I caught the rush hour this evening at the Shorewood Pick & Save on Oakland Avenue. At 5:30, in the strange early darkness of the first workday after daylight savings time, on a spectacularly warm, breezy November night, the entire community seemed to descend at once on the supermarket, clogging the aisles and overwhelming the checkout lines with the needs and wants of their everyday grocery lives.
Maybe I was just projecting my own sense of joy and relief, but it seemed that diverse group, brought together by the accident of their own shopping, was unusually upbeat and positive, as if they were all gathering provisions to watch and celebrate the elections returns tomorrow night. From the young men and women up from UWM; to the men and women in business suits, picking up something on the way home; to the Russian immigrants; to the kids sitting in the shopping carts – there was a palpable feeling in the air. And it was a good one.
It was the kind of feeling you get at the end of something bad and the beginning of something new – maybe even we didn’t know how hungry we were for Change. After eight years of the Bush Disaster – of war and profiteering, of greed and scandal, of incompetence and arrogance, of secrecy for them and no privacy for you – the passage of time and the 22nd Amendment put an end to all that. The McCain campaign was a weak imitation of the win-at-all-costs Bush steamroller that bullied its way into the White House in 2000 and managed to hang on by smearing a war hero in 2004. The thumping of McCain is a rejection of the cynical politics of personal destruction that worked too well for the Republicans and did the country so much harm in the first half of the ‘00s. The only better result would have been to let Bush run again and take this deserved beating himself.
We all seemed to be quietly celebrating today. Tomorrow, I’m guessing by about 10 p.m., the official pronouncements will be made. Then, we will celebrate loudly and party late.