We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Is this election a referendum on Obama? Sad to say, it probably is. Obama offers HOPE, CHANGE, and socialism. McCain offers...what? Ordinary decent, honest, moderate-conservative governance, I guess - which is not too exciting but which is all I ask for.
In the past, people used to rely on bankers to guard themselves from their own worst financial instincts. They might have wanted to borrow 100 per cent (or 125 per cent) of the value of a home without the need to demonstrate thrift and reliability by making a down-payment. But they were shown the door.
Without bankers saying “no”, many people borrowed to the hilt, assuming that rising asset prices had eliminated all risk. Some confined themselves to buying bigger houses for themselves, while others bought second and third homes to rent them out while their capital appreciated.
...having as many people as possible voting is not a legitimate public interest. To maximize the chance that we elect the better candidate, we do not want people to vote if they are so ill-informed that by voting they will decrease this chance. And even if someone's vote would increase this chance, if the increase is infinitesimal the fact that voting is costly can make us prefer he or she just stay home.
I would hope that inquiring and skeptical people would look beyond the surface and the rhetoric. McCain is not significantly more fiscally conservative than Obama. Where Obama wants to raise taxes and increase spending, McCain promises only the spending part (see his recent plan to buy up all bad mortgages). I would hope that the outright lies of his campaign would have tipped you off that maybe McCain is not the bastion of integrity that so many people seem to think he is. The choice of Sarah Palin as his VP says that someone who is politically energizing is more important to him than someone who has experience and knowledge of the relevant issues. It also puts him a lot closer to the Religious Right, which is not particularly fiscally conservative either (see: Bush presidency, national debt). And frankly, I don't want an ordinary person in government. I want someone who is smarter and more capable than both myself and the average American.
Will have to disagree with "...having as many people as possible voting is not a legitimate public interest".
American democracy works best when the vote of the town drunk counts just as much as the civics teacher. Democracy (like living) includes the right to make mistakes and a duty to put up with the results of an election.
Re voter fraud: One wonders if the election will turn on the fraudulent vote demographic? One also wonders why no one is ever held to account and prosecuted for turning in false voter registrations? Finally, one wonders if flagrant voter fraud is the wave of the future?
If the election turns on fraud, then democracy doesn't care much either way, it being close either way. Far from a crisis, the inability to determine which way the election actually went just means that it doesn't matter much.
Not that indivuals don't care, but that democracy doesn't care.
At worst fraud means only that you need 53% to turn the bums out rather than 50%.
News flash: the media backs Obama. I still wonder why. What do they want?
I think there are two reasons:
1) most mainstream-media staff are liberals and want the Snob to win.
2) basically, what Ron said. The mainstream media believes that the decline in their financial fortunes is all the fault of those damned conservatives on talk radio and Fox News and the Internet. If the Snob wins, then he'll reinstate the Fairness Doctrine and shut all those people down. Then people will have to come back to the mainstream media for their news.