Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catlike Conventional Wisdom in the Late Election Season

With the election just over a week away, I probably should not have rented the HBO movie, Recount, for my Sunday night viewing. Terri B. recommended it when I bumped into her at the Haslett holiday craft show last weekend. I went ahead with the rental tonight just to remind myself that presidential elections aren't over 'til they're over, especially with Republican dirty election-year tricks always lurking in the shadows. Let's face it, they stole two presidential elections already, manipulating Florida results in 2000 and Ohio results in 2004. With that kind of experience, who says the Rovian tactics won't be tried a third time?

My catlike instincts have been on high alert over the last week. I just don't trust the polling with most of it showing Barack Obama running strong, a few showing McCain gaining back some strength, and some showing a number of swing states as toss-ups. With the economy in a shambles and the popularity of the Republican standard bearer, George W. Bush, at an all time low, the conventional wisdom is that Obama will win.

But have you noticed that we live in a topsy-turvy world? Wall Street bankers are wards of the state. Gas prices are at handsomely low prices again. The Michigan State football team whomped the University of Michigan Wolverines in the "Big House." And, to top it all off, an African-American Democrat is leading the polls for the presidency. Someone please pinch me.

I know this presidential race is not over. Already I am starting to notice the corporate press, in Newsweek as one example, prominently displaying stories about a topsy-turvy scenario in that the Republicans win the White House. And John "I-am-in-Striking-Distance" McCain has been smuggly dismissing polling results -- a la George W. Bush -- as if he has some electoral insider information.

I'm worried about this country. Over the last eight years under George Bush's Republican leadership we have a government that endorses the use of torture and kidnapping, spies on its citizens, illegally invades other countries, lets Wall Street and capitalists ruin our economy...and the litany of transgressions goes on.
So many myths of American exceptionalism have been exposed, died, or been killed under George W. Bush. The last notion of free and fair elections -- having been seriously damaged in 2000 and 2004 -- may not survive one more body blow if the votes are not accurately counted and the people's will honored come November 4th.

-- Rico Thomas Rico

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