Today is a pretty big day. isn’t it? As much as we try to pretend politics is relatively inconsequential, it’s hard to avoid all the hoopla and Shakesperian elements surrounding election day. For whatever reason, I have a feeling that the results won’t be determined for awhile. If there is anything that Americans like, though it is naive to assume otherwise in any major worldwide political election, it’s chaos. Frankly we are lucky to have only had one modern day election hang in the balance long after the designated election day. I’m still not sure who won that Bush-Gore election twelve years ago even if the Supreme Court decided Bush could move his cowboy hats and PS2 to the White House for the next four years.
I voted last week still under the delusion that my vote made a difference. Technically to me it did, but that’s really as impacting as it gets. It’s like pouring a cup of water into the Nile River and then trying to identify which drops of water is mine. Perhaps if I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, my vote would have had more impact. I’ve always rooted for the underdog l and god knows, Johnson is quite the underdog here. As of two weeks ago, I hadn’t even heard of the guy.
I am going to do my best to avoid watching TV today. The major news stations are more fixated on numbers than Euclid and the Federal Reserve combined. Plus the networks have a way of really screwing up the facts. Let’s backtrack to that infamous Gore-Bush election as proof.
I was living in Nashville at the time (Gore’s home state) and emotions were riding high. At some point in the evening, lets say around 9:00 CST, the networks declared Gore the winner in Florida and therefore almost assuredly sealed his victory as president. Then about an hour later, they realized they had engaged in PP (Premature Prognostication) and suggested Bush was in fact ahead in Florida as votes in the north-western part of the state started to trickle in. I went to bed a few hours later with the networks declaring Bush not only the victor in Florida, but also of the general election. I was livid….mainly because I despised Bush but also because my emotions had been tampered with.
The election schizophrenia had really just begun. When I awoke and turned on the radio, the news was different again. The election still hung in the balance as apparently, Florida was determined “too close to call”. A margin of only 527 votes separated Bush and Gore here in the sunshine state and apparently some Haitians had sent their ballots via pigeon carrier as they were floating towards the US (sorry I couldn’t help but try to inject some humor). But yes, Florida, had paralyzed the electoral college and the political chaos that ensued was already a level 1 hurricane.
Twelve years later, America has fixed many of the voting process defects that screwed up the 2000 election. However, we also have a country that is more polarized than ever. I really hope Obama wins re-election but in a way that doesn’t drag on like it did three elections ago. The last thing this country needs is more chaos.
However I wouldn’t bet on it. There is too much money and too many fire breathing special interest groups pulling the puppet strings. Come to think of it, I may not even watch TV tomorrow. I have never been a big fan of “Reality TV” particularly when it involves my emotions.
Let me know who wins