Nov 052008
Authors: Phoenix MourningStar

It’s my final evening stroll in the city of Edinburgh and another amazing night of stars against the back lit castles on the horizon.

We’re walking along the usually drunk-ridden streets after watching Oliver Stone’s “W.” So much hope and promise lie ahead now, but here we are, with a few more months of the same administration, anticipating the coming four years and how much better (or worse) off the country is going to be. Maybe having second thoughts about our votes or wondering how things would be if the other guy had won .

I have to admit, I’m skeptical. I’m suspicious. I’m not sure I trust any of our “leaders.” I guess I’ve been taken through this “I promise, this time I’ll change” routine, too many times.

It’s a tough thing though, right? We all want the best for all involved — we hope for the best outcomes in circumstances and life. But, I feel like it’s just another political relationship about to start every time we have an election.

We’re less excited about the start of this new one as we are thrilled and happy that the ex is finally leaving town. We always look at it from our own special point of view, too: “Okay, no more stalker-boys,” “wow, no more psycho-chicks,” “if only I would have (blank)” or “next time I’ll do it differently.”

Hopefully, we’re all keeping this in mind as we enter this next phase with our new president.

There’s already talk of the honeymoon phase and how happy things will be at first. One thing we have to remember is that this is a temporary relationship. Like the one you had at summer camp, or the trip to Vegas last month and who can forget that conference in the fall — what conference? Right (wink), good one.

And just like those “flings,” this one is going to end, too. And as this is a political relationship, it’s going to be messy — really messy — every time.

Why? Because we’re not all going to get what we want and those of us who do aren’t going to get it when we want it.

I think we’ve slowly realized this time around that given our political system and media, we really have had a good time — mostly while blaming our leaders.

But what about taking the time to address the words, “It’s not you, it’s me?” Because in some regard, it is us, isn’t it?

In every conflict there seems to be a choice to prove your stance or accept fault. In these sorts of occasions, it’s by far easier to accept full responsibility for the terrible state of affairs and tender your resignation.

Now removed from the interaction, the problem is yours alone. No one else need press matters further. But, that’s never the case.

We’re still here. We’re still voting [or not]. And we’re still the same people participating in a new relationship hoping this time the “problem” will go unnoticed.

I guess that’s where I feel Tuesday’s election was so exciting for the country. It’s as if for the first time, we addressed our own collective roles. Like the last four or eight years have shown a maturity in us to actually address the “it’s not you, it’s me” on a real and truthful level — and maybe we’ve actually come to the conclusion that “hey, it really was us.”

Now we’ve learned our lesson and we’re out there doing our vote for the future — back in the saddle after a generation or two of being kicked around!

So one could say I’m a little gun-shy of my relationship with voting.

I’m not sure I’m ready for that myself . I still require proof; some evidence. My cynicism is fully intact.

No more jumping in blind and giddy. Gimme three to five years to tell you how I felt about this new relationship — of course, then I’ll be a bit biased looking forward to the fact that of one of us will be leaving town.

A lot of people threatened to leave the country last time around if the election didn’t go their way. I tell you what: My heart is a little vulnerable when it comes to presidents. If this one breaks my heart, well, I just won’t come back.

Phoenix Mourning-Star is a graduate environmental health student. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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