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Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

This election has me scared. Not that “my guy” won’t win (like Treebeard, I am not entirely on anyone’s side because no one is entirely on my side). No, it’s that I’m hearing pundits and friends on both the left and the right that are so sure their candidate is going to be triumphant.

There’s also a concern about the legitimacy of the election. I am hearing Dems worry about ID laws and voter intimidation, and GOP pundits seem to think polls showing Romney behind are biased. (That, and the concern that poor people are bought and paid for through things like Obamaphones.) The problem is, only one guy can win. Come November 7, half of America is going to feel disappointed. And more than that, a fair portion of that half is going to feel *cheated*.

Which makes it damned hard for us to move forward as a country, to have a government that actually represents all the people. I really hope that whichever side loses next week, they will be able to sit down and try again in four years, but without feeling like an occupying army has taken over their community. I’m not sure that’s possible, though. So mainly I’m just a bit scared that we’ll all end up losing out this time around.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Your concern is the same as mine. I STILL feel cheated over the 2000 election; it is likely to be very nasty this year no matter who wins.

I'm dreadfully concerned about people living in the areas affected by Sandy. Are they even going to have a way to vote? Especially if the power is still out!
Nov. 3rd, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Glad to know I'm not the only one!

Re: Sandy, at least in my area the polls are pretty much ready to go. I've heard people talking about this and the logic seems to be that yes, it may mean less people vote but as long as that isn't affecting one party more than another, it's not a huge deal. New York would still go Democrat, whether 30%, 60%, or 90% of the people ended up voting - because the storm would keep whole communities from voting, not just the liberals.

I'm not convinced personally, because only some parts of the state are affected. NYC has a reputation for being liberal (which I'm not so sure is accurate - I'd put Staten Island conservatives up against anyone in the reddest of red states) whereas the folks upstates are usually thought of as more conservative. SO the hurricane, if it affects turnout, means you'd have fewer Democrats voting than not. NY won't be as affected as it could; as I said, we're solidly blue and also you can only do mail-in/early voting if you have a good reason. But I could see a swingier state with early voting, this being much more influential. I think I read somewhere that the date is prescribed by law (maybe even the Constitution? certainly that same period) and it takes an act of Congress to postpone it.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how Sandy might affect the election? You lost two days of taping of Stewart/Colbert the week before the election, for one thing - which I suspect could affect how excited liberals are to go out and vote across the country. You also have this massive feeling of vulnerability and community spirit here in New York, but also a feeling among several that it is the community, not govt, that is helping us make it through this period. Personally, I've been pleasantly surprised by how well government has responded around here. I keep thinking this would be interesting to blog about, but it seems in poor taste.
Nov. 3rd, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
I think that's a legitimate concern, Marta. Especially considering how folks responded to the LAST election... I mean, just look at Congress! We really need not to squander another four years when there are such pressing needs in the country - and the world.
Nov. 3rd, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
*nodnods* I so agree, Michelle. If it was a close election and Romney won the election because of a state with one of those voter ID laws... well, I'd feel miffed, to be sure. But right now, not knowing how things would turn out, I'm mostly impressed with the need for people to come together, not be driven apart.

I'm going to one of those post-election eucharists Ellen has been talking about over on FB. I'm hoping observing a sacrament with people after all this mess will be a much-needed salve.
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:59 am (UTC)
Brave new world

Even if we just look at work on voting (note the difference from voter) fraud in the 21st century, there's evidence that we the people have been getting screwed since the turn of said century. Both in relation to voting fraud, and in relation to electoral politics in general, we're not losing "this time"; we've lost every time we've had an election since 2000 (at the very least).

And that's just voting. We could clock it down how our government, whether helmed by Republicans or Democrats, has furthered disastrous economic policies, bailed out big finance and the banking industry at public expense multiple times, done nothing to deal with the fact that 48% of Americans are either poor or low-income; and has tripped over itself to serve the needs of the wealthiest 400 people in this country at the expense of everyone else on the planet. No offense, but I honestly don't understand why anyone would think we should want to go forward into some brave new world with this kind of systematic corruption, or would think that the wealthiest Republican operators who call the shots are actually on the same side as their non-elite Republican supporters. Ditto Democratic elite operatives and their supporters.

So I'm not scared because Romney might win Tuesday. I'm scared because our political life is so limited that a dishonest, elitist election between two opportunists who can't even talk about climate change or poverty (let alone how they go together) because they lack any incentive to do so - that is what we've hung our hopes on and the only politics we have going on the national and often at the local level. That is what scares me, and it won't matter who wins on Tuesday - nothing about the outcome Tuesday can allay that fear.

Edited at 2012-11-04 06:03 am (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Brave new world
I think you misunderstand me, Dwim. I'm not afraid that Romney will actually win. I don't want him either but then I'm not so moon-eyed over Obama that four years without Obama would seem like a death-sentence. If Romney wins, especially if it's a clean win and it feels like it wasn't a cause of voting fraud, I'll live with that.

My real concern is that whichever candidate win, large numbers of people are going to feel disenfranchised. Part of this is because the two largest candidates both have their bases convinced the other guy is so ridiculous, of course they're going to win. Throw in with that the fear from both sides that the only wa they can lose is because the other side has engaged in fraud. This means that a good portion are going to feel like the man they voted for was cheated out of the election - that the man they have to respect and live under for the next four years isn't really legitimate. This nation is much more primed for those kinds of feelings than we were back in 2000, and look how Democrats still feel about that event.

This is the problem with horserace politics combined with the inability to lose gracefully, whatever is driving that inability. (I think on the Dem side the fears over voting fraud are legitimate whereas for the Republicans they're not, but the impact is the same) The ultimate effect is that people don't feel they are represented so they focus on the next election down the line rather than effecting positive change, or even changing the system so that next election will mean something. And they tend to see their neighbors who elected the other guy as the enemy rather than as victims of the same system. That's what has me worried - that the rhetoric coming from both parties is setting us up for just this kind of train wreck.
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Brave new world
Btw, it's almost amusing (in a perverse sort of way) how easily it is for people both here and at FB and other places to think I'm worried that Romney will win. The thought that someone could be concerned about a different issue entirely seems almost countercultural these days.
Nov. 4th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Brave new world
You're right, I went off track at the end, and I apologize for misreading you. It's probably because I associate this kind of fear - "So mainly I’m just a bit scared that we’ll all end up losing out this time around" - with liberals, not with conservatives, because it makes that bid for what I'd label a nostalgic inclusivity in the face of a system that clearly does not intend or depend upon universal inclusion of all people as having a real voice in the political process.

I think I'm going to take this discussion off the public board, because I'm not sure debating it in comments is necessarily helpful. Hope that won't be a problem!
Nov. 4th, 2012 07:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Brave new world
I think I'm going to take this discussion off the public board, because I'm not sure debating it in comments is necessarily helpful. Hope that won't be a problem!

Has it ever been? :-) Email away.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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