Sunday, November 02, 2008

On the eve of the national election, some thoughts

This is just a rambling monolog on things that I've observed and thought throughout the 2008 presidential campaign.

1. The way that we elect a president in the United States is simply awful. It's a beauty contest and liars poker wrapped into a process that takes much too long. By "beauty contest" I mean that the candidate looks good and sounds good on television in those 30-second sound bites. By "liar's poker" I'm referring to the propensity of the candidate to promise much more than they can deliver. Obama obviously wins the beauty contest portion and has bigger bets in the liars poker portion, so it follows that he will win.

One of the really horrible things about politics is that the candidates do not have to tell the truth about plans and promises made on the campaign trail, especially if those promises are in alignment with viewpoints of the liberal press. Any candidate may say anything about any program under the sun. On the other hand, they don't actually ever have to enact those programs; in fact, in many cases the candidates are actually precluded from enacting certain things that they are promising. A great example? Obama promising that he will get out of Iraq in two years. I don't think it's humanly possible, nor do I think that it is wise. That doesn't stop him from promising it! Likewise, John McCain has promised to enact legislation that re-regulates the banking and finance industry. By law, the banking business is regulated by Congress, not the president. The president may introduce legislation, but he cannot enact it. The point: in both cases the major party candidates have far overstepped their bounds in order to curry favor and votes.

2. I think that the pollsters are in for a rude awakening. 10% margins are the territory of myth in presidential politics. George Herbert Walker Bush's win over Michael Dukakis is the only recent election that had that kind of margin in the end.

John McCain may still win this thing. My thoughts:

- Why is Obama campaigning late in the game in a solidly liberal state like California? I think that it may be because his campaign camp knows that McCain isn't that far behind there, closer than the national pollsters would like to admit.

- Democrats, especially liberal Democrats, always under poll. Gore lead Bush by 4-5% in the polls the day before the election. He lost. John Kerry had a slimmer margin, but he was still leading in the polls the day before, too. I think that McCain isn't as far behind as the polls show.

- The Electoral College is an equalizer. The way that the politics for president work, it doesn't matter if you barely win a state or if you win by huge margins, you still get the same number of electoral votes. I think that the popular votes for Obama are concentrated in a few states and sprinkled in the rest. It will be interesting tosee if that's true.

3. Racism is alive and well in the United States. But I hear you say to yourself, "But the president will be a black man for the first time in history". You are correct -- I think that the majority of Americans (including me) are fine with a black man at the helm. I was absolutely, 100% behind a ground swell to elect General Colin Powell, the first black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first black Secretary of State as our first black President. I'd still vote for him today if given the chance. He's much better than either of the candidates that we have to choose from in tomorrow's election. I think that we are definitely over that hump as a nation.

However, I know for a fact that the black voters in this country "feel like they are a part of this process for the first time". That concerns me -- as Americans they couldn't embrace the process due to race? That's exactly what it comes down to -- black Americans were disinterested in white politicians. I have a real problem with that. Whites are lambasted for racial bias, yet blacks may openly flaunt theirs without ramification? It makes me think that black "injustices" are at least partially self-imposed.

4. Democrats and Republicans are exaggerating their differences. The more that I look at both of these organizations, the less I like them both. At the moment, I think that both of them spend so much time blaming the other that they've lost the ability to lead anything more than a parade. People, grasp this concept: more than half of what a president or legislator of either party will act upon is boilerplate. That is, the candidates agree on more than half of the issues and policies. Why aren't we talking about that, too? Instead they want to be different to their own detriment just so that they will get elected. It is assinine that a politician needs to alienate their fellow pols simply to get elected. It does nothing but drive productivity through the floor. It needs to stop.

5. Liberals are equally closed-minded as conservatives. Ever try to reason with a Prius-driving vegan liberal on taxation? You'll see that it's the same as reasoning with a HUMMER-driving cigar-chomping conservative on the same subject: no sale. Neither is willing to listen. They've both got everything figured out and everyone else is wrong in their view. Left-leaners, quit claiming the "high ground" as open-minded people. You aren't any more open than anyone else.

6. Liberals think that taxing the rich and corporations doesn't negatively affect the poor, but it absolutely does. Remember high-school economics and/or civics? When you write out the equation for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the measure of how much money is in the economy in a given year, the term for all taxes is subtracted from the whole number. That is, any taxation subtracts from the whole economy. Period.

Taxing any segment of society (including corporations) means that those entities cannot spend as much on goods and services in the future. Therefore, the jobs that everyone enjoy, rich or poor, are compromised by lower overall spending. I believe that the "future" portion of this fact is not ever explained -- that taxing someone else sounds good, but ultimately that same tax will be a tax on you in near the future.

This is the most egregious form of lying currently used by the Obama camp. "I'll tax the rich." All that does is create a slanted playing field that gets smaller and smaller until both the rich and the poor are worse off than before. Of course, that's not said.

I could go on for days, but this is what I'm thinking about most in this election.


Blogger Andy Rupert said...

I have similar thoughts. Unfortunately, neither candidate has made me hopeful for any meaningful change.

3:53 PM  

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