Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Great Day For Democracy

Today is Election Day.

It's an amazing opportunity here in the United States to participate every year in the marvel that is democracy, regardless of your political leanings.

Stunningly, a bunch of men a long, long time ago came up with a system of government that endures to this day, a system that has been a beacon of freedom that has made people from all over the world want to be a part of it.

The early history of this country is one of fine-tuning that system, including the emergence of two dominant political parties - which at first meant the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans - to make forming governable coalitions possible.

These days, the American political system is a bit disjointed, especially as it relates to the importance that money and influence play in the process. And of course there is the whole problem of politicians who are more interested in maintaining the power that they have, as opposed to actually doing something constructive with it.

Still, what can you say about what's happening in the United States of America today.

All over the country, tens of millions of people are going to the polls and casting their vote for Senators and Representatives and of course the President.

The most amazing part is that the winners will take office and the losers will not, and the if the losers are currently in power, they will leave peacefully - though in some cases grudgingly and after as many legal challenges as possible. But peacefully. Definitely peacefully.

Think about it. This is how this country works.

So go be part of it. Go vote.

Today's Presidential election is the culmination of a long, arduous, sometimes ridiculous and of course absurdly expensive process. It started with a field of Republicans all of whom wanted to challenge President Obama, and at various times it appeared that Michele Bachmann or Hermain Cain or Rick Perry would be the one who did so.

Ultimately, it would be Mitt Romney, and for the last maybe six months or so, it's been Romney vs. Obama, with each side painting its guy as the only one capable of solving a nation's problems and the other as the worst possible choice to ever lead the country - and spending millions of dollars to do so.

All of it leads to today, and to tonight.

If nothing else, it's great, great theater. And if you haven't taken the time to participate, that's your fault.

One thing TB can't understand after all this time is how anyone can still be undecided. Seriously, what more do you need to know? Make up your mind already.

And how'd you like to be Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney today? Can you imagine what it's like to live with something like that hanging over your head?   

Back when the current football season began, TB thought ahead to the week between Penn and Yale as the week of the Presidential election and thought how amazing it was that such a huge piece of history would occur as a natural matter of course in that time. Maybe he's overthinking it all - he was an American history major - but it's so fascinating to him.

The other thought he had back when the football season began was that he hoped that Princeton would have tangible improvement after the back-to-back 1-9 years, and by tangible improvement, he meant wins.

Well, here is Princeton with two weeks left in the season, still with a shot at the Ivy championship. For Princeton to get there, it'd need to win out and then have the winner of Penn-Harvard lose its other game.

Is that likely? Not really. But it's a chance.

Still, this has been a great football season for the Tigers. In the last three weeks, Princeton has played three games that were riveting to watch. In the three weeks before that, Princeton played three games in which it was completely dominant.

Okay, two of the last three haven't gone the way Princeton might have hoped. But hey, what Princeton fan can complain about any of that now?

Besides, no matter what happens the next two weeks, Princeton has already played one of the greatest games in program history - the 39-34 win over Harvard.

And what of those next two weeks?

TB thought before the season that 4-6 would be a great jump for the team. To get to at least .500 would be even better; to finish 6-4 would be an astonishing job from the entire team and its coaching staff.

No matter what, though, Princeton clearly is no longer the weak link of Ivy League football. Better than that, Princeton is positioned very well for the immediate future, with an army of young players who contribute - and excel.

It's been a great first eight weeks of Princeton football. There are still huge accomplishments out there to play for in the final two weeks.

TB's fear was that Princeton fans would have gotten greedy when the team was 3-0 in the league and then view anything less than a championship would be viewed as falling short. This year, that cannot possibly the case.

Princeton has been a fun team to watch. And a successful one.

Who could argue with that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When you referred to a bunch of men who a long, long time ago came up with a beacon of freedom that has made people from around the world want to be a part of it, I thought you were talking about Princeton inventing intercollegiate football in 1869.

Happy 143rd anniversary of the first college football game in history, another milestone in mankind's progress.