The votes are all tallied ... now what?
Activists seek ways to redirect campaign energy
November 11, 2008
BY PAIGE WISER
Betsy Storm is elated -- and yet somehow at loose ends.
The Chicago volunteer worked on Barack Obama's campaign for 18 months, hosting college kids for "Camp Obama," (where they earned Merit Badges for "Speechifyin'" and "Hillary Bashing") making lunches for campaign staff, phone banking, traveling to Iowa (wow. That WAS a sacrifice!). She even designed a "Mamas for Obama Know the Power of Voting" (Jesus. Does this shirt need an appendix?) T-shirt that raised $1,000 for the campaign (Obama couldn't have won it without it).
Betsy ("The Hurricane") Storm collected (stole) a lot of Barack Obama memorabilia during her 18 months as a Chicago campaign volunteer. (O.J. and his posse might come looking for it, so, be armed) Those who took an active role in the campaign could have trouble filling the void after the election.
So what is she supposed to do now? (There's nothing left to accomplish, really. He won. America is back to being awesome) "The thrill of a winning campaign, especially a historic event like this one, is a tough act to follow," Storm says.
And Republicans who didn't see their candidate win office arguably feel worse. (so, let's not interview them)
Even if you weren't actively campaigning, odds are that you were keeping up with the race on the cable nightly talk shows, or obsessively clicking online for the latest poll results, or opining loudly about Sarah Palin's wardrobe ethics. (....unless, ya' know, you had a LIFE)
It was all-consuming entertainment of the first order.
And now you feel ... empty. How do you fill this void? (Spackle)
Psychologist Lester Lefton advises us to to take heart. "Americans are among the most resilient people on this planet," he says. "We will all be fine." (just look at the stock market for proof!)
You too, Republicans. "For those Americans whose candidate did not prevail, time is your best friend," Lester says. "Eventually you will adjust and recognize the country is not falling apart simply because the 'other' candidate is in office. And soon these proud Americans will begin to refocus their energies." (Finalist for "Most Condescending Remark" award for 2008!)
Miggie ("went wee-wee-wee all the way home") Greenberg, assistant professor of psychiatry at Saint Louis University (Odds of Miggie being a personal friend of Paige Wiser: 89%) , says this transitional time is an opportunity. "We can use our newly reclaimed time in other types of civic involvement, like volunteering for a cause we believe in, or we can rediscover hobbies that have been placed on the back burner (Whaaa? Because, you just didn't have time for hobbies during the election?? Jesus, people....) ," Greenberg says. "It's also important to reconnect with other people who share our same values, which can be validating." (or exclusionary)
"And, if all else fails to cheer you up, remember -- the next presidential election is only four short years away." (And, you can go back to diverting yourselves from your pathetic, worthless lives again!)
A few suggestions for post-election pastimes:
1. "The first thing to obsess on is what kind of dog they're going to get," says Marian Salzman, a futurist and trendspotter. (How do you land that gig? Seriously. Futurist? Trendspotter? Wasn't Ewan McGregor in that movie?)
2. If you're addicted to polls, visit http://www.buzzdash.com/. (and do us all a favor and stay home) It's a social polling site with more than 13,000 live polls -- and a participant named "Chicago Mike" who is given to asking questions like, "Who would win if the 1972 Dolphins played the 1942 Chicago Bears?" (......urge to kill rising.....)
3. Train for a marathon. Imagine if you redirected all that mental energy into physical energy. (If it's me, that mental energy would result in exactly one lap around my neighborhood park)
4. Publicly endorse a candidate for the Oscar race. (.............hilarious)
5. Get involved in community service. "The really wonderful thing we've learned from the Obama campaign is that people can make an incremental difference by giving $2 and $5, (I learned that in church, not a fucking political campaign....okay....now, I'm getting pissed off) ." Salzman says. "You don't have to be a large donor to make a difference. And I think that's a message of real hope for people." Betsy Storm plans to step up her work with Heifer International. (Either affiliated with Playboy or a company run by cows)
6. Work for the environment, either by greening (ugh) your own life or getting out the word to others (because there's nothing people like more than being preached to about the environment) . You can never do enough -- and it's a cause that's not likely to resolve itself anytime soon. (no shit?)
7. Fall in love. Barack and Michelle Obama, a genuinely loving partnership (as evidenced by their fist-pump), could set the tone for the country. (because, ya' know, George and Laura hated each other) This is not likely to be a "Sex and the City" era (??!?!?!) , but a time to settle down. It makes good financial sense, too. (but, fall in love first. That's the 'easy' part)
8. Spend more time with your family, and entertain at home. Until the economy sorts itself out, the emphasis will be on simple pleasures. "We'll be eating a lot of very good soup," Salzman predicts. (Trendspotter and futurist, indeed.)