The Wall Street Journal recognizes that millions of people might be feeling a bit hungover today. Not just from all the cork popping last night, but from a post-drama malaise.
The end of the most-followed presidential campaign in recent years will leave many Americans feeling lost, even if their candidate won. The 2008 race provided drama and suspense to a nation hooked on reality television, mystery novels and Hollywood epics.
Seldom in American history has a presidential campaign offered such compelling narratives: The rise and fall of former first lady Sen. Hillary Clinton. The come-from-behind primary performance of war-hero Sen. John McCain. The emergence of Barack Obama, the biracial Harvard Law star raised by a single mother. The moose-slaying Sarah Palin, who proudly embraced her unwed pregnant teenager. The father, Sen. Joe Biden, who raised his young sons alone following the death of his wife and daughter in a car accident.
On the morning after the election, however, it’s as if “The Sopranos,” “American Idol” and “Desperate Housewives” all ended on the same night.
I suppose that’s one way of looking at things. Another, polar opposite way of seeing things, is the real drama starts now. Except it won’t be played out on TV. Gil Scott-Heron was right, of course, the revolution was televised. But now, on day one of a post-revolutionary America—a place where we believe in the power of electoral politics again, some for the first time in their lives—the challenge is Denali-like.
Ideas are beautiful and they fuel the dream, but ideas put into action is the difference maker. I think we ad people know this as well as anyone, since only a small slice of our ideas are ever made real.