The Day After (the debate debacle)

Big Bird debuts in Afghanistan.

I went to bed feeling like I’d been at a funeral. (Or an awkward 30th high school reunion.)

Still, it was great to see old faces… all those friends who came out of the woodwork to chat on Facebook–some that I haven’t seen or spoken to in decades.

Did democracy just die?

Did you feel it too?

Thank God for Twitter!

Many of us were able to cut the pain with laughter.

But even the snark evaporated as the agonizing hour passed, and the Twitterers fell asleep.

“Wait,” I typed, “He’ll bring it home.”

But he didn’t.

He still has time.

I woke feeling differently.

Not about Obama or Romney, but about us.

About the election.

Maybe about democracy?

Forget t.v. ratings, but if Obama had been the clear winner, my Republican voting friends who came across the aisle to talk to me on Facebook would be discouraged; and those of us who support the Democratic choice, would lose what little edge we still have.

If nothing else, that debacle made us desperate for “human” contact–of any party.

The absence of charismatic leadership or  at least political entertainment forced us to rely on each other. And Big Bird.

(Can you believe he combined Big Bird and Lehrer in one sentence? Or that he gave the same schoolgirl, “I like you,” to something as considerable as Green Power?)

Honestly, these debates don’t mean much to me and not because I’ve “given up on politics,” but because I know the difference. I know the taste of pure water.

And it’s not Obama.

And it’s certainly not Mitt Romney.

(I couldn’t follow either of them, and I have a college degree.)

Though the jaded say there’s no difference between the parties or their candidates, those who struggle know that’s not true. And if you’re too comfortable to feel the difference, ask your friends around the world… especially in the places where humanity is really hurting.

Maybe this debate wasn’t such a disaster after all, or maybe it was the disaster we needed.

Kelly Salasin, the day after, October 4, 2012

(And may both candidates refrain from using any further anecdotes about that “woman” they met in…  and hey,  if you are that “woman,” please stop talking to them.)

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