Miss Me Yet?
By: Joshua Chamberlain
Posted: December 22, 2011
An actual Facebook status update posted by a female friend of mine on 11/4/2008:
“We’re all fucked. Say goodbye to America, folks.”
I distinctly remember being annoyed by her post, but I was never really able to put a finger on why. Part of my annoyance was due to the fact that I voted for the guy who she thought would be the downfall of America, but that didn’t quite provide a sufficient explanation. My assessment was reinforced by a bumper sticker I saw on 12/17/2011:
“Miss me yet?” next to a picture of George W. Bush.
The bumper sticker got me thinking about what, exactly, the gentleman driving the car expected me to be missing about Bush. While I did vote for Obama, an offense I assume the driver of the car would classify somewhere between heresy and treason, I never saw Obama as any sort of savior.
I typically reject the concept of saviors, as it eliminates the role of humanity and personal choice. If we all have someone/something else to thank for our successes or blame for our failures, it eliminates personal responsibility.
At best, and I really mean AT BEST, a chosen president will have a minimal impact on my everyday life. I am a heterosexual white male working in a recession-proof industry. Frankly, I have very little to worry about.
This position of security has also left me with very few things to hate. My job is not threatened by uneducated illegal immigrants, so I have no reason to fear/hate them. I am secure in my marriage, so I have no reason to fear/hate gays. My job is liberal in nature (the teaching of ideas) but relies on the “1%ers” (I work at a wealthy independent school) so I have no reason to fear/hate either political group.
Because of this duality, I have come to terms with both sides of the political spectrum. When election time comes around, I often find myself confused about whom to vote for, as there are legitimate arguments for both sides. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just blend the parties together?
The problem, of course, is that we can’t. Even my most partisan friends (including one who works for one of the major parties) admit that they have to pick and choose the issues they feel strongest about. Even for him, a party employee and steadfast supporter, there are no easy answers.
This is why the bumper sticker confuses and amuses me. I don’t miss George W. Bush any more than I will miss Barack Obama. As an extension, I won’t miss Barack Obama any more than any other president I will have in my lifetime. The beauty of a system with built-in checks and balances is that I won’t have to.
As for my Facebook friend, my guess is that her life hasn’t changed much, either. She has certainly not said “goodbye to America.” Though, judging by many of the pictures she chooses to post, she has definitely been “fucked.”