Third Party & Independents Archives

Time to Play the Game

In two days America will experience a presidential election that could affect the direction of the world for the next four years, and beyond. The only problem is the election is so close that the outcome is merely a game- not an indication of which candidate can marshal the best argument to convince the American people that he should be our leader. The rules of the game are: convince the few “swing” voters in “close” states that their particular interests will be served by voting for you, thus gathering 270 electoral votes.

Both candidates have been playing this game- as our constitution guarantees that they must. Bush has played this game by bullying Republicans into abandoning their small-government principles and passing his Medicare Bill- which is such a bloated give away to seniors that even the AARP endorsed it . After all, Florida is a swing state! This is also why John Kerry has abandoned his admirable support of free trade, turning to irresponsible and economically illiterate outsourcing rhetoric. After all, Ohio and Pennsylvania have “lost” jobs to outsourcing, and they are swing states! (of course, claiming that a state “lost” jobs to outsourcing is just a xenophobic way of saying that Americans own jobs and people from other countries have no right to compete for jobs).

In any case- if you want to know what will really decide who will be our president for the next four years- all you need to do is play this game the New York Times has available. Just go to that website and click on “presidential calculator.” If you see yourself in one of those Blue or Red states- your vote does not matter to the outcome of the game. If you are in one of those “no choice” states, then the game is still on for you, and you are going to determine who will be our next president. I even managed to make one very plausible scenario where the electoral votes are tied at 269 each, and the president will be decided by STATE delegations from the House of Representatives (Florida and Michigan to Kerry; Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico. and Wisconsin To Bush).

My friends- our system for choosing a president in a close election makes no sense- it is merely a game with insane loopholes like the one I just mentioned. I think we need a constitutional convention to fix things; but until then- get me my wings, bring me my favor couch and let the games begin!

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at October 31, 2004 6:30 PM