November 2, 2010

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614 Days

Six hundred fourteen days from the first Tea Parties to Election Day. That’s 307 days in 2009 and 307 in 2010.

In that time, we’ve met so many people. We’ve made too many friends. (Psychologists and sociologists and anthropologists believe that a person can manage no more than 150 human relationships, so there is such a thing as too many friends.) Most of us, I’m afraid, have seen friendships end, too. Some ended because of our politics; some for other reasons.

But we’ve seen stars emerge. As much as many of us would like to think of ourselves as stars, there are really only a few: those in the arena. They’re the stars. We asked for leaders, and we got them. We asked for people to go to Washington and Jefferson City and Springfield and to there serve us well.

Some stepped forward.

Today we pay tribute to those who took up the challenge. We cast our votes. The wise and patient will ignore petty differences with this candidate or that and elect the best candidate who can win. And we all know what that means. In some places, it means voting for a so a called third party, like Tom Tancredo of Colorado. But in most places, it’s usually the Republican.

Tomorrow night, we’ll gather in hotels and Tea Party headquarters and watch the tally. We’ll cheer most races. We’ll mourn a few, too.

In the end, we’ll have made the country stronger. The frayed friendships will, as the passions of election season wane, mend themselves, I think. We’ll realize how much we’ve accomplished—this odd collection of people called “The Tea Party.”

It’s been a strange and stressful 614 days, friends. Thank you for taking me with you.