A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
November 6th, 2012
By Tom Carter
The last time I voted in person in the U.S. was, to the best of my memory, in 1984. (I voted for Walter Mondale; just shut up…!) Every election after that, I was living somewhere overseas, and I voted by absentee ballot. Sometimes I voted only for the big offices — president, governor, U.S. senator, congressman. I didn’t know enough about all the local candidates to vote for anyone. In the last few elections, thanks to the wonder of the Internet, I researched the local candidates and voted for those jokers, too. Only once, in 2000, was I so unmoved by either presidential candidate that I didn’t vote at all.
I moved back from overseas last year. I’ve always voted in Texas, my state of legal residence (no income tax, doncha know), and this year I did it in person. I voted a week ago, during early voting. I’ve always thought of myself as a Democrat, with one foot solidly left of the line and another slightly on the right with the Republicans, with a toe among the Libertarians.
After researching the candidates for all offices without regard to party, here’s how I voted in 19 races:
♦ 74% Republican
♦ 16% Democrat
♦ 10% Libertarian
Maybe I need to revise my party affiliation image. In past years, if memory serves, the majority of my votes were for Democrats. I haven’t changed my political opinions on the issues, so maybe the line shifted under my feet without without me noticing.
Enough about me. There’s a lot of other silly stuff happening today.
* * *
I’ve been switching between Fox News and MSNBC today, and it’s no surprise that one hopes Romney will win and the other hopes desperately that Obama will win. Their projections match their biases — again no surprise. It’s also pretty clear what their reactions will be if their beloved candidate loses. Fox will talk a lot about voter fraud, citing examples that are thin on evidence. MSNBC will scream about voter suppression (not the same thing), using examples that are based on even less evidence. Each, of course, will pontificate on how the winner is a liar and a scoundrel. Business as usual.
* * *
Some conservatives are in high dudgeon over the presence of international election observers in the U.S. A couple of states have even warned that the observers will be arrested if they even get close to polling places. Lots of conservatives are decrying the presence of “U.N. observers” in the U.S., saying they ought to go back to their own countries and fix their own problems. Here’s what Connie Mack, U.S. Senate Republican candidate in Florida, said:
The very idea that the United Nations — the world body dedicated to diminishing America’s role in the world — would be allowed, if not encouraged, to install foreigners sympathetic to the likes of Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Putin to oversee our elections is nothing short of disgusting. …
Every American should be outraged by this news. The United States must defund the United Nations. The United Nations should be kicked off of American soil once and for all. And the American people should demand that the United Nations be stopped from ‘monitoring’ American elections. The only ones who should ever oversee American elections are Americans.
Notwithstanding what ignoramuses like Connie Mack may think, the election observers are from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a 56-nation body of which the U.S. is a founding member. It has no affiliation with the U.N., although it partners with the U.N. in some cases and has observer status. It’s a non-treaty, cooperating group of nations that, among other things, observes elections in many countries. At the invitation of the U.S. government, the OSCE has observed U.S. elections since 2002. And, under the auspices of the OSCE, the U.S. has been able to send election monitors to many countries, such as Russia and Ukraine. Apparently there weren’t any rednecks there threatening to arrest U.S. observers….
Think about this for a moment: International observers actually learn from U.S. elections, and in most cases the lessons they take home might do them some good. On the other hand, “The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification.”
* * *
A voter in Michigan died at the poll — no pulse, no breathing — and then suddenly revived and asked, “Did I vote?” Very determined, this guy. (In a similar incident, showing less spunk and more stupid, a man made a deathbed confession to murder and then survived. Bet he wishes he’d kept his mouth shut, that one.)
* * *
Meanwhile, a Democratic heavyweight speaking in support of President Obama said, in regard to Governor Romney, “…who wants a president who will knowingly, repeatedly tell you something he knows is not true?” Hmmm. Here’s something else he said:
I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you!
Thank you, Mr. President!
* * *
On the sidelines, federal response to the storm disaster in the northeast has been as bad as Katrina, and it’s getting worse by the minute. The Administration’s incompetent handling of the Libya terrorist attack still looms, and the cover-up is leaking badly at the seams. The media, most of them anyway, aren’t paying a lot of attention. Oh well, maybe after the election.
And now, back to the silliness. I’m overdue to switch from Fox back to MSNBC….
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