Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Cure for Apathy

A growing sentiment around the country by educated people on both sides is that this is the most important election of our generation. Another strong feeling that I share with other educated people on the left is that that the large majority of Americans are liberals, but are convinced that the Republican party stands for their values, for whatever reason (usually lack of education and direct misinformation). American social institutions that we take for granted today and are accepted by both sides, like women's rights, welfare, medicare, minimum wage, public schools, etc. were originally opposed by Republicans, yet the right continues to claim that the liberal thinking is "out of the mainstream" or "radical".

Yet Democrats, in general, are lazy when it comes to politics. Waingroh, for instance, will be voting for the first time this year. This apathy can be shown in the 2000 election, when only 42% of Americans voted. Why so few? A lot had to do with the fact that we were still snoozing in a sunday nap politically, with 8 years of Clinton's (in retrospect) utopian policies still in memory.

Well, nothing makes you get up from a snooze in the backyard hammock like a sudden swarm of angry bees. If anything can cure the laziness and apathy of Democrats, it's the infuriating, evil-spirited, selfish greed of a blood-boilingly pompous and humiliatingly inept administration.

One thing that Bush should not underestimate is the unprecedented amount of resentment and outright hatred for him that exists in this country. Everyday people, funny, smart, good senses of humor, will look at that man and feel their bile ducts quiver. It's never been like this on such a broad scale. This is why I think the polls and other election forecasting apparatus can be tossed out the window. This election is simply unpredictable.

According to the cable news networks, Kerry has not run a very good campaign. Pundit topics last week included "how badly is Kerry crashing?". He has also caught criticism for not talking to national media, and only local newspapers in key areas. Well, this tactic may actually be working on one level, along with other democratic "get the vote out" organizations. With a flood of new voters in key states like Ohio, Missouri, and Florida, Kerry is concentrating his efforts on just those areas that will shift the balance.
New registered voters in Miami-Dade County, a crucial Florida county in 2000, grew by 65 percent through mid-September, compared with 2000. New registered voters jumped nearly 150 percent in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) in Ohio, one of the most hard-fought states this year. In Oregon, where new registrations grew by 4 percent from January through Sept. 1, Democrats outregistered Republicans two-to-one.

Since there are more of us than them in this country, and there is a surge of new voter registration (especially in poor urban areas), one has to believe that most of those are going to be on our side. Now if we can just deal with the October surprise.....

Just in case you doubted my theory on your quivering bile-duct.