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Thoughts on Voting

"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Brilliant Post

Malron Hussein Jett, a good friend from Chicago, IL, and member of the cloth and awesome blues piano player, wrote on Sep 9, 2008 at 12:01 PM

From my impregnable fortress of solitude high atop Mount Know-it-all, I have been quietly observing this group off and on and I have found the current state of the Facebook community absolutely fascinating. I had made up my mind that I was never going to darken the door of this humble abode again, but while casually poking my head in and watching the fair citizens of this burgeoning society I felt compelled to leave my peaceful refuge from all that is trollable to offer up a few words for those who would prefer to switch rather than fight. So, in the interest of creating a temporary respite from the usual I would like to offer up a few observations:

1.) I need to remind everyone that the 50 state strategy was designed to force McCain to expend money and resources contesting every state. No candidate has won every state in an election even though Reagan actually came pretty close in 1984. If the Obama campaign has begun shifting some resources to North Carolina it means their primary objectives in Georgia have already been achieved and that frees up those resources to be used in other areas. Certainly the media is constantly spinning any adjustment in the campaign's tactics as a sign of weakness or worry, but that isn't necessarily the case.

2.) There's a lot of ridiculous hysteria and panic going on right now about this mysterious woman from Alaska causing Obama's poll numbers to plummet and therefore the Democrats are doomed to failure once again. To me that says a lot more about the lack of commitment of Obama supporters than it does about Palin herself. I see it as the same sort of Stockholm Syndrome that kept rearing its head during the primaries. I also attribute it to the foolish idea of basing your perceptions entirely on daily tracking polls that are historically unpredictable and completely unreliable indicators of what's really going on in the campaign. If you base your entire mindset on a poll, then I'd guess you must be an emotional wreck by now. There are dozens of different polls to choose from and no two polls ever say the same thing on the same day. Besides, after watching Obama start off the campaign over 30 points down to Clinton across the board and still managing to win the nomination we all should have learned by now that what a poll says today has absolutely no bearing on how a contest will end. What you are experiencing right now is a post convention bump. These things always happen after conventions, and they never last. Yes, McCain has eclipsed Obama in the polls, just as Obama shot ahead at the end of his convention last week. The problems with bounces: what goes up MUST come down. In another day or so the numbers will stabilize, people will get over the initial hysteria of adding Caribou Barbie to the ticket and started listening to what her and McOld Man Liver are actually saying.

3.) Now, if you really want to get caught up in poll numbers, remember that over 80% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and 63% of Americans believe McCain will continue the policies of the guy who's so unpopular as president the GOP asked him NOT to attend his own party's convention. THESE are the poll numbers the Obama campaign focuses on, and in case you haven't noticed the McCain campaign must be worried about them too - if not, then why would he ditch his best argument (experience) to try to claim the "change" mantle for himself? Imagine, the guy who was lobbying for war with Iraq months before Bush was even elected, the politician who claimed Saddam was sending anthrax to Americans, the guy with the campaign dominated by federal lobbyists taking millions from big oil companies, the guy with the economic adviser who INVENTED the mortgage/banking/oil speculations crises, the guy who has been so joined at the hip with Bush he bragged about voting with him 90% of the time now claims he's the only guy who can change Washington. He brags about being a Maverick? Please. He's a broken down jalopy stuck in a junkyard of corruption.

4.) McCain picked Palin as evidence of how different - how "mavricky" (not a typo, that's how GOPers spell it) he is, but its a big bold funky lie. Sarah Palin is a hugely polarizing figure that might help McCain solidify the GOP base but the reason they won't let her speak to reporters is because women would be totally disgusted with her if they knew her actual views. She's ultra-conservative, she abuses her power, she lies just like any other Republican. Check her record. Everything she's said about her time as mayor and governor is a lie. Also, with each passing day more information filters out of Alaska about how corrupt and disingenuous she really is. Its only a matter of time before she's forced to face up to her own record, and trust me that will not go well for her or McCain. Don't waste time freaking out and fretting about Palin. She's just another Republican, except she's got better legs.

5.) Now, one more and this will be brief. People claim that Palin's speech rivaled Obama's acceptance speech as one of the best of the two conventions. Really? Have you actually LISTENED to the two speeches? I think not. I'll wager you listened more to what was SAID about the two speeches than the speeches themselves, so here's a test I want you to take. Go to youtube, pull up both speeches and listen to what is actually being said. There's no comparison.

There are still close to two months left in the general election. I would suggest that people should stop sitting around waiting for the next tracking poll and spend more time fact checking the McCain ticket so you can tell your friends the truth about how dangerous and dishonest the ticket really is. I also suggest that those who REALLY want to get involved heed the advice of Tiye Lee, Colin Hicks and others who are are actively involved in the Obama campaign and do something to actually help Obama win. Facebook is a great place to meet people and chew the fat about the election, but if you aren't using this as a tool to formulate strategy, exchange information and recruit people who would like to get involved and make a difference then you're just blowing smoke.

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