Free Dartmouth
11/06/2004 04:58:00 PM | Justin

Any Signs Of Life Out There?

People have been awfully quiet on this blog. Almost too quiet. I'd like to see some firebrand postings just to make sure everyone is still alive and kicking (emphasis on the kicking).

Some people are claiming that Kerry , won this election, and that the smoking gun is once again in the hanging chad, but I'm sure everyone's tired of this sort of nitty-gritty warring over inches, when the victory margin is miles. Slightly more interesting is the machine error in Ohio that gave Bush 4000 extra votes . I wonder if there's more where that came from. And there's also the case that minority voting districts have inferior voting machines that are more likely to spoil votes, thus disenfranchising them unfairly on average (Not to mention felon disenfranchisement). But the only practical response to this problem is to fix it in the next election.

The most constructive moral I've seen derived from this debacle is that we need to scrap the electoral college . In 2000, that argument was seen as democrat partisanship because it favored Gore, but this election, it favored Kerry, narrowing his effective margin of loss from 3 million to just 140,000 in Ohio. I've read in a few places that a vote in wisconsin is worth 3 or 4 times more than a vote in California in the electoral college. That's just plain unfair.

So what can democrats and liberals do next time around? I've been thinking maybe we should take more libertarian / state's rights stances on a slew of issues, from gun control, to gay marriage, to government services, etc... Now that democrats have no control over government, it makes more sense for us to advocate a smaller, more decentralized government to prevent the conservative "moral majority" from trying to dictate laws to liberal states where a majority think differently. We shouldn't let conservatives have it both ways, claiming to be the vanguard of small government and libertarian values, while at the same time trying to be the country's and the world's moral police.

If anyone else has any ideas on what we can do to increase the popularity of the democratic party, please share. According to opinion polls, it seems we have the advantage on the economy, and that people disapprove of the Bush-inspired war on Iraq, so logically, we should be able to furnish the more popular candidate. Oh, well. Please post constructive suggestions, but no stupid conservative gloating (or even intelligent conservative gloating, but I figured there wasn't much risk of that).

Things could be worse. We could have been attacked and enslaved by martians. Or we could have Rick Santorum as our new president. I'd been hoping that a lot of the evangelical christian right would have been disillusioned when the world didn't end when it was supposed to in 2000, and so wouldn't have turned out in such large numbers again to vote. But no such luck. The donkey's once again seen its shadow, portending 4 more years of bibles and guns.

Update: Speaking of bibles and guns, I just came across this quote from Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior, James Watts, on why we don't need to protect the environment: "God gave us these things to use. After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back". This article discusses why the same block of congressmen who vote consistently with the christian right, also vote consistently against protecting the environment: Allegedly, because the second coming is imminent, so the environment doesn't matter. Let me add the disclaimer that this theory is somewhat speculative, as only James Watts went so far as to state it so bluntly.

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