Random Election Thoughts

As we near Election Day, it seems fitting to discuss a number of issues in the current political and cultural scene. Therefore, I wish to make the following observations.

It is somewhat amazing how foreign leaders attempt to get involved in our political process. It is most interesting when foreign thugs try to influence American voters. Russia President Vladimir Putin has endorsed Bush, as have the Iranian Mullahs. Senator Kerry also has the support of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. I wonder how thrilled Bush and Kerry are with these endorsements?

My column last week (where I questioned the wisdom of federal disaster relief) generated some very interesting responses. My favorite piece of hate mail has to be the one I got from “Paul,” who writes, “Three or four (I can’t remember the number) large hurricanes hitting Florida in the space of a few weeks is about as rare as a tornado in Knoxville. When that UT tornado comes, I hope it picks you up and deposits you in swimming pool full of broken glass and barbed wire.” Thank you, Paul, for showing me just how insensitive and mean spirited I really am!

The three most potent swing states are Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. I have this prediction for the election next week: The candidate who can win two of these states will win the election.

Bush will, in all likelihood, carry Florida. Kerry will probably win Pennsylvania (I hope I’m wrong on this). Therefore, my prediction is that whoever wins Ohio will go to the White House. Bush narrowly won this state in 2000, but polls have consistently showed the Buckeye state to be a tossup this time around, so it is still anyone’s race.

Scare tactics are all the rage from the Kerry campaign. According to him, President Bush has a secret plan to end Social Security (if only he did!) and reinstate the draft. Both of these are bogus issues designed to instill fear in two demographics that Democrats are not doing as well in as they should be (Senior citizens and young voters). Regardless of who is elected, Social Security will continue to bankrupt America, and there will be no draft. Anyone who honestly believes otherwise is simply duped by the Democrats.

All reasonable people can agree that it would be best for the country if the winner of the election is known on election night (or at least by early the following morning). No one wants a repeat of the 2000 election. Unfortunately, it appears we may get just that. Democrats have hired teams of lawyers to challenge any results they do not like. We could see this election stretched out again, which would be very bad for America. Here’s hoping we have a clear winner on election night.

The Electoral College has been criticized frequently over the years. It is undemocratic, its opponents argue. But to them I say, look deeper. The system has worked for over 200 years, a major accomplishment in a world where governments rise and fall on a daily basis. Also, stop and think about what our country would be like without it. The Electoral College empowers smaller states that otherwise would not even be considered by political candidates. Without the Electoral College, how much time do you think presidential candidates would spend in Tennessee? More than likely, Democrats would be pushing for massive voter turnouts in large Democratic states like California, and Republicans would be doing the same in states like Texas. The Electoral College gives a voice to the Tennessees, Colorados, Iowas, and Wisconsins of the world, something we should all be happy about. Besides, contrary to what most people think, the United States is not a democracy; it is a republic.

Is anyone else sick of seeing attack ads? Yes, I know they are effective, but that does not stop them from being quite irritating. An out of context quote by candidate X, a slip of the tongue by candidate Y. They make for great “bumper sticker slogans,” but tell us little about any candidate’s ideas. Anyone who bases their vote solely on an attack ad (which are generally pure propaganda) probably should not be voting in the first place.

Finally, something I have been wondering. How can anyone who is planning to vote STILL be undecided? The campaigns have been in high gear for months. If you have yet to make a decision, when will you? And, on such late notice, can it truly be an informed decision?

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