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Jewish World Review Nov. 6, 2002 / 1 Kislev 5763

Steve Young

Steve Young
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The Day After... who'll comfort me now? | The day after election day. The saddest day of the year. My entire support system goes bye-bye. No more heartening commercials aimed at my happiness. No more truckloads of personal mail for me (or other Occupants) to help me make decisions that are right for both me AND America. No more wonderfully colorful posters adorning trees, grass lined roadways and the backs of the elderly who stood still for more than a few seconds.

To make things worse, they've turned the Winona Ryder shoplifting case and all its international repercussions over to the jury. Now what am I supposed to do? I can't afford the Soap cable channel.

Oh, cruel, cruel world. Why do you tease me so? Giving me a taste of heaven then pull it back as if I were your play thing...which I kind of think I am.

Right vs wrong is such a imperfect axiom for me. Between elections I am forced to make those decisions on my own. With all the political posters, billboards and pundits to guide me along with those during dinner, personal taped phone calls from famous people asking me to vote during dinner, I have been able to save enough in therapist fees to knock out my entire credit card deficit. Imagine if we multiplied that times every American. We'd balance the budget. I mean, if that's what we're supposed to do.

Democratic or Republican, Independent or Green, Reform or Whig, my destiny would be divine, my borders safe. More government or less, the economy would grow. More tax breaks to the wealthy or to the downtrodden, I'd have more job possibilities then I could ever count. Liberal or Conservative, no matter who ends up in charge of the Senate or the House, I know for sure that the perfect replacements will be confirmed for the Supreme Court

The campaigns are over, except maybe for Florida, so now I am forced to use my own judgment. It's scary. What if I make a mistake? At least during the campaign no matter who I vote for I know I've made the right decision. That's what their ads said, and if it's in the ad it has to be true. Right?

Bob Novak, James Carville, Brit Hume and Michael Moore and the rest of my talking head security-blankets go back to speaking about what is, not what can be. I could never grasp the concept of living in the now. I don't need to know what's happening now. I want to know what's going to happen. The present is already here. It's too late to change that. The future is where I'm going to end up. That's where I want to be, darn it.

See what I mean? The post campaign is such a pain. But still, that is where I am forced to go, down that deep dark road of insecurity. Freedom of choice corroding the thinking process. Making my own decisions. Living with my own mistakes. Having to learn from my failures and missteps. It ain't fair I say!

Why must we stop campaigning just because the elections are over. I say we never have an election. Just campaign. Thank Heaven for talk-radio where they will continue to talk politics 25/8 until the next election. And the best part is that with talk-radio there is no partisanship, only intellectual dishing of the facts. At least that's what they tell me to think. I guess there is a G-d.

JWR contributor Steve Young, Prism Award winner and Humanitas Prize nominee for his television writing, is contributing editor at the Writers Guild of America's "Written By" magazine. He is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful: Mistakes, Adversity, Failure and Other Stepping Stones to Success," . the director/writer of "My Dinner With Ovitz," and opens car doors for students at his very young kids' school. His website is Comment by clicking here.

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© 2002, Steve Young