Monday, November 03, 2008

The 2008 Election

By now, I doubt that there's a single 'undecided' left in this nation. If any remain, they have the intelligence of a brain-injured hamster, and should not be allowed to drive or make decisions for themselves.

Many people believe this election is all sewn-up in Barack Obama's favor. Although there is certainly reason for this belief, there are also reasons against it. For one thing, everyone is relying upon polls. However, as many people have been arguing today, polls are peculiar things. They are easily skewed by:

1. The pollster asking loaded questions. (Ex. "Mrs. Smith, if I were to tell you that Barack Obama eats babies, would you still vote for him?")

2. A certain type of person that is willing to answer the pollster. Studies repeatedly show that conservatives eschew pollsters. People who shy away from this are, frankly, a conundrum to me. My own parents refuse to answer such phone calls, feeling them to be a horrendous nuisance. They are voting tomorrow, but will be voting for a conservative alternative to McCain.

3. People who want to deliberately confuse the polls. These are the mischief makers who want to throw a wrench in the works and they'll happily lie to do so. My grandmother would give the name of her dog and make up wild stories to any unfortunate telemarketers who would call her. She found their reactions vastly amusing.

4. People who don't want to admit that they're voting for the uncool guy. Let's face it, Obama is The Flavor of the Moment. Even Bruce Springsteen gave a concert for him, proclaiming "I want my country back!" (I'm not sure whom he thinks he's taking it from).

Obama is beloved by the media, and we have been repeatedly told that the only reason he could lose is if there are enough racists to vote against him. (Hmmm. Could it be his liberal politics, just maybe?)

Of course there are racists on both sides, but it's obviously not a significant problem for Obama, or he wouldn't have had as much money flowing into his coffers as he has had.

So: What to Do?

Ignore the polls and get out and vote! And then kick back, pop some popcorn, apply butter liberally, grab your remote, and channel surf between the various news stations all night. This promises to be a very exciting race to the finish line.

And While You're Watching the Incoming Results...

Please consider keeping your hands busy knitting a cap for an underprivileged infant. Knit One, Save One is a program sponsored by Save the Children.

Let me immediately admit that I can't knit. But I am able to pretend to knit by using a knitting loom that you can find at your local craft store.

The initiative is asking knitters and crocheters to take three steps before December 31, 2008:

1) Knit or crochet a baby cap.
2) Write one personal note to the new President asking him to lead the way to save millions of babies globally.
3) If possible, donate $10 towards a "Newborn Care Kit" to help parents better care for newborns.

However, this does not mean that you have to say it's OK to continue to send foreign aid overseas when our own poor are suffering at home. Tell the new President that charity begins at home, and ask him to demand that more accountability be attached to aid that is sent to other countries. Right now, too much aid gets into the pockets of the warlords, dictators and thugs - and not enough gets into the hands and mouths of the truly needy.


Three Score and Ten or more said...

I am not sure if knitting baby caps is my solution (definitely not a knitter, even with craft store assistance) but doing something charitable on election day is a good idea. The hatred developed during this election has become so personal and vindictive that I am worried about any president's ability to govern without some kind of force. In my three score and ten plus four years I have never felt so dubious and nervous about the result, regardless of who wins.

My word verification (with a space added) is all acne. I remember when I felt like that.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

If polls were are useless as you make out then they wouldn't be used, from my lay-knowledge on the subject, inspired by the West Wing back in 99, they are designed to be robust measures of opinion and bypass much of the problems you've talked about with good design.

Also, the myth of conservative poll avoidence is just that.

Emil said...

Knitting! Now that's funny. As long as people still vote. In South Africa, with our own political anxieties and the immanent splits within the ruling party, we are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the election. Of course, the majority here wishes to see Obama elected. People believe that will result in a stronger focus on Africa - I don't think the policy towards Africa will change.

michelle said...

I'm with you Saur. It ain't over till it's over.

Saur♥Kraut said...

3Score&10, Funny about these word choices lately. ;o)

I agree with you entirely - whoever wins may not truly be the winner.

Daniel, Very true - polls are important and they give us a gauge. Very often they're accurate when and if they're conducted well. However, it is important to remember that polls don't tell us everything, and can be fallible.

Right now liberals are using the polls as a club to hit conservatives over the head with. The hope is that the conservatives will stay away if Obama is said to have already had this whole thing sewn up.

And I don't know what it is in your country, but conservative poll avoidance is certainly not a myth here. It's acknowledged by all the experts and is a known fact.

Emil, So nice to see you again! If Obama wins, I do believe that there will be a larger focus on Africa, but in what capacity, I don't know.

Right now there's a bigger focus on Africa than I would like, personally. Although we're struggling here, George Bush keeps on gleefully sending money there. And most of the money ends up in the hands of the despots, anyway. There needs to be better accountability if we are to continue to send aid overseas.

Michelle, There you are! Yeah, you and I are usually in agreement. ;o)

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Of ocurse polls are not infallible but if they were as ineffective as you make out at showing the 'true level' of GOP support than they would be all but useless.

This smacks rather of just because the commie-pinko-liberal-socialists are in the lead in the polls that they are using them as a weapon and that the data is inaccurate.

I would say that if the data was saying pro-GOP numbers then not only would this alleged conservative blindspot not be mentioned, I'd also bet my ass on the fact they'd be used as a weapon.

May I also add that I'm sure we've dealt with the myth that Bush has sent buckets of aid to Africa some time ago in a seperate debate and never forget the awful moral restrictions he always used to attach to his help that made it as disgusting as it was colonial.

daveawayfromhome said...

Even if the conservative poll avoidance is true, it should be balanced by the unpolled-youths-with-cellphones numbers.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Dave, Undoubtedly. But this is of great concern. Here's why:

The recent youthful generation in America has been termed "The Entitlement Generation". They have, for the most part, been brought up to believe that they are more special than others.

They grew up in an environment which didn't allow strong competitiveness for fear of making others feel bad. After all, when there are winners, there are losers. And they were allowed to believe that they are entitled to as much as they can get.

Studies and articles back this up. Here are some articles on this:

The Young Labeled 'Entitlement Generation' (2005


The Trophy Kids Go to Work (2008)

If this is the selfish group that is now voting for Obama, then we are in great danger as a country.

Daniel, Oh undoubtedly the conservatives would use the polls just as much as the liberals are doing now.

But, they're still suspect for the reasons I elaborated. That doesn't mean they're wrong. We'll know more by tomorrow.

As for donating money, I'm sorry, but if it's our money, we should get to decide who gets it and how. We are not in the business of being The Salvation Army and we can't afford to be. So if we still insist on sending aid ANYwhere, we should certainly insist that it gets to the needy.

Ed Abbey said...

I saw a report that showed the polls on Tuesday morning with the final results. The biggest difference between the polls and the final outcome was in the 2000 election when Gore was 4% points behind and won the popular vote. The rest were only 1 or 2% off and all had the democratic nominee actually doing better than predicted. So with Obama 9% points above in the same polling organization, I'm guessing it will be an early night if all you want to see is the presidential results.

I expect that the news tomorrow night will show people dancing in the streets all over the world and people like Rush pointing out how excited the terrorists are right now or some slanderous thing. Me, I will just be happy that it is ANYONE BUT BUSH!!!!!!!

Ed Abbey said...

Oh, I left out that the report compared only the last five presidential elections.

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

To be honest, I'm not sure I can watch it all unfold tonight. I may just hibernate, ask someone to tell me the good or bad news tomorrow morning.

Uncle Joe said...

I think if Bush had 4 more years he could make this thing right.

or not.

Back to reality. This is the most exiting, important election in the history of America.
It's too bad duels have been outlawed. That would make it even better.
Thankfully a "Dance Off" is not on the lawbooks.

Whatever happens, enjoy the turmoil and excitement of the day and appreciate the peaceful way (hopefully) in which power is exchanged in this country.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Uncle Joe, I seriously doubt that Bush could make it right, unless he had a change of heart and actually listened to the people for once. However, he has an acute case of Les Majeste.

Jen, Avoiding the pain a little longer?

Ed, At one time, I would agree that ANYthing would be better than Bush. But I am very alarmed by Obama.

I do think that the first year under Obama will probably be good for most of us, and I will personally profit more under his regime. But overall, during the 4 year reign, we will end up paying the price. There is too much at stake here, and too few people who see that.

I would've happily voted for any Democrat but Obama, and was fully intending to vote for Hillary, because I don't like the way the Republicans are going.

But this is bad. And I am completely certain that our country is going to experience buyer's remorse within the 4 year period.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Yea. Its all those darn young people who think they are entitled to get on your lawn!


When did you get older than McCain?

Here is the way it is. There are wealthy states, and poor states. Wealthy states have a large population, living in high cost of living areas, and making incomes above the national average.

Poor states have a lower population, who make at or below the median income, live in lower cost of living areas (which really helps offset that income thing), and have a lower tax base.

The lower population lower tax base states - which also happen to be MOSTLY "red" - live off the fat from states who pay more into the till than they get from the till.

Small town America really lives it up. When they need funding for a local project - like a water or sewage plant - they do not tax themselves to pay for it. They ask the state for money, and then the state asks the feds if they do not have it.

The BLUE states tend to have a higher population density, and with population density comes higher property values, which means higher incomes (although it is a wash to call yourself better off - sure you make more but things cost more), and all this means a higher tax base.

If Miami-Dade County needs a $100 million public works project - we CAN raise that money internally.

So now who are the socialist "we are entitled" to stuff? Residents of debtor states? People in small towns who can not afford to pay for their own public works projects? States who cry to the US DOT when their roads need to be improved?

OR people living in major urban centers, who CAN raise their own money locally to pay for stuff? Urban areas who raise far more sales tax revenue for the state than Bum-Squat population 3,000? People whose sales tax money is transferred from the major urban areas to some project in Bum-Squat??

If small town America, "real America" as they like to be called, and the red debtor states want to end socialism fine by me.

I know that after a few years, when they can not afford another tax hike to pay for the bridge repairs or the highway repaving project without some socialist help from the big city 300 miles away - or when they can not drive anywhere without passing through 4 different toll plazas - they will have a whole different attitude.

Fred said...

I'm not going to bed until a winner is called. It'll make school really interesting in the morning.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Fred, especially if you're reeling from lack of sleep. :D

Lazy, Didn't you read those articles? I can't believe you're saying I'm a stick-in-the-mud when I know that you work to earn your own goodies, and YOU certainly aren't entitlement minded (or at least I didn't think you were?)

And I was talking about the present youth of America, not the average American. Of course not ALL youth are like this, but sadly many are.

Then you switched the topic to the average American. We're looking at apples and oranges, here.

And since when is it right to overtax people who make sensible choices to live better, when there are many people who are just plain lazy (excuse the reference) and have no education or ambition except to live off the fat of others?

There is NO DOUBT that the government does need to look after the truly needy, as you cannot expect anyone else to do so, human nature being selfish.

However, when they reformed the welfare system they did an incredibly good thing - the government finally said that you can't sponge off others your entire life, and you must learn life skills so that you can take care of yourself. And, eventually, be taxed enough to take care of others, as the rest of us are.

Emil said...

The result was somewhat predictable, you think? It is a change, and a major one! Good luck with the way forward!

daveawayfromhome said...

"However, when they reformed the welfare system they did an incredibly good thing..."

Didnt that happen under Clinton, the bane of the Republican party and favorite whipping boy of the Right?

I'll agree that there are plenty of problems with the welfare system (I have serious issues with Section 8, for instance), but that doesnt mean that because a few people get a bit of undeserved money (and it's not like we're talking about people living like bank CEOs or anything) you throw out the government baby with the welfare bathwater.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Emil, Thanks! We need all the luck we can get. ;o)

Dave, Yes, with a conservative congress. Clinton wasn't happy about it, if you recall.

And I know of many instances of people gaming the system even now. But the government's got much better at watching our backs and our money there.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Returning to this thread to remind anyone still reading it, that Saur was horribly wrong in her assumptions regarding the inaccuracy of polling in the 2008 election. It actually turned out to be the MOST ACCURATE POLLING EVER and reflected fairly and accurately the turn out, voting ratios and won/loss states.

I rest my case. One more conservative myth slayed!