Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Election Day Jitters

with 6 comments

One last post before the election. An historic election by all accounts, definitely an election happening in historic times. Will the populist Senator Obama sweep into office with a landslide victory, or will the old warhorse McCain pull a rabbit out of the hat and be on his way to the White House? Who knows, I sure as heck don’t. My money is still on McCain, the Republicans have spent the last few months stealing trillions of dollars from the public till, I don’t see why stealing a few votes would bother them. On the other hand, if Obama is as much a Washington insider/elite as he sometimes appears to be morphing into, maybe it doesn’t matter.

What’s the best that can happen? My fantasy would be an overwhelming Obama victory, followed up by an inspiring Obama inaugural speech where he reveals himself to be a true leader, and starts setting the country to order with practical and pragmatic policies. Granted I have a little trouble imagining just what those policies would be, considering how bad the situation really is, but hey, if someone can give a great speech and inspire the nation, it would be Obama. Unfortunately I expect that no matter how well Obama does, there’s is going to be residual minority who will never accept a liberal black Democrat as president. And they will make the Clinton haters during the Clinton administration look quaint by comparison.

Now if the election result is contested (like 2000) or McCain wins, bad things might happen. I like to think that the people predicting riots if there is a McCain victory are being alarmist, but in reality, riots happen. Rioting might be especially the case if the election of McCain looks suspicious.  I can’t even speculate how rioting would play out, but if it’s like previous riots in American history…the racists and extremists will have a field day and people with alarmist tendencies will be predicting the imminent end of civilization. It will all be covered live on TV, especially with the proliferation of cell phone cameras. So, um, at least there will be something new to watch on TV for days.

Some have suggested that Obama would be  a target for assassination in the White House. Since every president has been a target for assassination, it’s a safe bet. Unfortunately the people making this claim usually imply that because Obama is black, he would be more of a target. Basically the people making this claim are revealing themselves to be racists, because the implication is that it is more “normal” for people to want to shoot a black president than a white president, which doesn’t make any sense if one thinks about it a bit. Only a very few people are going to take shots at the president no matter what his skin colour is, and the few that will are nuts. Nuts are motivated by any number of things, not just skin colour.

And some have suggested that the new President will be tested shortly after taking office. Well, of course he will, the world is a big place and sooner or later there will be a crisis. That isn’t what the folks making these claims are talking about though, they are implying that the “bad people” out there who are plotting evil against America will want to test our resolve. So of course making these sorts of claims are a back door way of insinuating that McCain would be  a better president because he is a “warrior.” As with the assassination predictors, the people making these claims have revealed a lot about themselves, but their claim doesn’t stand up to logic. “Testing” the new president in this way would be very risky for no conceivable gain, so it’s hard to imagine  anyone being quite that stupid. While it’s not impossible, I can’t think of any historical examples where someone has done this. At least not in the modern era, in the age of Kings if some teenager or child ascended a throne it was a very good bet that historical enemies would be invading.

And lastly, the October surprise that wasn’t. At this point it would have to be one hell of a surprise. It’s not really fair to speculate about something that didn’t happen, so this paragraph is pretty conjectural. I’m relieved, though the chances of there being something dramatic were low. It would be highly risky, which is why things like the Contra Affair and the Watergate break-in are rare…the risk usually isn’t worth the potential gain. And, frankly, the Bush administration has their hands full right now. Now I wouldn’t rule out a post election surprise, Bush the elder intervened in Somalia after he lost the 1992 election, I always thought that was a sour grapes parting gift for Clinton. I hope Bush junior is above something like that, but he’s underwhelmed me before.

Have a great election day everyone, vote early and vote often!

(The above image is of JFK campaigning for the 1960s presidential election. I am claiming it as Fair Use under US copyright law. It too was a troubled election, and 1960 ushered in what was to be a troubled decade. I suspect 2008 is ushering in an equally troubled if not more so decade. God help us all if I’m right.)


Written by unitedcats

November 3, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Posted in History, Politics

6 Responses

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  1. “Basically the people making this claim are revealing themselves to be racists, because the implication is that it is more “normal” for people to want to shoot a black president than a white president…”

    How do you figure this? I don’t understand what you mean by “normal” in this context. For some reason you’ve left out the fact that there are at least a dozen groups in this country committed to killing black people. Moreover, some of these groups have actually been doing so for well over 100 years. Hell yes there are more people in America who’d rather kill a black president; because as far as I can tell there isn’t a single organization in the U.S. that is seriously committed to exterminating “the white race”.

    Not to mention the fact that many of the people who you call racist for being afraid for Obama’s life are his supporters.


    November 3, 2008 at 12:31 pm

  2. There’s violent white hating black extremists in my city, and I doubt it’s anything special. Yet people don’t suggest that McCain might get shot because he is white? And are you seriously suggesting that large numbers of folks are going to suddenly start gunning for Obama? Or that the Secret Service isn’t going to be able to protect him? People shouldn’t vote for him because of this? There’s no point to this sort of speculation…unless one thinks that Obama’s skin colour is an issue.

    However, mea culpa, I really didn’t mean to call a bunch of people racists, and I apologize for that. I am however trying to point out that subtle but powerful racist attitudes still widely persist in this country, even among people who think of themselves as liberal. Being an Obama supporter for example doesn’t magically mean that someone doesn’t hold racist attitudes, in fact even to suggest it does supports my point.


    November 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm

  3. Matt

    November 3, 2008 at 8:01 pm

  4. I think there were several attempts at October surprises, but people don’t seem to be listening to things like that this election. Actually, it seems the negative campaigning is having a serious negative effect for once; could Americans have wised up?
    Either way, I can’t think of any way for McCain to win without cheating. But considering there have already been fraudulent robo-calls telling Democrats they need to vote tomorrow and voting machines that spontaneously switch your vote in WV, I have no doubt he will try.
    What I have said from the beginning: Obama cannot win barely. He must have an overwhelming victory and win by a large enough margin that it cancels out the inevitable Republican cheating.

    Blayze Kohime

    November 4, 2008 at 5:37 am

  5. If nothing else, I’m just glad that many people are coming out to vote. People should care about Politics.

    I can’t wait to find out the victor. I hope I won’t be disappointed. But we’ll see.


    November 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

  6. Doug, the first paragraph is filled with simple fallacies. No people don’t suggest McCain is going to be shot because he is white because there isn’t a single serious group in this country committed to killing white people (simply because they are white). Meanwhile there are a number of groups that are seriously committed to killing black people precisely because of their skin color. Moreover, these anti-black groups have actually committed thousands of murders. I never suggested people were going to start gunning for Obama; there are already a number of who hate black people.

    I couldn’t understand why you included this topic in your post but it seems to me now that you think people are suggesting that Obama should not be elected because he will “just be killed”. I have not heard that before and no where did I imply that notion. We all know the history of racism in this country, we all know that ultra-violent strains of it persist today. Any recent book or documentary of white supremicism in America will clearly show why the general threat to Obama is greater than it is to McCain. T


    November 4, 2008 at 8:22 pm

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