Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Battleground States"

I am sick and tired of hearing about "swing" states and "battleground" states.  I live in New York, one of the 32 states considered 100% predictable.  Ten other states are "leaning," which means that only a very desperate campaign will try to push them away from their existing preferences.  Just eight states remain genuinely "in play."

Okay — the presidential candidates swing by New York every so often, but the only New Yorkers who get to hear them in person (along with a contingent from Connecticut and New Jersey) are those willing to spend the equivalent of America's median annual income on a rubber chicken dinner.  My vote doesn't count.  Neither do the votes of my half-sisters in Maryland, Texas, and Washington.  All we hear from the candidates are phone calls asking for money.

I suppose you're aware that if we didn't have the electoral college system (and a politicized Supreme Court), we wouldn't have had the Iraq war — but why cry over spilt milk (and blood) after the fact?  What's done is done.  Anyway, the Constitutional amendments needed to achieve something closer to "One person, one vote" would require a new constitutional convention, and convert the USofA to a parliamentary system.  That, as they say, ain't gonna happen.

In the meanwhile, my local House seat is hotly contested — New York is a safe state, but Congressional districts are less so — so, as always, I'll vote.  As for the office of president, I'll probably pick some very very dark horse.  Will Buddy Roehmer or Roseann Barr make it onto my state's ballot?  It would be nice.

Those of you whose political opinions tend to be anti-government, and who live in "safe" states, might want to vote libertarian.  Maybe you'll have a chance to vote for Tom Stevens, candidate of the Objectivist Party.  Make a statement!  What the hell!

A lot of journalists have been quoting (and misquoting) Mark Hanna (1837-1908), onetime Republican senator from Ohio.  As close as we can get it, what he said was, “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.”

This time around, we'll find out if he nailed it.

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