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Archive: November 2004

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Vote Baby Vote

Okay, so yesterday’s post was a bit of tongue-in-cheekery, but with a very serious undertone.  As a matter of fact, today Kat, Carolyn, and I went to a doctor’s appointment, then to vote, and then out to lunch.  When we got back, there were two voice mail messages.  I laid 3:1 odds that they were both political, and yes, they were both GOP ads.  While we were retrieving those messages, another message landed in our voice mail box—this one also from the GOP.

The flood of political calls has been, not to put too fine a point on it, infuriating.  I signed up with the Do Not Call list for a reason, geniuses.  I’m doubly glad to be on it now that we have Carolyn.  I’m not especially concerned that the phone will wake her, bless her heart; once she goes to deep sleep, you could practically send a marching band through her room to play “Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean” at full volume and she’d continue snoring.  (Such cute little snores they are, too.)  But some nights, especially when the teething is particularly bad, she never really gets to a deep sleep.  The last thing I want is for her to be woken up by a ringing phone and experience more pain because some politician or political activist thinks I really need to hear from him (or her).  I don’t.  Stop bothering me.

Now, I’ll admit that my vote for President was never in serious doubt.  It was easier to justify, though, on the grounds that Kerry and his allies had invaded my family’s privacy to a lesser extent than did his opponents.  It’s a classic “lesser of two evils” rationalization, but hey, any port in an electoral storm.  It’s also a metaphor for the Bush administration’s stance on social and privacy issues, now that I think about it.

And why was my vote never in serious doubt?  I can explain that in ten words (16 words and three letters if you count the names).

General Tendencies
Social Fiscal
Eric A. Meyer Liberal Conservative
George W. Bush Conservative Liberal
John F. Kerry Liberal Liberal

That’s it in a nutshell.  I’ve had a number problems with the Bush administration’s policies and actions, and most of them stem from the differences in philosophy that table summarizes.

There’s another reason I voted for Kerry, though: the Congress is almost certainly not going to be controlled by the Democrats.  Thus, the only things that will get through the legislative process are those with broad support.  Most observers feel that should Kerry win, he’ll have to set aside some of his grander (read: more expensive) plans for at least the first two years of his administration.  That’s just fine with me.  Since a Republican-dominated government apparently can’t show a sense of fiscal restraint, I’d be happy to have it arise as a side effect of an opposite-party government.

Well, not exactly happy, really, but hopefully you know what I mean.

It’ll certainly be interesting to watch how all this plays out.  Now, if you haven’t yet, get out there and vote!

Making A Call

Dear President Bush,

How are things going?  I hear you’ve been very busy, doing a lot of traveling, that sort of thing.  In a way, it’s too bad you don’t fly on commercial airlines, because you would have a whole pile of frequent flyer miles.  You could probably earn three or four round-the-world trips.  Though now that I think about it, you probably don’t really need that kind help getting around, do you?

I’ve long been an undecided voter, thanks in no small part to the choice of candidates this time around.  I’m sure you’re a very honorable man, at least to the extent your office will permit.  Nonetheless, about half your policies have been deeply dismaying to me.  On the other hand, about half your opponent’s positions are no more appealing to me.  On the whole, as I’ve complained from time to time, I’ve had a very difficult time making up my mind how to vote.  It’s true that I’m traditionally a liberal type, but that’s mostly in the social arena.  That, incidentally, should provide a good indication of which half of your policies have dismayed me.

As a resident of a “battleground” state, or “swing” state, or whatever it is we’re calling them these days, I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls these days.  I imagine you know a thing or two about that; after all, your mother and your wife both called.  So did Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Also Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker, although they of course weren’t calling on your behalf.  In addition, I’ve heard from a number of dire-voiced men warning me about the terrible dangers inherent in electing you, or your opponent, to the White House.  Over the past month, I’d estimate that I’ve received at least fifty calls from campaigns, political parties, 527 groups, and so forth.  In one recent night, three such calls came in the space of twenty minutes.  I’d most certainly have gotten more calls, but I was out of town for a week.

Anyway, I thought I’d let you know that from what I can tell, the organization of your campaign, and of those efforts aligned with you, has been more effective at reaching voters in my area.  At a rough estimate, calls from your campaign, the Republican Party, and various 527 groups close to your side of the ideological spectrum have outnumbered those from the other side of the spectrum by about a third.

Accordingly, I’ll be casting my vote for John Kerry.

November 2004
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