Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not-so-nice "Make Nice" speeches

There comes a “make nice” time in every concession/victory speech when the candidate, slimed and pilloried by negative television ads, actually thanks the opposing, equally slimed and pilloried candidate, for running a “hard-fought” or “competitive” or “strong” race.

The obligatory “best wishes” to the opponent and family is another speech staple. The children of the candidates stand nearby taking it all in.

No one mentions the need to get out the mops, sponges, sanitizer and deodorant spray. The need for the family to take deep-cleaning showers.

No one even winks knowingly. The candidates speak with seeming sincerity, with straight faces. Winners sometimes even display a tinge of sadness for losers.

And is that relief we occasionally detect in words of defeat?

So, fellow, confused voters (and proximate, gaping children), we are left with these questions:

Are we to believe that we have witnessed two months of some black-and-white, cinema-verité nightmare fantasy? That upon waking with the votes counted, we can dismiss it as a bad dream? That these two candidates actually didn’t mean all that mean, slash-and-burn stuff and were, Zombie-like, stalking and being stalked in a fabricated world of horror?

Or perhaps it was a game now “in the books”: trash talk, injuries on the field, late hits, face-mask penalties, “unnecessary roughness” were just part of spirited, wholesome competition. And really, didn’t the media’s “truth meters” set it all right, like an honest referee?

Or have we just elected (and defeated) total hypocrites who have taken us for fools?

The loser likely regrets a) how nasty it was, or b) that it wasn’t ramped up to be worse (“If just been able to crack my opponents computer code or caught a spouse having an affair.”).

The winner, free of regret and second guessing, is ready to rule — and govern our lives.

How comforting.

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