There are many things to be thankful for this season even in these difficult economic times. Here are just some of the reasons I'm feeling particularly grateful as Thanksgiving Day approaches.
My husband and I will no longer have our faces glued to CNN or MSNBC to see what the latest polls show or to read the crawlers for real news while pundits of all persuasions pontificate about their chosen candidates. My days will no longer begin and end with political ranting, and I will be able to tackle all the books that have been piling up on my bedside table during this longest of presidential campaigns.
All those emails with You Tube attachments will stop cluttering my Inbox. No longer will I feel compelled to read and forward op eds. from Salon.com or The Huffington Post. Political jokes, even the funny ones, will cease. I do have to admit I'll miss a few of the pictures, though, even those that are photo-shopped. (Did you get the one where Sarah-the-astronaut said she could see the moon? My favorite was "The Babies Know,"- a bunch of pictures of a playful Barack Obama holding laughing kids, while the babies in the arms of W. and John McC. were squalling.)
I will no longer have to hear that irritating phrase, "My friends,"- or suffer Joe-the-plumber references. These McCain utterances were particularly irritating since a) John is no friend of mine; and b) Joe isn't even a real plumber. I also will no longer be subjected to the mudslinging and untruths--the last refuge of scoundrels--of a losing party without a platform.
No more will I cringe to see an anorexic-seeming Cindy McCain standing behind her man looking like Pat Nixon with glam. And no more of that John McCain smarmy smile so reminiscent of the Cheney sneer. No more, either, of Sarah sounding ridiculous and scary in her expensive designer jackets as she revs up crowds that are eerily reminiscent of 1930s lynch mobs. (Maybe now my fear of something terrible happening to Barack Obama can go back underground as the better side of America resumes prominence.)
Now I can be grateful that the Supreme Court (and the federal courts) will not be stacked with right-wing zealots so out of touch with the lives of real people that they still think women's bodies are theirs to control. Health care reform may actually begin to take shape before folks start dying of chronic diseases because they can't afford their meds or check-ups. The Iraq War may finally come to end so that we can put our defense resources where they are sorely needed (i.e., Afghanistan). We can begin to take a sensible approach to dangerous countries like Iran and confusing ones like Russia. Free trade may become fairer. We might actually begin cleaning up the environment. Critical issues such as federal regulation of our financial systems, energy policy, educational reform, a failing infrastructure and climate change might actually make it to the table, and the floors of Congress. Civil discourse around the urgent problems of our time may actually resume. Who knows? Perhaps even race relations will take a step forward.
There's only one thing that makes me sad even as I count my blessings: My heart aches, truly, for all those people losing their jobs and their homes this season, or whose retirement accounts have been dwindling before their eyes.
And yeah, I'm going to miss Tina Fey.