You call this a birthday?

Nov 042008
Authors: Caleb Thornton

It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve seen better birthdays.

When last weekend began it looked like I was going to get some pleasant surprises for my birthday. The Rams had just scored with 1:30 to go and took the lead from a ranked BYU team. Rams fans were crowding to rush the field — something I have yet to experience despite attending every football game since freshman year.

And then the BYU offense and referees happened — strike one.

Of course there was still the Broncos to look forward to. I mean there was no way we could lose to the lowly Dolphins, right? Wrong. We all know how that one ended up, and the added bonus that Brandon Marshall caught two passes all day killed my fantasy football team — strike two.

Thinking that perhaps my participation in no shave November was to blame, I promptly shaved off what little semblance of facial hair I had, hoping to change my luck for what was going to be a much more important race coming up.

I promptly woke up sick the next morning — strike three.

And then this happened.

On my birthday, Nov. 4, which is supposed to be a day of celebration and happiness every year until I’m 40 (at which point it will become a day of mourning), Sen. Barack Obama was elected president of the U.S.

I know it doesn’t exist, but can I say strike four?

I would like to say that I am shocked, dismayed and can’t believe what just happened, but let’s be honest here — all the cards were stacked in Obama’s favor. When you have a Republican President as unpopular as the one in office right now, and the convenient excuse that everything going wrong in the world right now is obviously his and his party’s fault, it’s not a surprise to me that people were willing to vote for, “change.”

To his credit, Obama ran an excellent campaign. From raising an unprecedented amount of money and then outspending his opponent by more than two to one, to organizing a massive grassroots campaign structure and even using a catchy slogan for his campaign, Obama did exactly what he needed to do to win. Of course, it helps when you have just about every outlet of media on your side, but we’ll save that discussion for a later time.

But, what is done is done and the fact of the matter is that Obama is going to be our 44th president.

To you Obama supporters out there who couldn’t be happier at this prospect: well done getting your guy elected, but good luck in the upcoming years. Obama promised you supporters plenty, and now we get to see if he comes through with every one of his promises.

He may look, speak and act like the chosen Messiah (I heard he ascended to heaven to confer with the big man himself when he found out he was elected), but in the end he is a politician, so don’t be disappointed when he doesn’t come through with every, if any, promise he made to you.

To you conservatives out there: Don’t be dismayed. Yes, we were beaten this year, and yes, the prospect for conservatism in the coming years looks bleak, but the conservative brand will continue on. It may need new leaders and faces, but it will continue on until the political winds change and the pendulum swings back our way.

It’s American Politics — we’ll get our turn again.

Of course the best part of all this — the election is over.

It just might be the best present I could have asked for.

Caleb Thornton is a senior political science major. His column typically appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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