Monday, October 25, 2004

Nightmare Election: This race is gearing to be as close as in 2000, but with one little twist -- both sides believe that if the wrong guy wins, the world will essentially come to an end.

Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post calls it Pre-Election Anxiety Disorder. People are literally losing sleep, waking from nightmares, and having trouble focussing at work [You sometimes let your political blogging interfere with your work. -ed --That's true, but ... Hey! This blog doesn't have an editor. Who the hell are you?] Ahem. Some people are close to losing their minds over this election.

It's true that we're at war and we have run into some difficulty not only executing the ground war but also gathering credible intelligence to protect ourselves. But both candidates have vowed to fight the terrorists. And both candidates have indicated that they have no plans to launch any more pre-emptive strikes against any countries. The difference is mostly over tactics and priorities. While we should pay close attention to the candidates' proposed tactics and decide which we support, we don't need to blow the differences out of proportion.

Still, that doesn't prevent hand wringing on both sides. Liberals are concerned that four more years of President Bush will bring the collapse of freedom in the United States, or worse. We've already seen what four years of Bush will bring. In the face of terrible crises, things have gone surprisingly well. If you're not satisfied, then vote for Kerry, but don't invent some terrible dooms-day scenario if Bush takes the oath of office again.

On the other hand, conservatives fear that Kerry will try to appease the terrorists and turn all our foreign policy decisions to France. Not only would Kerry not do that, but also he wouldn't have that power as president. While I do question some of his priorities, I will never question his dedication to wanting to protect this country from others.

In past elections, apathy has always been the main concern. Now the opposite is true. It's true that only half of eligible voters plan to actually visit the polling booth next Tuesday. But that half seems to worry disproportionately about the results.

Remember, apathy is a good thing. Apathy is usually a sign that life is stable and that things are moving along just fine. And apathy also is crucial to a democracy. In a 50-50 country, people need to care little enough so they don't try to stage a revolt if their guy loses. So I encourage everyone to vote, but then head to the bars for a drink, and remember that no matter who wins, we're going to be just fine. [You almost sound like you're trying to convince yourself. -ed --Get out of here. You're fired.]


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