Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Voters

OK, for some reason I'm itching to write on this topic, so some more of my unsolicited opinions on voting and elections:

Every time there's an election, certain folks will look at the turnout numbers and bemoan the lack of participation in the American political process.

"Heavens," they will say. "Only 46% of eligible voters came out to vote. That's terrible! What can we do to get more people voting?"

My answer: nothing. Short of holding a gun to their heads anyway, I guess.

And that's perfectly fine. That's right: it does not bother me a bit that a lot of people do not choose to vote. I'm actually glad that they do not. These folks are obviously uninterested in the political process, which means that if they did actually go to vote, they would have little to no idea what or whom they would be voting for. Why would we want these people voting? They have already self-selected themselves out of the process. Don't interfere!

You know what it means when a lot of people who don't ordinarily vote start coming out to vote? It doesn't mean they've seen the light regarding their duties and privileges as citizens of a free society. It usually just means they're pissed off. Wanting more people to vote basically means wanting a lot of discontented people. Be careful what you wish for!

Nowadays there are ample opportunities to vote for people who want to vote. Early voting, for instance, is extensive, and absentee ballots easy to come by. The people who want to vote are voting. As for the others...well, it's a free country, and they are free to do their own thing. Leave them alone. If they ever want to come to the polls, you'll be the first to know.

Voting 2010

OK, so I voted a couple of days ago. Here's the tally:

Governor: I cast a write-in vote for Phil Bredesen. Three reasons for this:

1. The actual Governor's race is over. Has been over, in fact, for months. I cast my vote in the Republican Primary for Bill Haslam. Since this year the winner of the Republican Primary was going to be the next governor, my work here, so to speak, was already done.

2. I owe it to him
. Seriously. I have always been a big Phil Bredesen fan, but I have yet to cast a vote for him for governor, even though each time I came very close.

1994 -- Come was 1994! Plus I liked him as Nashville's mayor and wanted him to stay there. Selfish of me, I know.

2002 -- Oh God, this was hard. I even got in trouble with some of my Republican friends for saying nice things about Phil Bredesen in the newspaper. But the bottom line was that I was working against the state lottery that year (as I always have to clarify, I have no problem with allowing gambling, but I do have a problem with government-sponsored gambling, especially when the state has a monopoly on it) and it seemed hypocritical to vote for the person who supported the lottery.

2006 -- Second terms for governors in Tennessee tend to be state-income-tax festivals. I voted for Jim Bryson on that basis. I should have known better: there's been nary a peep about a state income tax over the last four years.

Highly principled stands or just lame rationalizations for preserving my GOP bona fides? You be the judge! I'll abstain.

3. He's done a bang-up job. Mark my words: We are going to miss him. Probably sooner rather than later.

Congress -- Marsha Blackburn

TN Senate -- Jack Johnson

TN House -- Glen Casada

That Weird Constitutional Amendment Preserving Hunting and Fishing Rights in Tennessee Even Though It Seems To Me Pretty Much Everyone In The State Goes Around Hunting And Fishing Without Any Real Interference From The Government -- Sure, why not? I'm not much of a hunter or a fisherman--I do my hunting and fishing in the grocery aisle--but I don't have anything against it either. Knock yourself out.

And, that's it. Bring on Tuesday!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Election "Fraud"

Color me skeptical about most claims of supposed election fraud, especially such "incidents" as the recent alleged ones in Nevada, where the machine somehow magically cast a vote for Harry Reid. Isn't it more likely the case that the voters or voters brushed over his name somehow and the little check mark (or whatever they have over there) then appeared? Yes it is, the same way people are constantly tapping the wrong letters on their iPhones or whatever by accident, resulting in text messages like these: "Mewt me atx 2pM thes afternone."

It's also the case that, as I have said elsewhere, a lot of voters have no idea what they are doing when they vote, especially with these newfangled machines. Frankly, they're kind of dumb about it. I'm not sure why that's such a controversial thing to say. I mean, it has been a standard joke in our world to say that people don't know how to program their VCRs (DVRs now). Why is it such a stretch to suppose that they don't know how to do this either? And, sorry, but I don't have any sympathy for it. For Christ's sake, join the rest of us in the 21st century and learn how to operate the damned voting machine.

This is what I mean when I say that most of these alleged "fraud" issues are really just user error, the election equivalent of calling tech support to find out why the computer isn't working, only to discover during the call that it isn't plugged in.

Bottom line: It's not the system's fault that you have no idea what you're doing. Figure it out. Or else stay home.