I remember Game 4 of the 2004 World Series. I was watching with a bunch of guys who'd grown up outside Boston. Guys with Red Sox t-shirts so old and worn-through you could see their nipples. And when Keith Foulke tossed the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz to seal the deal, the room erupted. Steve was hugging Dave. BJ was howling with joy. Joe was rolling around on the floor, confused by how happy he was. I jumped up and down, grinning and whooping at the TV. Dave turned to me.
"Danny, since when do you like the Red Sox?" He asked.
"Yeah," said Steve. "Do you even like baseball?"
"Of course, I love baseball. Shortstops, innings -- I love it all!" I replied. They seemed unconvinced. "Three strikes equal one out," I said with confidence. They shrugged and went back to celebrating. I finished my beer and went home.
The moral of the above anecdote (or "super-anecdote," as most of you are probably thinking) is that it's one thing to bask in the glory of others, and it's another, much awesomer thing to deserve a piece of the glory. My friends had endured decades of misery as Sox fans. They deserved a piece of the glory. Their parents, even longer suffering, deserved a bigger piece. The Red Sox players deserved a really big piece. I, on the other hand, was a bystander. In this joy orgy, I was standing off to the side, trying to get a glimpse of side boob.
On November 4th, there is a good chance that Barack Obama will be elected President. Across the country, people will celebrate. They'll hug and high-five their brains out. They'll blast "We Are the Champions" semi-ironically -- but also semi-unironically. They'll congratulate each other, and they'll deserve it. But will you?
In my opinion, there are very distinct tiers of Obama supporters, and what tier you belong to dictates how much you're allowed to celebrate if Barry wins on the 4th. Here goes:
Voted for Obama: Great. Nice job. Have a beer.
Donated to Obama: Congratulations. You are a minority owner in the sports franchise that just won. The players love you but don't know your name so they just call you "Moneybags." I'm not trying to disparage your contribution. I'm just letting you know that they call you "Moneybags." Have a glass of boxed wine.
Volunteered for Obama: Now we're talking. As a canvasser, phone-banker, fundraiser, or GOTV-er, you can lay claim to a significant piece of glory. To belabor the baseball metaphor, you are the between-innings t-shirt cannon guy. Your enthusiasm (t-shirts) compelled others to vote (catch the t-shirts). Have a glass of champagne.
You are Obama: Congratulations. You get to be President. Now go fix our shit.
Obama supporters, it's time to come to grips with the fact that our guy might win. If he does, November 4th will be amazing. But it'll be much more amazing if you feel like you played a role. The yelling will seem louder. The high-fives will be frattier. The stranger you kiss in the street will be cuter. Don't miss your chance to enjoy Team Obama's victory as a bona fide part of the team. Get involved. Grab a piece of the glory.