Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Election Day

One thing I've learned about being a Georgia Tech fan is that you have to expect defeats. And you have to expect defeats to come early and often. Of course, you can also expect victories, but it's always the defeats that stick with you. That guide your future actions. Once we get that first job or that first promotion, we immediately start counting down the days where we can get that second job or second promotion. But rejections and defeats always rankle the soul and linger on in the recesses of the mind.

If things go smoothly on Election Day, sometime around 8-9 PM we will know who the President of the United States will be for the next four years. One half of the country will be glad. The other the opposite of glad. And life will go on.

This too shall pass. Whether you are happy or sad. Jubilant or angry. Gladdened or crestfallen. There will always be the next day. The next midterms. The next general election. And there will be the next changing of the guard. Because in American politics, as in life, all things are transient in nature. There are never permanent majorities or reliable constituencies. What is true for one election cycle will not be true for another. Demographics change. Preferences shift. This happens regardless who gets elected. And life will go on.

Regardless of who wins this election, this country still has the same problems it had before the election. This country still has the same blessings it had before. And most importantly to you, you're still in the same situation you were before the election. Because your life isn't determined by the leaders of this country. It's determined by you, your parents, your friends, and the community you live in. The world will still be here after Election Day. And life will go on.

If your side wins on Election Day, congratulations. You and your team played a hell of a game and pulled out a hard earned victory.

On the other hand, if your side loses, don't sweat it, champ. We'll get 'em next time. There's always the next bout. And this time we'll learn from the mistakes we made in the past. Like I said before, defeat always invites introspection. It's the victors who tend to rest on their laurels.

I hate to end this on a quote, but I think it's appropriate. Hey, cliches exist for good reason. It's from The Great Gatsby. And although I think Fitzgerald intended it to pessimistic and sisyphean, it is inherently optimistic and idealistic.
It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning —  So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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