Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election 2012: Wham, Bam, Thank-You, Ma'am!

Hell's Bells and All is Well!

Floccinaucinihilipilification is a real word. Get your lazy grammatical arses cutting and pasting and do a little research.  The Offbeat Drummer can't be expected to do *all* the work *for* her readers. It's surely the conservatives' residual vibration, now that Life has Returned to Blissful.

Election Season 2012 is over, much to my great relief, though at the expense of what precious little sanity I had left in the brain reserves. This Apathetic Anarchist found her Bleeding Liberal Heart so deeply ensconced in charging forward the suffragette battle that I probably irretrievably alienated half my friend and fan base in the process. I came to the conclusion many months ago that my silence and apathy towards what happens in the nation's government would serve no greater good. 

It's completely untrue that I was "duped" by the incumbent into championing the cause of liberalism and equality. It's also valid to point out that while I identify myself as a progressive follower of Christ who happens to attend a conservative Lutheran church, I could no longer hang idly on the outskirts of movements towards women's right to choose, the right for homosexuals to marry, or, frankly, any of the other freedoms and rights granted to Americans by virtue of The Constitution that the conservative/Republican right wing earnestly tried to strip the citizens of the USA. 

It's a sorry state-of-affairs (coming from the anarchist bent) when money--who has the most of it and what they choose to do with it--is tossed onto a scale, one for the right and one for the left, and whomever amasses the most backing deserves to win the election of the leader of the Free World. If this campaign proved nothing else (and there were dozens of deciding factors in place), it proved the power of the people, of free will and choice and justice, over The Super Rich White Guy and His Empty Promises. Obama's fervent grassroots pleas, while they got to be humorously silly towards the end, worked. Romney's financial machine, backed by huge conglomerates fueled by zillions of dollars contributed by influential grubbers, fizzled out to defeat, over which I couldn't be happier. As a struggling single mother in a lower middle-class SES, dependent on government-assisted health care, for example, I failed to understand how anyone sharing my portion of the poverty pie could even consider, logically, allowing the Uber Wealthy White Mormon to lead our country, as his platform strove to cut back funding to programs vital to our sustenance. The only people I could envision voting for Romney were other Wealthy White Conservative People Who Struggle For Nothing. 

Who came out and made a huge difference voting in this election? *Not* conservative Reds, though looking at the blue to red ratio of the US map suggests otherwise. It was Hispanics. Women. People under the age of 25. For the first time, voters under 25 outnumbered voters over 65 years of age. Feel free to fact-check me here, but I believe 8% of the Hispanic vote went to Obama in 2008, while 12% rooted for democracy this year. 

What clinched it for me, in terms of really going gangbusters, donating my $8 pittance towards the Obama/Biden re-election campaign, and forcing down the throats my grounds for Democratic Decision to anyone who crossed my path? The "rape baby" issue. That whole shenaniganathon by the conservatives Pissed. Me. The. Hell. Off. (But you know that already.) Ostracized by many for my vocal outbursts and public disclosure of my rape experience, it was implied that I had or should have hidden my victimization in favor of being proper and civil, when I thought just the opposite. But I managed to turn victimization into transforming woman-power, which I'm sure made the women in Heaven who tirelessly fought for the female right-to-vote in the first place, in 1920, gleeful. 

"The female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down." Yes, actually, legitimately, Mr. Akin, the female body does. But not in the reproductive organs. IN OUR BRAINS, fool. Home of LOGIC, REASON, and SANITY. What became of the gaggle of pro-rape, anti-choice Republican candidates? Well, let's take a look:

Good golly!

Next thing you know, the USA will be abortion-friendly, gays-marrying, recreational pot-legalizing, porn star condom-wearing crazy nutso!!! Oh wait. THAT'S WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. WHOPPEEEEE!!!! That wasn't one of my ultra-vivid mid-afternoon nap dreams! 

Election Tuesday, I was riddled with a degree of internal flux and anxiety on multiple levels that ravaged my psyche and physical system to the point of literally feeling as if I was having a consecutive string of actual mini-strokes. I'm not exaggerating. I nixed my personal therapy, so that I could be assured of enough time to cast my ballot before heading downtown to school, where I had my Therapy class all afternoon, during which I'd both provide and receive student counseling. 

Either fortunately or unfortunately, I was summoned home soon after I arrived at school by my fever-fueled, throat-aching son. Both grandmas had full agendas and Craig couldn't leave work, and I'm allowed one absence without repercussion from each class once a semester. Handing over my week's materials to my therapy partner, I turned around on the train and bolted home. Unable to get Luke into the doctor for a throat culture until Wednesday, amid his reluctance to see a physician, I resigned to also taking Wednesday off of school to aid my convalescing Germ Spawn, whose air I deliberately dodged, at least until we knew conclusively if the Strep Alert sent home by the school pertained to Luke or not. 

Luke's opinion of trekking to the doctor was this: "The modern body is so coddled. It should fight its own battles from time to time." (His text to me while I was on the train home.) I referred him to the subjects of rheumatic fever and the sad case of Muppets' creator Jim Henson, who died from a case of untreated strep several years ago, and urged him to re-think his stance while he was busy lounging around in his boxers playing the freshly-released Halo 4. 

Once settled in for the Election 2012 coverage barrage, I nervously couldn't decide on whether or not to camp in the living room, my mom choosing ABC's national coverage, or if I should follow CNN online, which was making me REALLY nervous, or the Huffington Post, or give myself a laugh and watch Fox News unravel. In between trying to keep up with the thousands of incoming Tweets, unable to get ANY homework done, looking for my blood pressure monitor and yoga DVD, popping the Estazolam early, I ultimately loaded iTunes with the entirety of my Michael Nesmith collection and chilled out, waiting for the Stephen Colbert/Jon Stewart Comedy Central 10pm coverage for some levity in my night. Strongly favoring Obama, they put me a bit more at ease, though their broadcast would only last an hour. 

Monitoring things online, as the night progressed, it had to be around 11:30 or close to midnight when the networks called it a WIN for President Obama. The crucial swing states in his favor, the POTUS' silky hands grabbed up the vast majority of the necessary electoral college votes, riding him to victory. I think it was at that point when my cousin's wife in Ohio, a transplanted Mississippian conservative, openly wept, tearing her hair out and cursing her new home, draped in a Confederate flag, crying "My life is over!"

I, too, was reduced to a mush of flowing tears myself. It was an overwhelming sense of relief and pride, knowing Obama was just a little ways downtown himself, at McCormick Place, riding it out. Seriously, I was so anxious that the call of victory felt like I'd just talked someone out of jumping off a skyscraper and wrangled them to safety. 

Exhausted, I was to be damned if I was going to miss the concession and victory speeches. What took Romney so long to concede to his ultimate failure? Probably the fact that the smug, over-confident, ill-prepared for defeat, Bishop of Icky Poop *failed* to prepare a concession speech ahead of time. Scrambling for a thesaurus or, like, a speech-writer, we waited. And waited. And waited. What did he deliver? A rambling string of insincere cliches and awkward "Nah, really, it's ok..." half-cocked phony smiles, grinding his teeth, barely able to spout anything positive, much less congratulatory, towards President Obama. The POTUS, on the other hand, once he took the stage, didn't explode the crowd with fist pumping exuberance. His speech was moving, with the vibe of "Alright. We did it. I'm grateful. It was the right thing. Let's keep pushing forward. Let's work together. I'll have Romney over for lunch. I'll even pay, heh." Joined by his solid family onstage, and finally VP Biden, Obama sighed in relief with, well, evidently the majority of the rest of the voters in the USA, edging towards 2:00 in the morning. I finally caved into jittery slumber, after a "Thank you, Sweet, Saucy Jesus for All This Friggin' Liberty!" prayer, a couple of "Hare Krishnas" and crossing myself.

All the Funky Little Vertebrates woke up Wednesday morning to a quieter, more even-tempered, cooled country. I took the Obama/Biden bumper sticker off of my truck, mission accomplished. (Out of love, the Coyne/Drozd sticker stays.No, Coyne and Drozd didn't vote for themselves, though Twitter'ers were posting pictures of their written-in votes for the Lips. Goofs.) The conservatives were still fuming mad, the undecideds or non-voters were still wondering what all the hype was about, Floridians were still in line, and the liberal Democrats were making new memes and lighting up celebratory joints online (uh, mostly in Colorado). 

Congratulations, President Obama. I'm proud of you. As Guy Friend said to me last night on the phone, implying that he, as a wealthy older white man, voted for the wealthy older white man, "Your guy won!" (He exercised his right of non-disclosure as for whom he voted, which is righteous.)  Yes, my guy won. A "W" in the column for the liberals and Mr. Yuck stickers for the theocratic conservative right wing elephants. Four more years? Indeedily doodily. 

I'm still curious as to how I ended up on the email list for the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. They contacted me, the retired junkie, to urgently sign an FDA petition by midnight the other night, which would put currently Schedule III narcotics, like Vicodin, Lortab and Norco (all hydrocodone-based) on Schedule II, indicating they have a much higher potential for abuse and addiction than is their current status. "A high potential for abuse?" What, are there like cameras in my bedroom or something? I abused them in the 90's, took them legitimately in the last couple of years (pancreatitis is PAINFUL, mofos), OD'd accidentally once or twice, accidentally combined dehydration with morphine and anti-anxiety meds (for which I was rudely shot up with Narcan, and almost exploded)....suddenly, I'm on this email list about stringent controls for narcotics. Trust me, FDA, you don't want someone like me (or my retired junkie friends) voting on the stringency of opioids, because we'd actively petition them to become over-the-counter.

The Offbeat Drummer is responsible for all the positions and opinions herein this blog entry. We can get back to my colorfully dramatic love life and the insanity of insanity while maintaining sanity in my non-political life and that of my friends and lovers next time. You can't wait, I know. I have another Theories paper due next Wednesday, to be graded once again by the Flowery-Writing-Hating Teaching Assistant, whose name was unveiled to be "Neil." Neil, I ain't changing my style because your perception is that academia needs to be stale and flatly delivered. Should you read this, prepare your red pen for a fight if you even remotely think of grading me with another 75/100, because I'll eat your face off like a pit bull on meth on this one, kiddo.

Oh update! Yesterday, President Obama had a chance to stop by his campaign HQ to offer thanks to his many volunteers. He cries. I did too. My grad school's chief priority is to grow us as mental health practitioners capable and trained in social reform and advocacy from a multicultural standpoint. This was social reform in action, for which the President is deeply indebted. 


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