home Current Affairs, North America, Politics Election 08: “High Anxiety”

Election 08: “High Anxiety”

Watching this election, electronically linked up to voters across the United States and beyond, is a surreal and beautiful experience.

I wish I could tell you that it doesn’t matter what the outcome is.

After all, we at GlobalComment here do not quite care about the political leanings of our readers, as long as said readers are thoughtful and well-informed. Yet as an individual, not a journalist, I am hoping for change. I am hoping, in short, for Obama.

This election has been ugly – both on the national and local level. In North Carolina, my home state, Elizabeth Dole (a fellow Duke grad, to add insult to injury), overstepped all boundaries of decency in attacking her opponent in the Senate race. Unlike the mainstream GOP platform, which excels at insidious subtleties and dogwhistles, Liddy Dole went ahead and called Kay Hagan “godless,” quite a big deal in the Bible Belt.

It is looking as though this vicious strategy has backfired, and I am glad.

If there is one thing that I am sure of is that our country does not wish to go back to the McCarthy era, wherein “real Americans” were separated from “fake Americans,” and suspicion and paranoia held sway. No matter how tough it may get in the years to come, thought-crime has little to do with what the United States stands for.

Tonight, I had the chance to speak to many Americans: both expats and those who call the Middle East their home. Interestingly, most Muslims I have spoken to were people who previously voted for Bush, and who have become so disgusted with “Muslim” being used a slur in this election, that they have opted for Obama, disregarding his comparatively liberal policies.

Regardless of religion, all folks I have chatted with today confessed to anxiety, both in terms of the election and in terms of the future. No matter who wins this year, we may be in for a number of bleak years, that much has been accepted by most everyone.

But as Bob Dylan sang, “the hour before dawn is the darkest.” Alongside anxiety is the no-nonsense belief that we will find our way, come hell or high water or voter fraud.

Stay with us for more election updates & check out the Feministe election liveblog, in which Natalia is a participant.

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Natalia Antonova

Natalia is a writer and journalist. She's the associate editor of openDemocracy Russia and the co-founder of the Anti-Nihilist Institute.