Fear Factor

The presidential election is upon us now and appropriately enough it will be within days of Halloween.  That’s because the major parties are using fear to drive people to the polls, towards their candidate and away from their opponents.  Perhaps we should have Joe Rogan doing a special ‘Fear Factor, Election Night’ show for us next Tuesday night?

“They are certainly trying to demonize the other guy, and scare the heck out of the voters in a variety of ways,” said political analyst Stuart Rothenberg.

Of course, many of us expect this type of behavior in this day of a “win at any cost” atmosphere of presidential politics. But now Bush and Kerry are attacking each other for using fear tactics and saying that they represent a candidacy of hope. Amazing!

At one point Bush is giving a speech about hope and prosperity, rejecting the politics of fear and calling Kerry’s attacks on him unwarranted. At the same time, Cheney is telling another group that the country would be less safe if Kerry were in office. They say that if Kerry gets elected there will be more terrorist attacks, insinuating that there won�t be if they stay in office, and that the DNC lawyers are going to steal the election away.

Clinton and Kerry both spent the last day or two saying that “Our future belongs to freedom, not to fear”, asserting that the president is using fear tactics to garner votes. This, after spending the past few weeks saying that Bush has a secret plan to re-institute the draft, that he will steal old people’s pensions and that thousands will die from the flu because of Bush’s ‘healthcare’ failures. This along with near fanatic assertions that Republicans will do everything in their power to make sure [insert minority of choice] will be blocked from voting.

I think we all understand the candidates using fear to put doubt in the minds of voters about the ‘other guy’. We don’t like it, but we understand it. However, to then come back and attempt to take the high road while bashing your opponent for doing the same is beyond hypocrisy. Neither candidate has been acting very presidential for the past few weeks, and I think that most voters understand this. Unfortunately, most voters are going to suck it up, vote for the lesser of the two evils as they see it, and then very quickly go to the nearest bar and get hopelessly drunk for the next 4 years.

The good news; alcohol sales should be up over the next few years if you want to take a tip and head on over to the futures market. It may help protect yourself from the damage that both of these ‘presidential’ candidates are going to do to this economy given their way.

The problem is I don’t have much of a solution for you. If you are in the same camp as I am, turned off by everyone, including the party you belong to that support’s a candidate of choice, what do you do?

Not voting seems a horrible option. We are told repeatedly that we should at least vote, though I’m seeing more and more the wisdom of sending a message by not voting. However, this has been tried in the past and all it has done is lower the standards of our presidential candidates. This year is a perfect case in point.

Voting for the lesser of two evils just makes most of our skins crawl. We want to vote FOR someone, not against someone else. Just the thought of going into the polls and pulling the Kerry or Bush ticket this year makes me wish we had a ‘do-over’ process in place, or at least a “none of the above” option.

You could vote for a third party candidate even if you don’t agree with them completely. That has it’s attractions; they are likely not going to win but it could send a larger message to the two parties that they had better turn this thing around or they are going to soon be left looking for the swing voter who is now off supporting a third party. It is a better option than not voting because this shows that you are serious about the election process but you want someone who is trying to get you to vote for them, not just assume you will or using lawsuits to limit your choices. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the media or the two major parties would even notice.

Finally, you could write in a candidate. I believe that this option is still a valid option in all state election laws, though I have to admit I don’t know for sure. You’d have to ask your polling volunteer, though it is likely they won’t know either. If you can, you could vote for the person who you really think would be the best candidate. Just possibly in 2008 that person would run based on knowing that even without running in 2004 there were people wanting to vote for them. That has its appeal, but unless enough people voted for the same person the media won’t report those votes. They rarely even report how many votes the third parties get.

What to do, what to do. Why can’t we have more choices that are not incompetent raving lunatics? Where are the Bayhs, the Brownes, the McCains? Where are the Clintons and the Hamiltons and Liebermans, Doles and Lugars?

Why did Reagan have to pass away?

Are we forever doomed to continue on the path of less and less qualified leadership, the next candidate worse than the one before?

As I look around us
There’s such strange things
There’s muggers and there’s jugglers
And we are led by clowns
If an answer ever found us
Would we change things
Or are we just a people
Rotten ready for the ground

And if our future
Lies on the final line
Are we brave enough
To see the signals and the signs
I wonder what would happen to this world

We see the people
We see them marchin’ down
Do we join the parade
Or do we try and turn around
Well I wonder what would happen to this world

Disciple children walk the streets
Selling books and flowers
Can they be last ones
With a semblance of a dream
If we say that no one’s out there
And we say we’re goin’ nowhere
And we avoid the question
Is this all that it means?

Oh if a man tried
To take his time on earth
And prove before he died
What one man’s life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to this world
– Harry Chapin – Would Would Happen To This World.

If we did have true leadership again, would we even recognize it?

If anyone has any answers to these questions, could you please forward them to me at :

Sad Dejected Disabled American Veteran
3rd Bar Stool from the end
Nearest bar to the polling place, USA

I’ve opened up a tab.

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