season appears to start a little earlier every winter, and now this presidential race. Perhaps it’s the bi-product of having a seriously unpopular man guiding the country by a joystick.

Perhaps the real winner in all of this is really George Bush. All the attention this election has mustered up over the last two and a half years has taken the lights off George and as the curtain is about to come down on Election ’08 it’s kind of dawned on me that no one ever got to beat Bush. This is the beginning of his long, slow mosey back to Texas where he can spend the rest of his days chopping wood, clearing brush and hoping that somehow, historians are generous to his legacy.

John McCain may pay for Bush’s mistakes, ignorance and stubbornness more than W. ever will. After January he’ll be isolated on his ranch, only occasionally to surface; maybe to dedicate his library or accept his Presidential Portrait, but hopefully by then whoever wins this election is hard at work scrubbing the walls of the White House down from the mess he and his gang of thugs made over the last 8 years.

But now that I face the reality that next week there will be no more poll numbers to look at or any more accusations of Marxism or Maverickism or debate about qualifications, age, or race, what am I going to do?

Barring any kind of miscounts or machine malfunctions we should know who’s going to be in charge for the next four years by Wednesday morning, and words like ‘hope’ and ‘change’ will either blossom into tangible results and progress or wither away as echoes of empty rhetoric from an incredibly long campaign trail. And maybe that is why I’m starting to feel the panic of early election withdrawal, perhaps this is the source of all my symptoms after all.

But, right now I’m sick. I just want health insurance. I want a doctor to tell me what I can do to help the little man on Web MD with the stuffy nose and flaring neck.

Shaun McGann lives in New Jersey and writes fiction, some of which can be read at bleak07.blogspot.com He also has a terrible addiction to American history and politics, which he often feels the need to comment on in late night typed out rants.