Election joy overkill

Last week, I opened up to page three of The Record for the opinions of my fellow columnists. Instead I got an orgy of Obama worship that seemed to drip off the page.
I know that 87 percent of us are ecstatically happy about President Obama, but I think a little restraint is in order. Specifically, it seems that we are celebrating at the cost of perspective.

For example, I think we shouldn’t declare Nov. 5, 2008 to be “the best day of my life” just yet. Nor should our hearts flutter and our legs go soft as we pretend that Obama is giving us a “shout out.” Finally, let us avoid those meaningless but heartwarming chicken-noodle-soup-by-a-hot-fire-on-a-cold-winter-day generalizations, such as, “[this election] was ours. All of ours” and “the U.S. will soon boast a president who reflects . . . my tenure here, a time overwhelmingly defined in positive terms.”

But onto a more substantive critique. As I read, I wondered if these same gushing paeans would be written if John McCain, a man who has honorably served his country for many years, had won. Would writers still say this election “was ours. All of ours” for President-elect McCain? In “Almost Canada,” Ms. Dey seems to suggest that only because of President Obama will she abandon “anti-establishment pretenses” and swap “ridicule for solutions.” This reminds me of the ubiquitous “Not My President” stickers during the Bush era. Though I opposed Bush twice, this deeply offended me. We can’t pick and choose when we wish to be Americans (though I recognize that Ms. Dey is unfortunately Canadian). America will always need solutions.

Though we are entitled to be happy after this election, let’s not forget the deeper meaning of elections beyond the partisan zero-sum game. Though I may be the Cassandra mentioned in “Almost Canada,” I’d like to point out that despite being a total buzz kill, Cassandra was right about the horse. In summary, it is already a week after the election, and we should be sober by now. Literally and figuratively.

Mo Zhu ’11