Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Office Politics

I want to thank Barack Obama for keeping me from looking like an idiot.

Let me explain. I work in an office made up of young people. And as such, we have deep, meaningful discussions. Like – who would win – Captain America or Batman?

And in the midst of the discussion (Which Batman are we talking about - The Adam West version or the JLA-beating one? What part of the phrase "Unbreakable Shield" are you unclear on?), I opened my mouth and said “Captain America would win. Hope beats Fear”.

And that quote, like so many off-hand comments, stuck, and metastasized into a phrase that kept coming up again and again, in particular in regards to discussions on national politics. There was a lot of hope on one side, and a lot of fear on the other. A lot of promise versus a lot of scary words and scary images of a scary world. A soaring rhetoric against a relentless drumbeat of worry.

And coming up to the national election, there was that nagging doubt in the back of my mind. What if I’m wrong? What if, as we have before, we as a people faced the choice and turned aside, turned to the apparent safety of the rhetoric of the past? What if we as a people were too scared to go forward? What if the call came and we did not answer?

The answer was in long lines at polling places and the suddenness of the results, the immediate response of Pennsylvania and Ohio, faster than I had anticipated. It came in a gracious acceptance speech and a glorious acceptance speech. It came in the mention that Obama’s kids are getting a dog. There are still some parts where the jury is out, and parts of the reporting that are downright wonky (like, um, Georgia), but we got our answer.

Good Game, America.

Hope beats Fear.

More later,

Update: Here's some amateur video from Capitol Hill, corner of Broadway and Pine. It's dark, but gives a great feel for the vibe. Apparently there are a couple co-workers in that teeming mass of youngness.

Hey you kids - GG.