Whatever Happens...

It's a big day. In less than 24 hours, America will have a new leader. Between the polls and the general disillusionment with the Republican party and all the problems faced in the last eight years, I suspect Barack Obama will win. People want change, and his campaign could practically have run on change alone. I think a lot of people will be upset if he doesn't win, and I anticipate riots and accusations. Even The Simpsons worked this possibility into their latest episode, when Homer repeatedly votes for Obama only to have a rigged electronic voting machine count his votes for McCain. If McCain wins, how many Obama supporters will be good sports, and how many will cry cheating?

I'm actually voting for McCain, because I have far more concerns with Obama. Divvying up my 401K is a big concern, though I have to remember that he'd still need to get that plan approved by the other branches of government, and that 401Ks are still privately run. I'm certainly not thrilled that he's voted in favor of finishing off a child that survives an abortion. Now, I realize this is a hot topic, but at some point the pro-choice argument of whether or not a fetus is a living person no longer applies, especially once the child is out of the womb. I have a hard time supporting a candidate who supports that. Finally, though I want the war to be over as much as anyone, we're firmly entrenched. We've made a mess and can't simply withdraw without making things worse, as history has taught us. Given our current troubles abroad, I'd feel more comfortable with a war veteran in office than a younger guy who might be a good public speaker, but doesn't have the same military experience.

I don't think McCain is going to win though, and I'm not going to be too upset. I've seen too many people get way too personally invested in the election, seen friends at each other's throats defending their respective candidates. One guy isn't a savior any more than the other guy is a devil. People have to remember that these are politicians and human beings. It's not the end of the world if your candidate doesn't win, and it won't be a new utopia if your candidate does win. Change, good or bad, won’t happen overnight. Rey sent me a really good bipartisan joke which I'll paraphrase. A politician is given a choice between heaven and hell when he dies, and gets to spend time in both places before making his decision. Hell is actually a lot of fun, and a lot of his colleagues are there, so at the end of the day he chooses to go downstairs. When he sees the barren wasteland where he was golfing and partying the day before, he asks the devil what happened. “Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted.” It's important to remain rational and realistic.

Extremes on both sides of the spectrum bother me. I've certainly seen people make a calm and organized case for their choice of candidate without resorting to name-calling and arguing. Whatever happens, nearly half the people in this country are going to be unhappy with the outcome. We don't need civil war, don't need to fight among ourselves. This is America. We have the freedom to disagree, to argue candidates as much as baseball teams or soft drinks. Some of my friends will vote Obama; others, like myself, will vote McCain. Both played a good game, from strategic running mate choices to other gambles. Now we'll go to our booths, flip some switches, pull a handle, and wait with bated breath. Whatever happens, I for one will be glad when it's Wednesday, and hope our nation isn't too divided. It will be nice to get back to life as we knew it.


Blogger b13 said...

Get ready for some change... I'm predicting we'll each have two nickels in our pockets that we can rub together.

11/04/2008 12:27 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Hopefully he'll get little done in two years, then in '10 we'll throw out the liberal bums in congress and stack the deck with conservatives who'll gridlock all his initiatives. And then well throw THIS bum out in '12 and get a decent PotUS. That's the best I can come up with to be hopeful for at this point.

11/04/2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit that I was rooting for Obama and am pleased to see that he won (and quite convincingly, it seems) but I have a great deal of respect for McCain having listened to his concession speech. It was gracious, statesmanlike, warm and showed that the guy has class. I think that he could possibly have done without the people booing when he mentioned Obama's name, but he managed to get his message across in spite of such people.

So while it might not compensate for not winning the presidency, McCain manages to get props from a left-wing, liberal-as-they-come, labour voting, lefty tree-hugging Brit who was hoping for an Obama win. Take from that what you will. :-)

Next on the electoral calendar: the Glenrothes by-election on November 6th. Will Labour be able to hold the seat, given that it's been a stronghold of theirs in the past, or will the Scottish Nationalists be able to score another surprise win? After that, it's not long until general election season over here. You've gotta love the process. ;-)

11/05/2008 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment moderation? That's new. Has someone been naughty? :-)

11/05/2008 6:51 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

Someone's been naughty, though not since I enabled comment moderation. If my mystery spammer has finally settled down, maybe I can turn off the moderation because it is a pain to approve everything. We'll see.

I actually had respect for both candidates; it was the voters on both sides that were the problem, from the guys who wanted to assassinate Obama to the black panther with the billy club hanging around a voting place in Philly to friends who took political debates to a personal level and got way too offended if anyone disagreed. McCain giving a proper speech while the PEOPLE booed Obama shows the contrast between candidates and voters.

The election is over now, and we got the change most people wanted. I personally think either candidate would have been a change from W, but I guess we have four years now to learn if this is a change for the better. Hopefully it is, and hopefully Americans can go back to getting along with one another and disagreeing more politely.

11/05/2008 7:53 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow said...

See, this is why I like you, MCF. Even when we disagree, you make a lot of sense.

I'll second Fawndoo's comment about McCain's gracious and -- to my eyes and ears, anyway -- sincere concession speech. Had he made more speeches like that during his campaign, instead of all that angry pandering to the Palin wing of the GOP, he might well have won the White House.

11/05/2008 4:31 PM  

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