Twas the day before Election Day, when all through my mind, visions of confetti and exit polls, mixed with analysis of all kind.
I love Election Day. Really. I do. It’s Christmas seven weeks early. I get to input into a machine exactly what I want, then await that magical hour when the results come rolling in. Odds are I won’t get everything (one) I want (in office). But, as the old holiday adage goes – it’s the thought that counts.
Consider other ways the first Tuesday in November mirrors December 25:
You can’t wait to open presents
Anticipation for this year’s elections is running so high, exit polls will be harder to get to than questions inside a hermetically sealed mayonaisse jar on Funk & Wagnall’s front porch. Under threat of severe finger wagging and shaking heads, there will be no leak on trends, upswings, downswings or beloved crashes. Damn. By midday I will be in the midst of data-deprived hysteria. Think Ron White after one week sans a smoke. Seven o’ clock will not arrive fast enough. I’ll take several deep breathes, then become Ralphie unwrapping his BB gun. Ahhhhhh … release.
Old friends call come out the blue to say hello
Rush Limbaugh called me yesterday. No lie. He begged me to come out and support the GOP. Wow, I’m important! Cool! … Okay, maybe not. I admit it. It was a recording. And yes, my phone number was probably drawn at random by a computer. And yes, he said the same thing to everyone else “he” called. But that’s no different or less special than getting a Christmas card, which is usually read by Hallmark, addressed in the order in which my address appears in the contact list, and says the same thing everyone else reads. No?
Television is dominated by its commercials
Granted, these are anti-good will, highlighting grinches instead of angels, and promising coal instead of sugar plums. Unless, of course, you vote for whomever is calling the other ugly. Then it’s all candy canes (or so you think). Thankfully, as with the day of bells that jingle, all things electoral disappear from the boob tube as soon as the votes are revealed. Poof! Just like that. Gone faster than Frosty at the Equator. It’ll be at least another year before you hear anyone personally approve of any message (With the possible exception of the Christmas card you send the inlaws. Let the spouse read it first).
Decorations are everywhere
Signs are to election day what strings of lights are to Christmas. I don’t think there’s an intersection within 20 miles of my house without at least two of the former (or a trailer without some of the latter). They dot roadsides like dandelions, and are about as difficult to uproot. But they serve an important purpose – without these thousands of steel-rooted billboards, I would never be able to give accurate directions to my house. (When you get to the giant Keep Shook Sheriff sign, turn left, then at the third Tarleton turn right. Go six Utter for School Boards until you hit the Wilson. I’m the second house to the right of the Impeach Bush Now signs.)
Someone powerful is making a list, and checking it twice
At least, I hope someone is. Call them good Saint Elections Director. It’s their job to go over who was naughty and who was eligible to vote. They also announce the presents, but have no power over choosing them (or so they say. Who is they, you ask? Better not to ask mu-hahahahahah, MU-HAHAHAHAHAH!).
Receipts are important
While you can’t return a candidate citing a wrong size or insufficient gravitas, you should be able to prove you did indeed vote for the person of your choice. Most states are now all about the touchpad voting, which is cool but only if it prints out a recipt. If Sam Walton can do it for millions of Black Friday shoppers, then Uncle Sam can do the same on Red/Blue Tuesday.
All the cool songs
I love the soundtrack of Christmas. Gene Autry. Burl Ives. Jimmy Durante. Election Day, too, has its own special sounds of the season. REM. War. Fleetwood Mac. (I blame Clinton for that last one.)
The season starts way too early
I feel I’ve spent the last year hanging with Harold Ford Jr. (I hate I missed that Playboy party). I’ve seen more of George Allen than LOST, and the word “poll” has been abused more than Duke football. You can’t even get through one election without hearing about the next. Whatever the outcome tomorrow, my money’s on the numbers 2008 being repeated as often as Sting shouts Roxanne. It does steal some fun from the night. How can one really enjoy the end of one election when another’s already begun. At least with Christmas you have a nine (or is it eight?) month respite. You do get a break between “A Christmas Story” marathons.
FOOTNOTE: For the hell of it, here’s my prediction for tomorrow. I base it primarily on gut instinct and three states. In Connecticut, after being trashed, thrashed and mashed in his own party’s primary, former Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman appears headed to an easy re-election in Democrat-dominated Connecticut. Way over on the Left(y) Coast, it is being reported that Republicans “are poised to have their most victorious Election Day in statewide offices in over a decade.” Then there’s Florida’s 16th congressional district, aka. the Foley seat. It appears the Republican write-in candidate – who has to convince voters to punch the page chaser’s name – has pulled even in the polls with his Democrat challenger.
The old adage is three makes a trend. I guess Republicans keep House and Senate, emphasis on guess.