I'm a relatively young Democrat. I was born in the Reagan years, but the first president I can really remember anything about was Bush's daddy. Even so, I completely missed out on the importance of Bill Clinton's victory as my family was somewhat apolitical and I was still very young.
My point is -- I've basically only known right-wing Republican triumphalism, bluster and bullying. As far back as I can remember, the Democrats have been a weak-kneed, trembling waif standing in the shadow of the muscular, all-consuming leviathan that is the GOP.
I have learned in my short politically active life to fear elections -- especially elections Democrats are "supposed" to win. Because it always goes the same way. The Republicans sweep the Democrats and liberals are left to mutter lamely about media bias, the ineptness of their candidates and the stupidity of the electorate.
Welcome to Hell, Republicans!
That's right -- Election Hell! It's right around the corner.
This is the part in the election where you're scrambling for a ray of hope. And just as it did for us in 2004, it comes in the form of a Zogby poll that shows your candidate much closer than he is in reality. You get your hopes up.
I guess you can probably suss out what happens next. Your hopes are dashed and all you can think about is finding something or someone on which to pin the blame.
It's that damn media, isn't it?! The press was SO in the tank for the other guy, it wasn't even funny! You'd almost respect them more if they just came out and admitted it.
And what about that candidate your party nominated? It was like he didn't even WANT to win. He betrayed the principles of the party and cozied up so close to the center that he might as well have run on the other ticket.
And those goddamn, shiftless, complacent voters. Are they BLIND?! Don't they see how dangerous this man is that they want to elect president? He's arrogant. He's elitist. He's reckless! And I don't trust his friends and cronies one bit.
Now that I think of it -- the other side cheated somehow. They had to. There's no way this many people could be so stupid.
Oh, if I could just skip Inauguration Day altogether. Maybe by then I'll want to talk about what our possibilities are four years from now, but I sure as hell don't want that right now. I'm too exhausted.
You know what? Maybe I'll just leave the country altogether. I can't take four years of this nonsense. I don't even know if there will be a country left on the off-chance I decide to come back.
Of course, this is just a sample of what is in store for you if the election proceeds the way it appears it will -- and we're all working day and night to make sure that it does.
We are going to beat you. We're going to make this happen. But maybe you can take some small comfort in the knowledge that we've been here before. We know what it's like.
Of course, I wouldn't be fighting so hard for my candidate if I didn't believe that he was going to prove you wrong. Stick around. See what he does. See if the next 4 years of your life aren't better than the last 8.
Try to keep an open mind, through all the wailing and gnashing of teeth. If you ever decide to see what the other side is all about, I'll be here to greet you.