Tomorrow is Super Tuesday in the United States – and I know most of you couldn’t care less. But you probably have an opinion anyway.
Today is probably the best day of the entire campaign cycle. All the minnows have dropped out, the frontrunners of both parties are clear but everything is still close enough for it to be exciting. We’re not looking forward to the anointing of a crown prince or settling for the best option out of a lacklustre lineup – we’re looking at a real, live election.
And I love elections. They don’t always do what I want them to do, sometimes they infuriate the hell out of me, and yes there have been some when I felt robbed. But at the end of the day, it gives me a sense of participation, a sense of community, that is entirely romantic and thoroughly misplaced, especially when I stand in the middle of a hot airless little room, hemmed in by a crowd of irritated, bored people, all jostling closer and closer as if that’ll make the line move faster.
But there’s very little else that makes me feel like a citizen. I think there’s a difference between feeling like a citizen and a member of a nation. It’s one thing to feel proud of or pissed off at or to stand up for your country – and quite another to participate in its functioning.
Irrespective of who wins the White House in November (and at this stage I think it’s a toss-up between Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama whether or not Ralph Nader mounts a campaign or acolytes of the Ron Paul Revolution convince him to run as an Independent), and even though I’m not eligible to vote in this particular election, which incidentally has been going on forever, I still had the best time of my life following it.