There are two ways to function in that final stretch before a national election in the United States, it seems.
1) hold your head up
2) keep your head down
Yesterday, a PTA parent and I were laughing about Saturday Night Live spoofs of debates–namely the riff on Al Gore’s “locked box” back in 2000. “The best thing about the political season are the jokes,” I concluded, diplomatically, as I didn’t know her politics and we were standing in the middle of the school’s lobby.
She unloaded. She’s tired of all the politics, she can’t hear it anymore.
- Her parents and in-laws–they think President Obama is “worse than Hitler.” She told me how crazy they were, and I said, “Wow, worse than Hitler?”
- She described how they think Mitt Romney is so generous, millions upon millions to his church, and how Barack Obama hardly gave any money, or under a million (no idea about the actual number). She told me she explained to them “You realize Romney has hundreds upon hundreds of millions at his disposal, and Obama doesn’t?”
- She told me how they believe Romney is a solid CEO who can turn this country around, just look at Bain. She said, “I work for a company Bain owns. They just shipped a ton of jobs to India! To hear that Romney wants to get tough on China? Oh my God.”
- She decries the attack ads, “Did you see the one about the woman jogging with her baby in a stroller? She’s crying about how nothing has changed, and her baby is sad too?” She was visibly exasperated. I said, “How bad can things be, she has time to exercise!” I made her laugh. So there was that.
We took a walk around the neighborhood last night with the kids. I saw several Romney/Ryan yard signs. No Obama/Biden signs. But I know there are Obama supporters in my neighborhood, keeping their heads down.
Read last night that somebody shot a gun through the window of the Obama campaign headquarters in Denver. Saw a photo of a guy at a Romney/Ryan rally wearing a t-shirt that said, “Let’s put the White back in the White House.”
There’s good reason to keep your head down.
I know, there are jerks everywhere. I have a very, very liberal acquaintances who use language I would never use or repeat to describe those on the Republican side of the aisle. But there’s a difference between rude and frightening.
Romney can pretend, for now, to be the same moderate Republican that won him the Governorship of Massachusetts. He can offer, for now, just enough information to sound good. It’s why his poll numbers are going up. Most people, after all, aren’t rude or frightening. Most people prefer a semblance of reason.
But do most people pay attention? Or do most people grow tired and exasperated at this time of year?
Heads up, or heads down?