Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the details of my daily life–or the details of the latest political PR stunt–that I forget I’m fortunate enough to live in very interesting times.  Well, fortunate or cursed, I’m not sure which one.  What I do know is that this is not a peaceful era in our country’s history.  As Grumpy Cat might say, “Good.”

Say what you will about the Obama administration’s achievements, his has not been a boring presidency.  He has been a Messiah to some–as we’ve found out this week–and an Antichrist to others.  I have yet to meet someone with a neutral opinion of Obama.  And that in itself is a good sign–if you’re not hated by anyone, you’re doing something wrong.

The country is not a neutral mood, either.  The Tea Party is trying to organize a constitutional convention–a meeting of the states to protest the direction of this government and to propose amendments to the Constitution.  State legislatures in two-thirds of the states would have to vote for this convention to happen, so who knows if this is something that will ever get off the ground.  Still, conflict and secession are in the air, as they have been pretty much since January 2009.

I wonder how we’ll look back upon this time decades from now.  If health care reform turns out to be beneficial to Americans, will Obama be remembered as the heroic President who made it happen?  Will we erase all the controversy and name-calling, the way we’ve done with JFK, and be left only with pictures of the new Camelot, of the glamorous First Family?  Will progressives do to Obama what conservatives did to Ronald Reagan when they wiped away all the wrinkles of his presidency and turned him into their Messiah?  Or will we continue to remember this as a contentious time, perhaps as the first rumblings of a deeper split in this country, or–if the threatening noises from Russia and China are any indication–the prelude to another global war?

I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the answers to any of the above questions.  Whatever the case, I’m excited to be here to witness all this and to write about it, however inadequately.  Despite the Chinese curse, I never did want to live in bland times.

This article is a great example of a business doing it right–Trader Joe’s.  Much like Costco, Trader Joe’s is going the anti-Wal Mart route, paying their employees a good wage and giving them benefits, and is a well-liked source of organic food and two buck chuck for us here on the leftie coast.

And since last summer, Trader Joe’s has been expanding–for the first time–into Texas.  Hmmmm…could this be another sign that Texas is turning blue, or at least a milder shade of red?  We know about the rising demographic shift gradually changing the state.  Could this be yet another reason for those who believe in Texas as a bastion of conservative thought to be just a little worried?

We’ll see…I guess they better secede soon before we corrupt them completely.

Well, I sure live in exciting times.  The list of states petitioning to secede from the nation has now grown to forty.  And, much to my surprise, my home state of Oregon is on it.  Woot!  Secession party!

But…hold on.  How, exactly, is this going to work?  Oregon is a blue state.  Most of us here voted for President Obama–in fact, almost everyone I know voted for him.  So…where are we going?  I can’t imagine that most Oregonians want to separate themselves from the government they voted for, especially to form a new conservative state they don’t agree with.  Are just the people who signed the petition seceding?  Is a fragment of Oregon going to separate itself from the rest of the state?  I suppose if these are the same crazies who believe in birther conspiracies and legitimate rape, I wouldn’t mind them leaving, but it’s all very confusing.

Oregon isn’t the only place with this problem.  Since the secession list is now up to forty, this naturally means that quite a few states which went Obama on election night are on it, including California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington.  Good luck making that happen.

So I gotta think that the petition signatures were just a gesture of anger by those who don’t like the President, and that the signers knew their action would not really lead to revolution or secession.  It must’ve felt good in the moment, but what was the point?  I doubt that anyone at the White House website cared very much.  But I suppose that an online civil war is preferable to a real one, and I can be grateful for that.

This one goes out to my conservative peeps, and there are a lot of you out there.  You’re my friends and neighbors and co-workers, and while our worldviews are very different, the conservatives I know are decent and responsible, and yeah, even compassionate.

Here’s what I want to say to you:  there’s no reason to freak out this much about the election results.  Democracy isn’t ending.  The world isn’t ending.  Liberal locusts aren’t raining from the sky.  I’m seeing a lot of talk of secession online, which I assume is just bluster meant to cover up hurt egos.  Where exactly are you seceding to?  You and I are stuck with each other in this country, whether we like it or not.

Also?  I know exactly how you’re feeling right now.  I remember hearing the election results back in 2004.  I remember being just as shocked and distraught.  “How could this guy have gotten re-elected?”  But we liberals survived eight years of Bush.  And you’ll survive eight years of Obama.  America has survived far more serious times, including a real civil war.  It has survived far more sweeping and bigger governmental programs being instituted than any Obama has proposed.  And after all the turmoil and change, it’s still America.  And it’s still a democracy.  A democracy which, by the way, worked exactly as intended on Tuesday.

I realize that you won’t believe me no matter how much I say it, but Obama isn’t about to usher in a new Communist era in the United States.  He’s not even progressive enough for most of us progressives.  And if by Communism you mean that weak sauce Republican health care plan which got passed into law instead of single payer, then that is one bizarre idea of Communism.  No, I feel pretty comfortable predicting that America will remain a firmly capitalist society.

And as always, the political process will remain a cycle.  At some point, another Republican President will get elected, and I will feel as if everything is coming to an end.  But that won’t be true, either.  Hang in there and trust me, your day will come again.  Unless you decide to secede before then–and that would just be silly.