I watched the debate tonight in a room full of dedicated get-out-the-vote volunteers.
I sat on the floor and squirmed. Cringed away from the family dog. Picked odd berries out of my clog soles (I'd apparently walked on them on the way over, and they were picking up dog hair—ick!) Braided and unbraided my bangs. I was as tense as I am, say, when waiting to get the results of mysterious medical tests that can bring bad news.
So, there's the whole future of our country in the balance and all. I should be nervous. But this nervous?
See, the effort to listen on behalf of everyone else was just too much. I was trying to figure out why all the well-meaning citizens in the room were snickering at different things than I was. But I was also trying to listen on behalf of fundamentalists living in mobile homes in Alabama. On behalf of college students. Citizens whose first vote was for F.D.R. and who lived through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Newly naturalized citizens. Soccer moms. Appalachian union members. Exurban insurance agents with three kids and no pension plan. Crazy people living on disability. Soldiers. Soldiers' wives. Soldiers' parents. Marxist faculty members. Lazy journalists. Opposition researchers.
People talk about how we're getting past irony now. Can we also try to get past all the meta-analysis? I just want to listen as me.