I will be watching anxiously from China, probably hopping from website to website in attempt to find live streaming coverage of the election that isn't either blocked by (A) the Chinese censors or (B) my lack of desire to install exotic web media players (damn you CNN!).
You know, for me, this both is and isn't a life or death election. Unlike Bush, who probably will not be topped any time soon as worst president in American history, McCain I never particularly had a problem with. Once, some years ago, a moderate Republican friend of mine and I made a pact in which we would support McCain and Obama over more divisive partisan figures. In the event of McCain vs. Obama, we would feel free to support our own party's bipartisan consensus-maker.
The agreement wasn't really set in stone; it was more like something to think about. We were trying to imagine an America beyond the culture wars which have so visibly torn the country's sense of unity asunder. And in those days I felt some fondness for any Republican willing to buck the more hardline elements in his party on issues such as immigration, global warming, and campaign finance. That isn't an easy stance to take, by any means when you have such imperialistic bedfellows.
Unfortunately, McCain (the real one) disappeared sometime after the primaries finished this year. Replaced--or perhaps lobotomized--with a clone who blandly repeated the hardline Republican line, and gave up all or most of his once brave stands. If elected, McCain would not (as is so often repeated) be the oldest first term president, but rather the first undead president to ever be elected. I say this because for all intents and purposes, the real McCain who used to fight the good fight (or more importantly, not fight--when compromise and consensus could be reached) is dead and gone, already food for the voracious attack worms the Republican party keeps on hand for dealing with would-be mavericks.
And all this even before the dreaded Palin VP pick. So many pundits and people ask, 'What was McCain thinking?' And I would respond that he clearly wasn't thinking, and probably wasn't capable of thinking, because zombies do not think.
*Whew* I'm glad I got that off my chest.
In any case, I will surely mourn the death of the once-maverick, McCain. The Republicans could use more of that sort. But this is not a time for mourning, I suspect and hope. This is not a dawn of the dead, so to speak. If predictions hold true, I think I will wake up tomorrow morning to good news and a golden, hopeful dawn for America.
And there really are no excuses for not voting. I spent $20 mailing in my absentee ballot to Michigan, and those stateside can accomplish the same thing for free. Happy voting!