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Filling the post-election void

Illustration by Arnie Bermudez
By Brett Berry
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 1, 2004
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The day has finally come! Finally, after months and months of continuous campaigning and asinine news speculation, Election Day is finally upon us. And thank God it's finally here!

Honestly, I'm not sure how much longer any of us could last in this cultural landscape. Today, even the most fervent of political junkies among us (myself included) have grown incredibly weary of the nonstop spin, slogans and cult-like chants of "flip-flop." We're willing to see this thing through to the bitter end, but at some point we all need to get back to the rest of our lives.

Don't get me wrong. This is, in fact, the most important election of our lifetimes, and I am willing to fight as long as it takes to ensure that our country's course is righted. It is absolutely great to finally see some political consciousness in this country, but, let's face it, it's just not healthy to allow anything (including an incredibly important election) to consume you this much and for this long!

This tempest of a political campaign has been building since 2000; we all need to just get through this final surge and get on with our lives. But once Election Day has passed, what will we do with our time now that we have our lives back? All of us who have followed this election tightly are all suddenly going to have a lot more time. So how will we fill it? How will we fill the post-election void?

Of course, those of you who are still "undecided" won't have this problem. I mean, if you're still undecided at this point, you either don't care, haven't paid any attention at all, or you are so incredibly indecisive that you haven't had time to follow politics because you've been wracking your brain with other important decisions like "paper or plastic?"

Brett Berry

As for the rest of us, after tomorrow, the weight of this election that we have been carrying for so long will finally be lifted off our shoulders. The daily routines we have grown accustomed to will be forced to change.

Suddenly, there will be no more tracking polls to look up online every day. There will be no more campaign blogs to check and no more campaign ads to analyze for accuracy. So what should we do with all of the free time we are given?

One idea to fill the time is to go and read a book. That's always a nice thing to do, and it's actually quite useful when that book is one of your textbooks - you know, one of those books that you spent $90 on back in August that has been propping up your kitchen table ever since. Reading one of those will fill plenty of time, and it will even help you out when the day of your next exam comes.

If you feel the need to engage in an impassioned debate with random people on the UA Mall, you're going to need to try a little harder. After the election, it might be tough to find someone to argue with once the Young Democrats and College Republicans abandon their encampments in front of the Student Union Memorial Center.

But if you still feel the desire to squabble with someone on campus, seek out one of the good old-fashioned corner preachers. After they tell you why you are going to hell, you can strike up a debate on some surefire issue to argue, like evolution versus creationism. If you want to really get into it with them, just say two little words: pro-life. Undoubtedly, this will ensure a shouting match that will last for many hours and will satisfy anyone's fix for a fervent debate.

Ultimately, tomorrow's election will be catharsis for all of us. Our interest and enthusiasm have been merited, but we need this election to be some type of means to an end for both sides. Hopefully we won't go back to another age of political apathy, but we need to return to some sort of normalcy.

Let's just all hope that no matter what the outcome, tomorrow's election will be clear and decisive. In a country so clearly divided, we dearly need for there to be a clear-cut, majority decision as to who will lead our country for the next four years - not weeks and weeks of litigation. And this time, the man who receives the most votes had better win.

Brett Berry is a regional development senior. He can be reached at

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