Do you hear that? No? That’s because it’s silence, which, despite what Fox News would let you believe, doesn’t make a sound.
I have a serious problem with silence. This whole Democratic nominating process thing has gone on for quite a while now, and, I’m not ashamed to say, I kind of enjoy it. It’s comforting to hear the dull roar of racism charges, sexism charges, self-aggrandizing talk show hosts shouting manufactured arguments at a live TV audience, testimonials from the ghosts of candidates’ respective pasts, and accusations of lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, and– perhaps most uniquely to this election– plagiarism.
But it stopped. The temper tantrums, the attention whoring, the hero worshiping- all of it stopped, and left me with a ringing in my ears and a sudden awareness of white noise. I miss it. What happened?
Hillary Clinton was inevitable, then threatened, then overtaken, then dead, then revived, then back in the proverbial driver’s seat. Florida and Michigan, two classically democracy-hating states, then knocked her back down with their simultaneously self-hating and self-important decision to move their primary elections to before Super Tuesday (against the wishes of the DNC), making their votes null, and void. Naturally, according to polls taken at that time, Hillary Clinton would have won both (yes, even if Obama’s name had been on the ballot). Florida, Michigan.
This brings us back to the silence, that terrible foe that brings with it low TV ratings for 24-hour news channels and little material for bloggers (such as myself- see, I’ve written 1 1/2 posts and I’m a blogger now!) to complain about. With nothing to really talk about until the Pennsylvania primary in a month, we’re left to picking up the stray confetti and preparing for the next party. Nothing going on means no one in the news talking about it, which means no one in the blog-o’Sphere whining about how awful the mainstream media is treating this election. It’s a vicious circle of peace and tranquility, and it needs to end soon.
But perhaps I over-exaggerate. Perhaps I speak only for myself when I say that I miss the anger, allegations, and incestuous competitiveness that I’ve grown so fond of in the last several years of campaigning by Obama and Hillary. But since Texas and Ohio voted on March 4, the most significant story regarding the elections has been that some peon looked at the candidates’ passports once when they weren’t supposed to, and that a crazy old white woman and a crazy old black man said some racist things. It just hasn’t been the same.
So I ask myself, am I addicted? Do I thrive on the ups and downs of politics and political candidates? Do I live and die by primary and caucus results? Well, not really. As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I won’t be totally devastated if Obama wins, and indeed I will probably sign up almost immediately to join his campaign. I guess its just nice, after so many years of Bush-era, frustration-induced apathy, to see people care. Roof-top shouting, horn-honking, obnoxious-sign-waving, megaphone-wielding, blimp-buying, parade-having… I love all of it, as loud and intolerable as it is. It’s good to know, I suppose, that people have woken up from their 8-year-slumbers and started to have faith in this country, and the democratic process, again.