Monday, November 3, 2008

How To Know If The Fix Is In

I LIVE IN LOS ANGELES, and I have many lefty friends, many who are way more left than me. So for the past eight years, I've heard a lot of -- oh, let's call them -- "election shenanigans" stories. About how Florida was fixed in 2000, about how Ohio was fixed in 2004. And how the wheels are in motion for McCain to steal it this year.

Now, for the most part, I don't believe a lot of these paranoid musings. Not that I don't think the Republicans will do anything (and I do mean anything) to win the White House. I must also confess that I have confidence Obama will win. At various times during this race I have threatened to make a $2,000 bet with my friend Brooke. She fully believes the Republicans will find another way to steal an election this year and I think Obama's a lock because McCain is essentially a terrible choice for president. So I have, on several occasions, bet her $2,000 that Obama would win. She has not taken this bet.

{Editor's note: My wife has, in no uncertain terms, forbidden me from making such silly bets as these. Not that I can afford them in the first place. And rightly so. I mostly made the bet because I knew Brooke wouldn't take it.}

Also, I don't think the election was stolen in 2004. (Regardless of what happened in Ohio.) I just think Kerry was a profoundly terrible choice for president. A man so anti-charismatic as to make Michael Dukakis shine like a newly minted penny in comparison. We all just rallied behind Kerry and thought he was a good candidate because we all hated Bush so much. But in the clear focus of retrospectacles, we can all see how silly it was that we thought that guy could win. How terrible was Kerry? Bush barely beat him. That's how bad he was. He was bad enough to convince people that Bush was a better choice.

So now we've got Obama vs. McCain, and if you consider the past half-dozen elections as popularity contests, with the most popular boy in school winning, you'll understand why I think Obama will win.

Look, America loves pretty people and loves a winner. Obama is more handsome and charismatic than McCain. Also, he seems to be winning. And just like people who have never been to Yankee Stadium wear Yankees apparel because it makes them part of a winning team (or at least it did in the late '90s), people hate to "waste" their vote by voting for a loser. Look at the historical record.

1984 -- Ronald Reagan, a movie star vs. Walter Mondale, a cartoon character. Result: Reagan won by a landslide.
1988 -- George H.W. Bush, a congenial-looking man (with a dark, dark soul) vs. Michael Dukakis, another cartoon character, this one with crazy eyebrows. Result: Bush wins by a landslide.
1992 -- Bill Clinton, a young handsome devil vs. President Bush, the incumbent vs. Ross Perot, an even more hilarious cartoon character. Result: Clinton wins decisively. Perot sinks into hilarious obscurity and/or gigantic piles of money.
1996 -- President Clinton, the incumbent vs. Bob Dole, a charming old war veteran who seemed a little weird. Result: Clinton wins re-election, and still remains generally popular despite getting blown by an intern and lying about it.
2000 -- George W. Bush, an idiot man-child remade as a plain-talkin' regular guy vs. Al Gore, a handsome candidate whose speeches instantly put people to sleep. Result: A very close race (both men were handsome!) but Bush wins.
2004 -- President Bush, the incumbent vs. John Kerry, a boring version of Frankenstein. Result: four more years of sadness.
And now...
2008 -- Barack Obama, a young, handsome African-American man vs. John McCain, a charming old war veteran who seems a little weird. Result: see Bob Dole.

But all that is not to say that Karl Rove and the minions of Sauron cannot pull off an upset. So, remember this number:

If McCain wins by that number, you will know the fix is in.

How did I come by this number? Was it some advanced algorithm? No, of course not. I decided on this number arbitrarily. But there it is anyway. If the election goes to McCain by 51.4%, we will all know we have been robbed. So stay sharp, people. And vote as often as you can.

But for the record, I still believe Obama will win by a landslide. That it will be an early night. That McCain will suffer an embarrassing loss. That's what I believe. That is my prediction. But, as many of you know, my mental powers are a dubious gift at best.

1 comment:

Greta said...

Well, I for one am voting for him because I like his ears! And you can always tell when someone is a winner by the shape, texture, and form of their ears!