So Hillary has taken her last stand at the Texas Alamo and survived. Now we are left in the midst of this battle and media orgy that covers it incessantly.
I confess I am a political junkie. I love turning on NPR and listening to the latest polls come in. But it occurs to me that as we examine the candidates in microscopic detail for months on end, we are forgetting about all the work there is to be done.
The problem is, all that work is really boring. It’s about budgets and taxes and social security and education. Who wants to talk about that when we can engage in a good old-fashioned one-on-one fight? Elections are like sports, and sports are exciting – there is a battle, a winner, and a loser. The action needed to actually get stuff done is BORING. It’s way more fun to see who’s winning in the latest polls.
It doesn’t matter whether Obama, Hillary, or McCain is in the White House next year – we’re still going to have to fight to make the next president get us out of Iraq. I’ve made my choice in the matter clear, but make no mistake: even if Obama wins the presidency, we’re still going to have to keep the pressure up to make sure he and Congress actually follow through. Witness the 2006 election. It was clearly a mandate to end the war, and yet the Democrats still couldn’t do it; they didn’t have the guts to stop funding the damn thing and force Bush to bring the troops home. They were too scared they’d be labeled quitters and lose the 2008 election.
As historian and teacher Howard Zinn points out, democracy is not something that happens once every four years. It’s a constant, daily struggle against those in power to actually represent the will of the people. Simply pulling a lever doesn’t make it happen. Let’s not forget that.