Thursday, September 02, 2004

A Look Forward

Thursday, September 2, 2004

I'll join the rest of the staff in welcoming everyone back to another exciting year of the Current Sauce, complete with my rantings. This November, as I certainly hope you all know, we have a presidential election coming up. (In fact, the Head Monkey himself will be making a speech tonight; watch it on www.c-span.org for free!) In light of the daunting burden of voting that so many of my readers find themselves asked to assume, I will spend this semester trying to provide you the information you need to make an informed and wise decision among the candidates. I make no bones about my contempt for President Bush and the hype-and-lies machine that has kept him in office, so I'll tell you immediately that the right choice isn't him, and I'll be telling you why every week from now until November.

I won't spend this semester talking about third-party candidates. Jefferson himself objected to the very idea of parties on principle, arguing that such a structure could serve only to divide the republic, and nothing could prove him more right than the previous election and the one to come. The Green Party, traditional home of the third-party voter, is declining to run a candidate at all this year out of consideration for the so-called Nader Effect, which cost Gore such a small but critical percentage of the vote. This is a state of events I find depressing but unavoidable, and I must acknowledge that a vote for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote in modern American politics. To be honest, I'm still not sure I won't throw my vote away on Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate, when crunch time arrives, rather than give it to Kerry. Once again, I feel caught in a decision between the puppet on the left and the puppet on the right.

Both challenger and incumbent want to implement the 9-11 Commission's recommendation of a national intelligence czar, which is exactly what our intelligence structure is designed to avoid. Both challenger and incumbent feel the need to court the vote of the "heartland," and so both are spewing the usual election year bilge about integrity, family values and taxes in addition to the new War on Terror(TM) rhetoric about strength and security. Both challenger and incumbent feel like avatars of some vast machine frantically poking voters to see which way they jump and then tuning their position to match.

But Kerry will win. Bush has screwed up too hard for even modern, lazy America to ignore. Let me share one more thing with you before I close this week. Less than 50% of the American populace votes, and the polls so often mentioned on the news and in the papers only poll "likely voters." A "likely voter," however, is someone who has voted in at least two previous presidential elections, meaning that no one under 23 gets polled in these things. We can change America. We will change America, and you can either help or watch. Register to vote. We need the help.

Saucefiller@hotmail.com for other bright-eyed young cynics.

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