Can you feel it? We're almost at the finish line of this epic electoral journey. With this in mind, I'd like to offer up my last round of pre-Presidential election thoughts. Consume at will.
1. While the fat lady is warming up, her voice is iffy. Friends [how McCain is that?], this election is a lot closer than people think. Those expecting an Obama landslide will be surprised; I do not trust the huge gap these polls are projecting. As I looking to someone to summarize my argument, the case was made by . . . *gulp* . . . Ann Coulter. In short, her research concluded, "since 1976 . . . the polls were never wrong in a friendly way to Republicans. When the polls were wrong, which was often, they overestimated support for the Democrat, usually by about 6 to 10 points." I'm not saying this means a McCain victory, but rumors of a landslide should not be believed. That said . . .
2. I think I'm now hoping for an Obama victory. Even though I'm still partisan, I'm afraid of the reaction should McCain "come from behind" to win. Now that the media has basically guarenteed an Obama victory, should he lose, there could be substantive rioting in urban areas. There will be feelings of disenfranchisement that will be perceived as another case of "the rich white man putting down blacks." This analysis may seem uncouth, but I really believe these feelings exist and would come to the forefront should McCain win now. The vibe in our neighborhood is that an Obama victory is validation for African Americans. I just hope that I am wrong about these polls. Otherwise we could be in store for even more turbulent times.
3. Voting irregularities will be massive. In both the 2000 and 2004 elections, ones that certain groups believe were stolen, there has been mass suspicion of people messing with votes. My take on this is: so what, it's happened for years and will likely continue. Before people wax on about the evils of a particular party, note that this happens on both sides of the issue and no party is totally blameless. In the end, I believe that the two equal each other out and that the electoral process works as it was intended. In the end, the winner will be selected according to the constitutional guidelines. Whether or not the electoral college should be abolished, that's a different story.
4. The money made the difference. Say what you will about the mandate for change, it was Obama's decision to reject public financing that put him in the position to win. He's been able to outspend McCain three-to-one in many battleground states, and has enough left over to buy almost every major channel tomorrow night. I imagine if this was a Republican outspending a Democrat by the same percentage, the media would be ceaselessly criticizing. Since it's an upstart Democrat, I really do believe he's getting a pass. That said, Obama's campaign has revolutionized the way the funds are raised and political science professors will be studying this (and other campaigns emulating this) for years to come.
5. McCain's campaign cost him the election. People need to look at this campaign realistically. Despite the financial disparity, an embarrassing same-party administration, and the "sexiness" of the young newcomer, McCain very well could have won this thing easily. But McCain's handlers let him down at every turn. I'm of the opinion that the decision to add Sarah Palin to the ticket was actually a good decision; don't forget that McCain didn't even have his own party's support until he named her. No, the turning point of the campaign was the decision to "suspend it" because of the economic crisis. If McCain merely voiced opposition to the first bailout plan that failed, he would have retained his maverick status and, most likely, wins the White House. Additionally, the "I'm not George Bush" refrain McCain tried to introduce should've been a drum beat as soon as he won the nomination. In the end, McCain's campaign failed him. It goes to show you that, no matter how much he is hated, Karl Rove was a brilliant strategist.
6. It was disheartening to see how Sarah Palin was attacked. The jabs at Hillary Clinton were child's play compared to what was lobbed at Palin. The media was merciless towards her. While she was ill-prepared for the onslaught, I'm not sure any amount of preparation could have saved her. And I'm not saying that Palin was the most qualified person for the job, but if you know anything about American political history, you realize that qualification mean nothing. She opened herself up with some of her gaffs, but I would suggest that Joe Biden's gaffs were just as glaring. No, liberal feminists have showed that they are freely willing to swallow their values and sacrifice one of their own in order to get what they want. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of her political future.
7. In the end, our country will be just fine. Even though people are calling for gloom and doom, our nation will continue to exist. We are unique among the other countries in the world as we continue to assimilate the world's cultures into one. There have been even more devisive campaigns and there will be in the future. But on November 5th, people will wake up, throw away their campaign signs, and go back to normal living . . . for at least a couple of years before this whole process begins again.
When all is said and done, I'm still expecting an Obama presidency. It should be fascinating to say the least. Will hope transition into reality?
In the next day or so, I'll be outlining the local issues and my thoughts on them.