i worry…

about the outcome of the upcoming election.

i’m not one of those mental midgets who “fears” Barack Obama. or even Sarah Palin.

but whichever ticket wins, i’m really not sanguine about the future.

at this point, it seems that Obama has the better chance of winning the Presidency; it’s pretty much a sure bet that he’ll take the popular vote. the only likely way for McCain to win is in the Electoral College, but i doubt he’ll pull it off.

for a mainstream American politician, Obama is about as left-wing as one can get. for example, his tax proposals in particular bother me; while i am not a “true believer” in the ideas of supply-side economics, i think they make a lot more sense than Obama’s redistribution of wealth model. the government has never “redistributed” wealth successfully. if they take it away in taxes, it’s gone into the rathole of government spending. it won’t come out again to help anyone who isn’t directly or indirectly a government employee. “soaking the rich” can not and will not a healthy, functioning economy make.

this is not saying “liberalism” is inherently bad; at it’s heart, the set of ideals that American liberalism claims as its own are at the core a belief in man’s essential nobility. each and every human being is precious, says this ideology; no matter the race, creed ot tax bracket. Barack’s early campaign messages of “Hope” and “Change” (though vague) were formed by these central tenets and can account for much of his draw.

yet the latest issue of Newsweek (and this week’s Meet The Press) bring up a vexing question: how will a liberal Obama Presidency and Democratic Congress govern a conservative nation? for, over all, the United States is historically conservative. resistance to change of any kind and a (in my opinion) healthy lack of trust for government shapes public opinion on many issues.

for every person who supports gay marraige or universal health care (or is against the death penalty) there’s probably a couple more who don’t. not because they have a reasoned opinion, but just because that’s the way things have always been. add to this the overwhelming lack of trust in government, and you’ve got a potentially fractious populace if Obama tries to enact laws based on his stated goals.

Obama may do a good job; he’s a very intelligent man. the Presidency isn’t like any other office in the world, and there’s no telling how it may change him.

another worrisome possibility with an Obama victory is the reaction of the far-right; there are already rumblings accusing “the Democrats” of election chicanery – and the election’s not for another two weeks! more post-election divisiveness and court cases is just what the country needs, right? yeah, i didn’t think so either.

i’ve got a personal problem with some of the registration drives, i’ll admit. too many people seem to be registering solely to vote for Obama because of his race. this is just as foolish and racist as voting against him solely because of his race (which, sadly, is probably going to be almost as common). i also have real problems with door-to-door registration drives; if you don’t have the gumption to get off the couch and register, what makes you think you deserve a say in things? like Michael Douglas said in The American President, “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship.” and his character was right; it’s not easy. and if you won’t make the effort, i really don’t see why i should care what you think. with door-to-door registration (with the registration teams handing out absentee ballots at the same time), voting turns into one more couch potato activity.

but the idea of a McCain victory is almost as frightening as an Obama win! not only would it place Palin far to close to inheriting the Oval Office, the social unrest that might follow a McCain election could be rough.

plenty has been said about Palin’s far-right wackiness. i don’t think there’s any need to cover it further.

i like John McCain. i think he’d do a fairly good job as President. i’m probably voting for him.

but the fact that he will probably have to go for an Electoral College victory without a popular vote win bothers me. after the year 2000 Florida debacle and the 2004 Ohio recount controversy, i worry about the public reaction to another Republican “technical” victory. it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to consider economic factors combined with a (rightful or otherwise) feeling of disenfranchisement as possible sparks to social unrest like the 1992 Los Angeles riots or the 1863 New York draft riots. there seems to be a great amount of anger on both sides in this country, far more than i can remember in previous election years.

sometimes it just doesn’t seem like politics is much fun anymore.

quote of the day:

“All Governments, including the worst on earth and the most tyrannical on earth, are free Governments to that portion of the people who voluntarily support them.” – Lysander Spooner


3 Responses to “i worry…”

  1. John Butler Says:

    McCain was briefly ahead in the popular vote right after the convention, but Obama has always led in electoral votes according to every poll. There’s no way McCain can win.

  2. jhota Says:

    and i wouldn’t say that until Nov 5. or possibly later, given 2000 as evidence. there’s just no way to know how an election will go until it does. people lie to pollsters – heck, they lie to exit pollsters. they change their mind. you just can’t make predictions about these things.

  3. WCH Says:

    Pretty good post.

    Reminds me: “There is a Providence that looks out for idiots, drunks, small children and the United States of America” – Bismarck

    Mccain – angry, erratic, hates Bush but now whored after Bush after Bush Roved him in 2000. No self respecting person would be seen on the stage with Bush after that sneak attack. No plans for America, only nasty political lies.

    Obama – Democrat yes, but clear spoken and sticks to the issues. More integrity, both personal and political. But a politician through and through. All in all, the better choice.

    Both ignore the elephants in the room. 1. Military spending. A trillion dollars (more than all the rest of the WORLD combined!!) theft of tax dollars with nothing to do with national security. 2. Economic deregulation – “derivatives” and “credit default swaps” have allowed the super rich to break the bank and get YOU (your tax dollars) to bail them out. The highes paid hedge fund manager made 3.7 BILLION dollars last year. One guy! This is crazy. no wonder were broke. And it looks like its going to get worse.

    And neither candidate is talking about it. Why? Are we too dumb to grasp it? I don’t think so.

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