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The New Normal

I was just sent this article by a friend, and I was compelled to share…. Politics in the ‘New Normal’ America

During the spring and summer of 2004 some Americans, most but not all of them nominal Democrats, spoke of the November 2 presidential election as the most important, or “crucial,” of their lifetimes. They told not only acquaintances but reporters and political opinion researchers that they had never been more “concerned,” more “uneasy,” more “discouraged,” even more “frightened” about the future of the United States. They expressed apprehension that the fragile threads that bound the republic had reached a breaking point; that the nation’s very constitution had been diverted for political advantage; that the mechanisms its citizens had created over two centuries to protect themselves from one another and from others had been in the first instance systematically dismantled and in the second sacrificed to an enthusiasm for bellicose fantasy. They downloaded news reports that seemed to make these points. They e-mailed newsletters and Web logs and speeches and Doonesbury strips to multiple recipients.

I started Swedish class last night, and in conversations with a couple students, it came out that ‘thinking about moving after November’ was on their minds, and I admitted to them that we had jokingly said that as well. When I was in Canada this summer for a friend’s wedding, we jokingly told a few Canadians that we were up there “scoping out places to live if things didn’t go well in November”. Which we thought was pretty funny, although I’m not sure if they want any more Americans coming up there.

But it has always been a joke, partially because just up and moving is difficult when you have jobs and houses and familes, but mostly because I still believe in the promise of this country, and that things work like a pendulum given that our system was set up so well. It swings right, it swings left, but in the end it returns to center.

Sometimes I wonder though if that will continue to hold… what if there is a new center?

Categories: Personal.