Up front we encourage everybody who has strong, honest, compelling feelings about who they desire to win the Presidency to vote in the November United States Presidential Election. Vote in person or make the necessary arrangements to cast an absentee ballot. If you have strong feelings about a Township, City, County, State, Congressional or Ballot Issue that will be on the ballot, go vote and be heard. If nothing else, everyone who votes is heard even if it is simply as a number in a column in some registry that will be recorded for posterity, in this way your vote holds immeasurable value. But let us be rational and honest here. The vast majority of Americans voting in the Presidential race are casting votes which will have absolutely negligible if any impact on the election. If you live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, or any number of true through and through Democrat bastions and you are voting for anybody other than the reelection of President Obama, you are wasting your time more than likely as these states are not in doubt. On the other hand, if you live in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming or any of the dyed in the wool Republican Strongholds, your voting for anybody other than challenger Mitt Romney is going to be meaningless. By meaningless is that it will have absolutely no effect upon the final Electoral College vote. Sure, if Romney breaks 45% in Maryland or Obama breaks 45% in Wyoming, that will make news and there will be talk about how no State is truly out of the running and how candidates cannot take any State for granted, but that will be the limit of such a result. Such anomalies will be useful only to those of us writing editorial columns to use to denigrate the victory as being so very close and how the candidate could have lost or does not have such a mandate, but other than such posturing it will not make one whit of a difference.
None of this is of any surprise to most of us and is kind of liberating to an even smaller group. Among this small group are those who will be pounding their chests about their brave vote for some third party candidate and how they fought bravely against the two party monopoly. Humor them though I have a feeling there will be a greater number of such people this time around. It will not change the end result but it does mean there is some hope of real change coming. Some of us have felt this coming change for a while though not in sufficient strength to actually matter. Hopefully, that may be in the wind and blowing closer every day. There are two groups in our society who may be on the vanguard of such a change. One group are the true believers who may have thought the Occupy Wall Street Movement was the start of a new vision for the future. The other group is the combination of the Tea Party and the 9/12 Movement who are currently attempting to bring about change through the Republican Party and either will take over the leadership of the Republican Party or we may see the birth of a new political force named The Tea Party. But for this election, that day has yet to arrive. Despite the fact that this election will remain as a choice between the Democrat incumbent candidate and the Republican elite chosen candidate, the first election where a sea change may sweep in and surprise the establishment elite has begun as a small wave, a little swell in the middle of the ocean, but that swell, like its counterpart in nature, will possibly become a tsunami as it comes closer to fruition and crashes onto an election day shorefront in the near future. As many know, the two established parties have rigged the system so as to minimize any challenge to their preeminence and made the successful formation and election of a candidate from outside their ranks extremely difficult. There is evidence that there exists a large and growing number of Americans who have simply had all they are going to take from the corrupt two party system where a small elite cabal controls the path to election victory and power. The masses are growing restless and that can forge a new path to office and a new set of rules where for the time being the people’s will is heard and refuses to remain stifled.
In the near future we have the Presidential Election this November and a campaign in full swing. We will hear on the news almost nightly what one candidate or the other said today at some rally or in a press release or in response to questions from the press at a conference or when pressed at an appearance. Of course, depending on which news source you view, the slant will favor one candidate or the other. For most of us everything we hear will simply echo how we feel as most people tend to watch the news reports from people who share their views whenever possible. This trend has grown even more intense with the flood of choices between the internet and cable and satellite news sources providing both a wider range of choices and allowing a personal choice that is very tailored to one’s views. This has had two related affects upon the voting public. The first is new people often are so isolated into their particular viewpoint and do not receive any news or information which is contrary to their own viewpoint that they may actually start to believe that everybody believes as they do as they seldom if ever have cause to interact with news or people who hold differing views. This leads to the other effect which is an inability to understand or accept any results which are contrary to one’s seemingly universally held positions as such results run contrary to everything they have seen, heard or discussed with others. This is much of the reason why the American society has become so polarized and partisan. Most everyone has the ability to live in a closed world where everything with which they interact is a reflection of their beliefs and views. Some claim that this phenomenon is very debilitating as it secludes people from dealing with opposing views and leads to a more isolated existence insulating one from new or different ideas thus causing a kind of political and social tunnel vision. This is often exhibited by people expressing complete bewilderment when confronted with results from elections and such which are diametrically opposite of those which they expected. You will know you are witnessing such when you hear somebody claim, “This makes no sense because I do not know anybody who would have supported this.”
The most obvious side effect of this phenomenon is that the candidates for President only end up campaigning in those select States where the outcome is not yet a guaranteed known. President Obama is not going to waste his time attempting to gain a majority of the voters in Oklahoma or Wyoming as they are two of the most conservative States. Likewise, Mitt Romney is not going to spend much time in Massachusetts or Maryland as this would be a waste of his resources. What is possible is each candidate making appearances in States they already know they are going to win for two basic reasons. The first is they are guaranteed a huge turnout of wildly supportive and friendly crowds which will play well on the nightly newscasts. The second is that even though a Candidate is guaranteed to win a particular State, you do not want your supporters to think that you are taking their support for granted; you will want to spend some time, energy and resources as thanks for your support events in these places. To figure out which States are the ones where it is very possible that every single vote will be acutely important, just observe which States where both candidates spend the majority of their time, campaign appearances, advertising dollars, and have every locally known celebrity and politician hitting the stump for them and, of course, appearing with them giving laudatory speeches and introductions. The one advantage for those who do not live in what is called a swing state is that they do not have to suffer through the final ten weeks push with endless campaign commercials on their local television and radio networks. The local politicians usually only have sufficient funding for two or three weeks of such heavy hitting the airwaves while national candidates have not only their funding for commercials, there are Super PACs (Political Action Committees) running advocacy advertisements which are actually candidate ads carefully camouflaged in order to get around campaign laws and restrictions. So, if you live in one of the swing states, you have our sympathy as you endure the last few weeks of being berated and barraged by campaign glitter, and the rest of you, enjoy the quiet and do check and see who it is that your fellow voters are going to choose so you do not get caught claiming, “Who won? How? I don’t know anybody so idiotic as to vote for them!” The rest of us will appreciate not having to explain and you very likely do not want to know why or how, just accept that they did win, even without the votes of anybody you know.
Beyond the Cusp