November 02, 2004

Election Day

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way before today’s votes are counted.

You have the right to vote. You do not have the right to see the man of your choice in the White House.

If George W. Bush wins the election, the world will still spin on its axis. Canada will not grant you asylum. If John Kerry wins the election, America will still be America. Australia will not grant you asylum.

People who vote for the other guy aren’t stupid, brainwashed, or evil. They are your friends and family. Someone you love will almost certainly cancel your vote. (My wife cancels out mine.)

If, by some chance, everyone you know votes for the loser it won’t mean the election was stolen, it will only show that you live in a bubble.

If this thing is close (the victor could easily win by 0.1 percent) try not to read too much into it. We’ll still be closely divided.

If the election doesn’t go your way, don’t pop off as though America were Guatemala under the generals. You’ll get lots of attention, but it won’t be the kind you want. People will laugh, not near you but at you.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 2, 2004 12:11 AM
Comments

Well, people who vote for Kerry might be a little evil. Just enough to kick kittens. I know for certain my sister is voting for the Kerry, and she's quite evil in a "Friends rerun" sort of way.

Posted by: James Versluys at November 2, 2004 01:20 AM

Dead on, Michael. I agree with everything except the last sentence. I even wish that last sentence was true.

Posted by: Rob at November 2, 2004 03:04 AM

What is this, "Sermonette"?

If the laugh you're talking about is the little snicker that emerges instead of coherent sentences out of the Great Uniter's coke-addled brain, bring it on.

Thank heaven for your spouse.

Posted by: Jack Bog at November 2, 2004 04:21 AM

Ya know, I've heard a lot of people saying that they'd prefer either Cheney or Edwards over the two candidates. If you're willing to be a little "Machiavellian" about the whole thing, that can be done...there's just an extra step in the process if you understand what I'm saying ;)

{Note to the fine homeland security folks monitoring this blog....I'M KIDDING!!!!.....please don't send the men in the mirrored glasses and suits to my house}

....I seriously shouldn't post before my morning coffee. All kidding aside though, were still going to be a great country regardless of which guy finally makes it to the oval office. It's not up to the parties, it's up to the people, and I've seen good and bad on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: joekm at November 2, 2004 05:22 AM

My First Election!!!!!

YAY!

Now let's see are these supposed to be hanging or pregnant chads?

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord and Hanging Chads

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 2, 2004 06:13 AM

Well, I was going to say good post and excellent point and then point out for many people this is lost advice since they believe everything is all about them, but Mr. Bog just made my point!

Posted by: lancer at November 2, 2004 06:18 AM

I certainly hope that people behave in a mature fashion regardless of who wins, but I can think of several scenarios that could produce much unpleasantness. Here are just a few...

1. If Bush wins in the electoral college but loses the popular vote again a lot of Dems will go ballistic about another "stolen" election. If Kerry does the same the Republican reaction won't be as bad, since they have spent the last 4 years explaining why an electoral college win is legit, although they'll still be bitter and disillusioned.

2. If one or more big states go to Kerry thanks to provisional or absentee ballots, the Reps will go insane and demand that every single one be scrutinized, perhaps even cross-checked against registrations in other states. It could delay the process for weeks (months?), and the acrimony would be even worse than 2000 if such a result was successfully overturned.

3. Don't forget reactions overseas. Regardless of the margin of victory, a Bush win will be deeply depressing for much of the rest of the world. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since the most depressed group would likely be the terrorists. The Europeans could respond in one of two ways: they could come to some sort of accomodation with the Bush administration (probably neutrality rather than outright support), or they could become even more hostile. Up to now they have said they hate Bush and not Americans generally, but if a majority vote to re-elect the president this distinction will be dropped. The European press will begin the process of dehumanizing Americans they way they have done with the Israelis, to the point where casualties of future terrorist attacks will be deemed "understandable."

We live in interesting times...

Posted by: american in europe at November 2, 2004 06:26 AM

Michael's heart is definately in the right place. You are all still Americans, whatever your political stripe happens to be.

The only point I must contest is on the matter of asylum.

Americans are welcome to move to Canada. We accept almost 500,000 immigrants per year from all over the world (and somehow, we've never been attacked by the terrorists. I thought they "hated freedom"? Strange. Could that have been neocon rhetoric?) but I digress...

Republicans are people too. They're mostly a good lot but they're being tricked by their own leadership. Conservative ideals demand fiscal prudence, job growth, and defense of the homeland.

Can anyone explain to me how Bush personifies these conservative ideals? (I'm wearing a fireproof shirt in preparation of the inferno of flames!) :)

Peace & good government.

Vote today!
My Regards,
JB.

P.S. Canucks can't vote but we'd overwhelmingly vote Kerry!

P.S.S. I prefer Kucinich but he could barely poll 1 percent in the primaries. I like his 'department of peace' idea. If the USA spent half the defense dept.'s budget on peaceful aims, there would be a brighter tomorrow and no means for the despicable terrorists to recruit more members. People don't want to fuck with peacemakers.

Posted by: Jeremy Brendan at November 2, 2004 06:27 AM

Spot on Michael, especially about the bubble. Because my gut tells me that the late break is Jacksonian towards Bush, but the data in the state-by-state polls suggests a small but real anti-incumbent break in the swing states.

So while my gut expects a Bush break, I'm going to interpret a Kerry break as evidence that the blogosphere as I know it is more hawkish than the general polulation. I try hard never to be tricked into thinking that the blogosphere is a representative sample. I expect that the part of it that I frequent is more white, more male, more college-educated, more well-paid. So I guess the point is, if you are shocked that your guy lost, you need to get out more. :-)

Though I don't like either guy much at all, I'll be the first to kick of the pledging that I'll support whoever wins and give them the benefit of the doubt at least for the first year...

Posted by: bk at November 2, 2004 06:38 AM

Giving up on your country to move somewhere else because you don't like the results of an election is something like a man leaving his wife to marry his mistress - sure, he may say he loves you but he's already left the one he said he loved once before...

There is no honor among cowards.

Posted by: Barry at November 2, 2004 06:46 AM

Fine post Michael; Megan stole my idea of betting AGAINST your guy -- so you either win money, or have your guy win.

Sort of creates an indifference curve.

Mark Steyn has some notes on how UN-happy Europeans will be if Kerry wins ... and DEMANDS French & German troops/ or big support/ or admits to ly, er, misleading the US folks about global allies.

Catholics, too, could see a President Kerry get denied communion as the JP II Bishops start asserting the moral primacy of innocent lives over others.

I'm ready to ... (sing!)
Hope for the Best. Expect, the Worst.
You could be Tolstoy, or Patty Hearst.
No way of knowing, which way it's going.
Hope for the best expect the worst. ...

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 2, 2004 06:48 AM

There's a typon in your final sentence Michael.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 07:02 AM

People don't want to fuck with peacemakers.

With all due respect, that's probably the stupidest things you've ever said.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 07:05 AM

Great White North said: "Americans are welcome to move to Canada. We accept almost 500,000 immigrants per year from all over the world (and somehow, we've never been attacked by the terrorists. I thought they "hated freedom"? Strange. Could that have been neocon rhetoric?) but I digress..."

--You forgot the bit about allowing Sharia to trump your civil law in Canada now. Since you're already in Dhimmitude, there's no reason to attack you. Been sized for your Bhurka yet?

Posted by: Eric Blair at November 2, 2004 07:08 AM

No David this was "(and somehow, we've never been attacked by the terrorists. I thought they "hated freedom"? Strange. Could that have been neocon rhetoric?) but I digress..."

He's just lucky the Pagans and Christians in Sudan are noting like the Islamofacists that spent the last ten years alaughtering 3 million of
them equiped with funds supplied by Chinese and a CANADIAN Oil companys, or there would be bombs going off in Toronto.

Posted by: Dan Kauffman at November 2, 2004 07:10 AM

I'd rather be disgruntled in Utah than a happy shithead in Canada.

Posted by: Deuce at November 2, 2004 07:23 AM

Bravo, Michael.

I don't think it's going to be close, either way the decision goes. The most depressing prospect is what kind of legal/illegal chicanery that is sure to come to light as the day progresses. For what its worth, I don't think we'll see the campaigns committing the worst infractions - it will be 527's that do most of the line crossing today.

If Kerry wins I certainly won't be burying guns in the desert or anything like that.

It's a great day to be a citizen, though, and that's a fact.

I've posted my election experience on my blog.

Posted by: TmjUtah at November 2, 2004 07:49 AM

What a wonderful day. I have very, very distant Armenian Christian relatives in Baghdad. A few weeks ago they were discussing Democracy with my cousin the DC lobbyist and trying to understand how the whole thing worked. When they asked my cousin what if the guy they elected wasn't good what did they do and the DC lobbyist told them you voted him out in the next election, but between now and then you made the best of it, they seemed puzzled. It is the proper answer.Anyway they are absolutely thrilled with the idea that they will be voting in a few months.

We should be as thrilled, regardless of the outcome. We are among the 1/10 of 1% of all humanity that has ever lived with the right to vote. How fortunate we are.

Posted by: spc67 at November 2, 2004 08:06 AM

BTW, when did Jack Bog sign on to be your straight man?

What? He was serious? BWAHAHAHA

Posted by: spc67 at November 2, 2004 08:06 AM

TmjUtah: If Kerry wins I certainly won't be burying guns in the desert or anything like that.

Good!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 2, 2004 08:07 AM

Well, Michael - don't get all happy to soon.

The good spots are already taken...

Posted by: TmjUtah at November 2, 2004 08:25 AM
We should be as thrilled, regardless of the outcome. We are among the 1/10 of 1% of all humanity that has ever lived with the right to vote. How fortunate we are.

Indeed. It's amazing how many people here don't appreciate it and may even pine for the alternative so long as they're wearing the jackboots. One person around me at a party once brilliantly quipped that "We live in a dictatorship." Thoughtful nods of the head all around. When I pressed her for examples, she got very defensive especially when I told her how one of my friends from Cuba witnessed his father getting the crap beaten out of him by their equiv of the neighborhood watch. "Well," another responded, might I add brilliantly, "He should have kept his mouth shut." Twits and B@st@rds all.

Posted by: Bill at November 2, 2004 08:37 AM

[[[ People who vote for the other guy aren’t stupid, brainwashed, or evil. ]]]

In the immortal words of Stan Rothenstein: "Some of them are."

Posted by: Tim at November 2, 2004 08:38 AM

I admit, I think some of the people who voted for the same candidate I did are either stupid, brainwashed, evil - or some combination of the three.

I tried very hard not to think about them when I cast my vote, as I know they're a "tiny minority of extremists," as the saying goes.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 2, 2004 08:52 AM

This election is not the end-time crisis both sides are trying to pretend it is. For one thing we should all be thankful it is Bush vs. Kerry and not Cheney vs. Edwards. For all the flaws in our two presidential candidates they are both preferable to the veeps. Cheney is a man with very little in the way of substantive accomplishments, other than single-handedly tanking the Ford Presidency, whose only ideological conviction seems to be "whatever is best for me personally", and Edwards is so phony he makes Kerry look like Bob Dole.

Posted by: vanya at November 2, 2004 09:01 AM

Kerry knows he’s Wrong in claiming Bush failed to capture bin laden in tora bora — Kerry wasn’t sleeping with osama in a cave somewhere in tora bora, was he?

Kerry knows he’s Wrong in claiming Bush failed to guard the 377 tons of HMX — Kerry wasn’t sure when these WMD parts (explosives for triggering nuclear bombs) were missing in 01/2003 or 03/2003 under UN/Sadam’s control, or 04/2003 when our troops finally got there; he gave all the benefit of doubt to a UN suggestion with no proof, but refused to trust US troops’ testimonies and records.

Kerry knows he’s Wrong in claiming Bush will bring back draft — Kerry was told by President Bush publicly and repeatedly that President Bush is against any draft, while Kerry himself has proposed requiring all high school students to serve.

Kerry knows he’s Wrong in claiming Bush will lower social security for today’s seniors after Bush is re-elected — Kerry was told by President Bush publicly and repeatedly that President Bush will not change benefits of today’s seniors, and President Bush will only give today’s young tax-payers a chance to manage a small portion of their own contribution.

Vote against Kerry lies. Vote against media bias.
Vote against michael moore / osama deceit.
Vote against appeasement to international terrorism & U. N. corruption.

Vote for decency. Vote for honesty. Vote for US continuing progress and ultimate victory in Iraq.

Vote for AMERICA.

Vote for BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by antinewsmedia

Posted by: antinewsmedia at November 2, 2004 09:05 AM

Cheney was Secretary of Defense during the Gulf War, and a damn fine one at that.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 09:05 AM

Ad Hominem! Ad hominem!

I'm a "shithead". I wear burkhas. And I said the "stupidest things" you ever heard.

Come on guys! Give me a real argument here! I asked how Bush is a conservative in his practice, as a politician.

You threw turds at me as if we were all animals.

I'm not saying that I am perfect just cause I'm Canadian. We have homeless people up here; we're still fighting an ill-advised war on drugs; in other words, there is a lot for us to do. If our companies are killing pagans/Christians in some other nation, that is wrong. I can't excuse wrongdoing just based on my nationality.

BUT that doesn't mean that you've answered my question.

I expected more from the Elite Right-Wing Bloggers! You have the arguments so why not share them?

Peace,
JB.

Posted by: Jeremy Brendan at November 2, 2004 09:35 AM

I'm sorry, Jeremy. What is it ABOUT?

[sorry. Juvenile South Park reference. I'm a proud American who loves Canada.]

But people do want to fuck with peacemakers. The best man the UN had was murdered in Iraq, precisely because the enemy are nihilist murderers who don't want peace.

The U.N. then ostentatiously pulled out, thereby demonstrating that if you don't want the UN around, you can get them to go away by murdering good men.

Posted by: JPS at November 2, 2004 09:50 AM

Jeremy,

you made stupid statements like "peacemakers don't get attacked", so you got turds thrown at you. Do warlike people only attack other warklike people? Or do they usually target the "peacemakers" because they are the juiciest and easiest targets? I think the latter (see Hitler and Poland, see China and Tibet); and the Cold War is proof of that simple truth. The two most heavily armed nations in history never struct a blow at each other, and for good reason--- they were both armed for bear, not wussy little "peacemakers" like the folks Nazi Germany walked all over.

You made other stupid comments too, nothing more than Liberal platitudes really, so what do you expect other than getting turds thrown at you.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 09:51 AM

" 'We should be as thrilled, regardless of the outcome. We are among the 1/10 of 1% of all humanity that has ever lived with the right to vote. How fortunate we are.'

"Indeed. It's amazing how many people here don't appreciate it and may even pine for the alternative so long as they're wearing the jackboots. "

spc67 and Bill: Very, very nicely put.

Posted by: JPS at November 2, 2004 09:52 AM

I've never seen anything like this before. I'm 52 years old and have voted in alot of elections but nothing like this.I left the house (in Ohio) before 6:00am this morning and on every single street corner were men and women standing in the pouring rain holding Kerry/Edwards signs. All the way through town on EVERY corner.

What is wrong with us? Who at that hour and on this day are they going to convince to change their minds?

I absolutely agree Michael.It won't be the end of the world regardless of who wins this election. If Bush doesn't win I will certainly hope that I have been wrong in my assesment of things. Supporting one's country and our leadership is very important to me. I would get on board! If 4 years proves my initial thoughts were right, then I will be his strongest enemy again in 2008.

Posted by: Cathy at November 2, 2004 10:08 AM

Thanks for the post, Michael.

I'm voting GOP, but if Kerry wins he will be my President.

Posted by: pianoman at November 2, 2004 10:19 AM

Jeremy,

I apologize for my harsh tone. Your comments weren't stupid, just dead wrong.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 10:30 AM

Cathy,

What part of Ohio are you in? I'm in Delaware Oh. (central Ohio)and we had a fantastically calm and quiet time at the polls. Just hippies and old people, everyone was smiling, making jokes, it was quite refreshing after the foul stench of the past six months.

Sorry it wasn't better in your town.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 2, 2004 11:22 AM

Tosk, Actually there was no hard time at the polls when I got there..It was about an hour wait in line, in the rain, but that was ok..Everyone was calm and I heard no kind of threatening remarks. It was just strange to see all these people standing on EVERY street corner with these signs...I'm in NW Ohio..My friend had a hard time though. She calld me awhile ago, when she tried to vote someone had already sent in an absentee ballet in her name. She has to contest it and right now she doesn't know if she gets to vote or not,she is wating to hear..There has been alot of that going on across the state..

Posted by: Cathy at November 2, 2004 11:32 AM

Michael,

Thankyou for this post. I've been saying this for 4 years now, but you're the first writer I've read in years who has this sense of balance. The US is the best country in the world because of both parties, not just one.

Posted by: jj USA at November 2, 2004 11:35 AM

Michael, is instapundit down?

Posted by: cathy at November 2, 2004 12:11 PM

Instapundit isn't down; just Instalanched. I load it one in ten tries, and Vodkapundit one in five. Similar trouble with Powerline and Captain's Quarters.

Posted by: triticale at November 2, 2004 01:26 PM

Eric Blair: You forgot the bit about allowing Sharia to trump your civil law in Canada now. Since you're already in Dhimmitude, there's no reason to attack you. Been sized for your Bhurka yet?

Eric, you're either misinformed, or deliberately misinforming. Sharia does not "trump" civil law. If you're referring to the totally voluntary Sharia civil law used as part of civil arbitration cases, then you might also say that Hassidic civil law trumps civil law, as the same arbitration process has been in place for them for a while. It also bears reminding that the civil arbitration still needs to conform to Canadian law.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 2, 2004 02:37 PM

A lot of blogs are slow to load today. I don't think it's a bandwidth issue, I think there are server problems.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 2, 2004 02:44 PM

Glenn just posted that the folks at Hosting Matters are working on the problem. He says it is because of the high traffic. Damn, it must really be high if you factor in those who can't get to it and don't get counted in the Site Meter.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 2, 2004 02:45 PM

Michael, FYI, for most of the morning I couldn't access Instapundit OR your site. Better now.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 2, 2004 02:47 PM

[quote]TmjUtah: If Kerry wins I certainly won't be burying guns in the desert or anything like that.[/quote]

Good point, bury them in the back yard. If Pres. Kerry blunders, you willn't have the gas to drive out and retrieve them. (Only sort-of kidding...)

How does one show support and respect for the Office of President while loathing the fool sitting behind the desk? I actually had more respect for "Slick Willy" than I do for Kerry. If he wins by a margin in excess of even-unreasonable fraud; I'll get used to it. If it's just a squeaker, then I'll assume that it's just fraud; and get used to it.

Posted by: Ted B. at November 2, 2004 02:48 PM

I went to vote and found that I had been disinfranchised; I had two different registration cards with me (don't ask me how that happened), and when I presented both to them, they couldn't even find me on the books. I had been disinfranchised, and quite suddenly my vote seemed to carry far more weight with me than it ever had.

The poll workers did their investigations, and they huddled for a few minutes discussing this strange occurrence (we don't get too much excitement out here in Boerne), while I sat stewing that my vote had been stolen. Not that it made any difference because Texas isn't a battleground state, but I wanted my goddam vote back!

Turns out the poll officials have a contingency for this kind of thing (this is America baby!) and I managed to fill out the vote card and mail it in instead to be reviewed later in the day at "headquarters". I still don't know what happened, but I was assured that my vote would count.

That's what it's like in Afghanistan and Iraq. When they cast their votes, they felt the weight and heft of it; unlike me, who's taken voting for granted all my life-- until I lost it for those few minutes, and then got it back.

George Bush has done more for freedom and democracy than 10,000,000 Amnesty International letters ever could do, and that's why I voted for him.

God bless America

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 02:53 PM

David: George Bush has done more for freedom and democracy than 10,000,000 Amnesty International letters ever could do, and that's why I voted for him.

Glad you were able to vote, David, but I gotta take issue with that statement. At least Amnesty International condemns Saudi Arabia. George W. Bush doesn't.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 2, 2004 03:00 PM

David, but I gotta take issue with that statement.

double, why am I not surprised?

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 03:03 PM

double, why am I not surprised?

Dunno. But my point stands, I think. Bush's commitment to freedom seems to be somewhat choosy. Pakistan and Uzbekistan are not exactly paragons of democracy and freedom. At least AI points out all violations, regardless of political affilation.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 2, 2004 03:09 PM

double,

you're more concerned with his "commitment" or his "motives"; I'm satisfied with the RESULTS. So my point also still stands.

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 03:14 PM

you're more concerned with his "commitment" or his "motives"; I'm satisfied with the RESULTS. So my point also still stands.

I'm reminded of an Onion article from last year:
Dead Iraqi Would Have Loved Democracy

"Taha was a wonderful man, a man of peace," his wife Sawssan said. "I just know he would have been happy to see free elections here in Iraq, had that satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missile not strayed off course and hit our home."

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 2, 2004 03:52 PM

double,

reduced to quoting the onion?

Posted by: David at November 2, 2004 05:29 PM

Michael, yeah. This is the post I want to see on personal blogs. Sometimes I wonder what one man can do to reduce the dramatic breath-holding amongst my friends.

At least a third of them are threatening exodus.. eheh.

Posted by: Alec Truist at November 3, 2004 01:14 AM

An intelligent call to see the election for what it is: the votes of those participating in the democratic process of our Great Republic.

And what of the supporters of the winner, including myself, today doing? Go look in a barnyard at the largest rooster?

And the supporters of the loser? Go look at the spot in the barnyard where the rooster last relieved himself.

Both candidates have appealed for unity. A meaningless gesture, little more than the "usual" rhetoric? Both extremes are just that and little more. Those of us in the overwhelming and vast majority who are neither are disgusted with the Michael Moores of this world: both the red state and blue state people.

(note that post was made in the small hours, where I live, well after the cleaning up from the celebrants or disheartened had left the ballroom areas of their favorite candidate's celebrations (or wannabe celebrations).

Good article. It should be much more widely distributed. But of course it would be ignored by both right and left extremists who continue to sow discord in our country.

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