Every American election is hyped as the most important election ever. They all matter, though. The job has only been held by 42 men and each one of them has affected the lives of billions.
We're in the middle of so much right now, all manner of crises - foreign and domestic. We need so much for a steady hand to lead the nation and the world at this point. We need someone to finally pull this country together after the divisions of the last 16 years. There is a line between a vigorous, competitive democracy and warring tribes, and we've crossed it. Not healthy. And if something isn't good for America, it hurts the entire planet.
So I look at all these numbers. 90% of voters say the country is on the wrong track. With steady consistency a majority of the voters support Sen. Obama in the polls. States that weren't supposed to be in reach now are, while the "safe" states remain quite safe.
I don't feel the sort of dread I felt going into the 2002 election, nor do I have the queasy "jump ball" feeling from 2004, or the elation from 2006 where I figured a gain was likely and the excitement was only a matter of degree. I feel good about this election. Really good. 85% good.
And yet... I keep trying to convince myself that America won't disappoint me. Maybe I'm just beat up from the last eight years, as I remarked to a friend after the '06 election, until then you had the sense that Democrats just couldn't be elected in America anymore.
And yet... 2008 is so different. No WMD in Iraq. Post-Katrina. Mid-Financial crisis. And I get the sense that out there, in the great mush that is the collective American consciousness that something really awesome is happening.
But I can't let myself get carried away with it. Just gotta wait for election day.