I hear it from my wife. I hear it from friends and coworkers. Because for fans and supporters of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, the idea of a liberal, articulate politician seeming to point the way to a positive, hopeful future has stepped beyond mere romantic fantasy. Even setting aside the Bush Junior years, which certainly rank as some of the darkest, most cynical years of American history, it's hard to summon up genuine enthusiasm for any president during my lifetime.
It feels too good to be true, doesn't it? We'll wake up one day and find the whole feeling a cruel illusion. Some Sirhan Sirhan-like creature will gun him down, or he'll peel off the mask and reveal a more cynical, corrupt - in other words, business as usual - face.
It's the curse of mortality - hope is never permanent. Eventually either the hope or the hoper evaporates into the air. The fear is ugly as fresh dog shit, and even as our hopes and aspirations for our nation reaches ever higher heights, that ill-smelling whiff - or just the idea of it - gathers its forces in our brain cells, just waiting for the opportunity to take over the brain with a sardonic "Ha! I told you it was all a crock!"
All I can say is...don't fret. This isn't 1968. If anything, this is the antidote to 1968...and 2000...and 2004. We are witnessing the end of the Decade of the Asshole. Hasn't this decade felt that way? Assholes who fly planes into buildings, assholes who run our country into the ground, assholes who loot their corporations and wipe out their employees and stockholders, assholes who always win reality TV shows, assholes who bilk the poor out of their money and houses and pensions, assholes who prevent gays from getting married while snorkling some twink on the side...we've jumped the shark on that bullshit. The national nightmare will end.
Could I be wrong? Sure. I have my doubts like everyone else. But worrying about it won't make it happen or not happen. Let it go. All shall be well, dammit.