Is it just me or has this been the campaign that seemed like it would never end? It won’t be long now before we can turn on the cable news channels and not see a politician for at least 10 minutes. Of course, they’ll be focusing on high speed chases, missing college girls, and the mysterious chupacabra, but heck anything other than election news will be a welcome change at this point, right?
As I started typing this entry, the polls in Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location were just about to open in New Hampshire.
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is a small village of about 75 people that is famous for being one of the first places to vote during Presidential elections. They are also one of the first to declare the winner at their location. Over the course of the past 12 elections they have chosen the winner 50% of the time. The last time they selected a Democrat was 1968, when they picked Humphrey over Nixon. They were wrong.
In 2000, the population of Hart’s Location was 37. They too open their polls early. In the past three elections the citizens of Hart’s Location have been right two times. Of course none of this matters, as neither the Hart’s Location results nor the Dixville Notch results will actually predict the winner of the Presidential election. With everything that has happened this election cycle, that doesn’t surprise me at all.
It’s been a very long campaign, and I am glad it’s just about over. One thing is for sure, no matter what happens tomorrow, roughly half the people in this country are going to be disappointed that their choice was not elected. The most important thing to remember, however, is you cannot complain about the outcome if you don’t vote.
Did you know, contrary to popular belief, the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly guarantee the right to vote, yet details many ways people cannot be denied the right to vote.
Yesterday, I saw a video clip of a woman who actually thinks she will not have to pay her car payment or her mortgage if Barack Obama is elected. Sometimes I think we need to have a common sense test before allowing people to vote, but if we did, over half of the population would be prohibited from voting, and of course, the Constitution would not allow it.
There are four possibilities for the outcome tomorrow.
- Barack Obama will be elected, Democrats in the House will pick up quite a few seats, and the Democrats in the Senate will break the 60 member “filibuster proof” barrier.
- Barack Obama will be elected, Democrats in the House will pick up quite a few seats, but the Democrats in the Senate won’t break the filibuster limit
- John McCain will be elected, Democrats in the House will pick up quite a few seats, and the Democrats in the Senate will break the 60 member “filibuster proof” barrier.
- John McCain will be elected, Democrats in the House will pick up quite a few seats, but the Democrats in the Senate won’t break the filibuster limit
The one possibility we do not want to see is #1. No way. Never. That outcome would be the worst thing that could happen to our country today. Unrestrained power over the legislative and executive branches of government (whether it involves Democrats or Republicans) would guarantee that too much change would occur too fast, and it would have a devastating effect on our nation.
There is no doubt that this is one of the most historic elections in the history of the United States. By tomorrow night, we should know whether we have elected the first African-American President, or the first woman Vice-President in the history of our country.
Right now, I am exhausted. I’m tired of the ads, I am tired of the pundits. I hope the American people make the right choice tomorrow, and I’ll just be glad when our long national nightmare is over.
[UPDATE: 11/04/08: 00:30] According to the media, Barack Obama has won in Dixville Notch, with 15 votes over 6 for John McCain. This is the first time the residents of Dixville Notch chose a Democratic candidate since 1968.