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The last station on the line is in sight! Twenty-two months of American political history has been written amidst an almost unbelievable deluge of constantly changing 'breaking news' banners. National and world events have served as continual fodder for the oratory, the projections and predictions and the mood of the populace. Political historians are hard pressed to find a comparable presidential campaign; the list of 'firsts' is lengthy. Even Mother Nature got into the act forcing last minute changes to a National Convention schedule by whipping up a hurricane called Gustav. Or was that Ike? But, it's been good for America!  

Events have shown light into corners of darkness, cracked glass ceilings, and broken down cultural barriers. The old strategical play books have been tossed aside and new maps of the political landscape have been drawn. The power of the Internet has totally altered the opportunities for 'Main Street' involvement and the 'grass roots' have grown into sprawling prairies reaching into towns and villages we'd never heard of prior. It's been good for America!

Heretofore unknown journalists, analysts, talk show hosts and pundits have been launched into celebrity status as the broadcast networks vied for top spot in the ratings wars. Movies have been produced, television comedy shows have soared in popularity, and countless editorials and books have been authored to explore the deeper psyche of the American mind and culture. Crowds of literally tens of thousands have stood in line for hours and sometimes rain and crammed into stadiums and parks, gymnasiums and town halls while thousands more stood in the streets outside just to be a part of it all. Record amounts of campaign funds have been raised and spent as candidates fly to as many seven different states in one day. It's been good for America!

The participants are battle worn. Eyelids are heavy with sleep deprivation and the rhetoric full of gaffes and slips of the tongue from repetition, and I'd guess by now, sore jaw muscles. Barack has gone gray haired before our eyes. Kids have sojourned through puberty! We've come through four DST time changes and the Beijing Olympics!  And, I'm totally convinced poor Cindy McCain has been recently replaced by a wax likeness which is propped dutifully behind her miraculously energetic husband on the stump. Obama may be the symbol of hope for the young, but I have to say John McCain has been pure inspiration to the possible vitality and humor of senior citizens. On the talk show circuit, he reigns king in his ability to ad lib and stir up a real belly laugh, even in his dissenters. Perhaps, he's looking at a whole new career if Wednesday morning fails to deliver for him. But, it’s been good for America!  

And, it's not just the candidates and their campaign entourage either. Chris Matthews actually appeared a bit green on TV this morning. I suspect the make-up artists, the hair stylists, and the camera people on these shows are stressed to the max, as well. I refuse to believe that Hillary and Sarah can look THAT good ALL the time without help and good angles and lighting. I'm doing good to put myself together by noon! But, it's been good for America.

And now, the end station is in sight. Regardless, where any of you stand on this, the day before the grand finale, I urge you to get out and vote if you've not already done so. I do believe we are looking at a possible record turnout of eligible voters and lines will be long. Records have already been set in new registration numbers. Here in Florida, yesterday was the culmination of two weeks of early voting, and still some locations were reporting lines five blocks long. It's been estimated that half of Florida has already voted. But, don't be discouraged if you have to wait. It's been a long ride, and often a bumpy one, but yes, it has been good for America.

I'd like to think that 'We the People' have made a giant leap forward in the last twenty-two months. We're actually waking up, realizing what is facing us as a nation. Where we, as citizens, have fallen short of carrying our share of the load by being informed and watchful of those we elected to lead us. For being interested only in things that affected us personally. So yes, it is time for change. Change on our parts, too. We can, and we need to start asking what we must do to contribute to that change. We can start by voting on Tuesday.  

On Wednesday, whether you are joyful or disappointed with the outcome, and there will be both, we need to make a new resolution now. We need to vow to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Get involved in doing our share to help the new president clean up the mess and change our direction going into the future. We need to put resentment and past loyalties aside. We need to take responsibility, and through awareness and watchfulness, hold the new leaders to accountability and do what's asked of us. It will be good for America.

If we fail to do that, in four years we'll hear the same outcries, the same promises, and the same rhetoric and we'll mumble and complain and ask ourselves why. But, down deep we'll know the answer. That won’t be good for America or our kid’s futures.

My fondest good wishes to you all and thank you for your inspiring support of my columns over the last months of this campaign. I trust the future will bring much for us to discuss, too!    

Susan Haley, Author

     **Susan Haley is the published author of two books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and the copy editor and book reviewer for Pepper Tree Press Publishing and reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was recently awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines and newsletters and local papers.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Nov 4, 2008
    • Excellent post!!!

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joc wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I’m surprised no one is discussing the issues on this “Let’s talk politics” blog.   I assume we can discuss differing opinions while remaining civil and cordial to one another, can’t we.

      Let me know if this is considered verboten—before I try it!   Jo

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Judyo wrote Dec 6, 2008
    • Joc, I concur.  I too was a little surprised that issues weren’t being discussed here but I’ve seen how passionate people are on some of the political chat rooms and it can get quite volatile, so maybe this is a good thing.  We can agree to disagree.

            Report  Reply

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