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Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2004 / 6 Kislev, 5765

Tom Purcell

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Consumer Reports

Thanksgiving Blues | "Thanksgiving week is just around the corner. You'll be with friends and family. How can you possibly be depressed?"

"Bush won a second term, man. The country is going down the tubes. How can I NOT be depressed?"

"But you live in America, land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You won life's lottery by being born here. You have little to be depressed about."

"Ah, put a sock in it. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I got a serious case of Post Election Selection Trauma."

"Ah, yes, Rush Limbaugh was talking about this in earlier in the week. Go on."

"Well, I knew the election was going to be close. But I figured Kerry would come out on top. I figured, at the very least, that it would take weeks for our courageous lawyers to contest the election and count the votes, but Kerry quit on us!"

"He quit?"

"Yeah, he conceded even though a lot of very credible people have uncovered Republican voter fraud around the country. Where are the investigations? Where is the press? What has happened to the search for truth?"

"Where are Dan Rather and the New York Times when you need them? And so you're feeling down?"

"You got it, man. I got feelings of anger, despair and hopelessness. I feel powerless and am having trouble with my behavioral functionality. I hold a powerful sense of foreboding and disillusionment. I don't think I'll ever be able to vote again."

"I don't mean to be insensitive, sir, but how could you possibly be depressed? The elections went about as well as they could have gone."

"Well? Huh?"

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"Look, in many countries bloodshed breaks out when power is fought over. Lots and lots of bloodshed. But in America we had a rough and tumble election in which participation was high. This is how we conduct our revolutions in America -- we stage orderly, and sometimes very passionate, elections."

"But Bush won, man. He won because he cheated and lied. He won because the morons who live in fly-over country are too dumb to figure out the truth for themselves. Not like my side -- my side had Michael Moore investigating the truth. And now that our guy lost, millions of us are suffering from Post Election Selection Trauma."

"Oh, brother. Again, sir, I don't mean to be insensitive to your condition, but it makes no sense to me. What happened to your can-do American spirit? If you win, you work harder to stay a winner. But if you lose, you work harder than the winner, so that you will be the winner the next time. Isn't that the attitude that made America great in the first place?"

"Now how can I exert that kind of effort when, through no fault of my own, I am suffering from Post Election Selection Trauma?"

"But Thanksgiving is near. It's a time of coming together for our country -- just as the Pilgrims and Native Americans did so long ago. It's a time to celebrate the unbelievable bounty visited upon our country."

"Bounty, man? We are gobbling up the world's resources, invading innocent countries, polluting the landscape and causing the polar ice caps to melt. That's the Republican agenda."

"I see."

"As soon as I muster the energy, I'm going to Canada. I got to get out of here before America turns into a police state. The rich are going to walk off with all the money. The government will soon make everyone attend church. You just wait and see."

"I guess there's no talking to you, then. No hope that you'll engage others in thoughtful, open-minded and intelligent debate? No hope that you'll escape yourself for even one moment to realize how blessed you truly are?"

"Give me one example of how I'm blessed, man?"

"Michael Moore isn't coming to your house for Thanksgiving dinner is he?"

"No, man."

"Well, think of all the leftovers you'll have."

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© 2004 Tom Purcell