The results are in...
... and Dan Rather was a hoot and a holler to watch. Never mind who's president: Check out the clever country comments Rather offered us this time around...
"Hoo-Boy! Looka there!"
"This presidential race is gonna be hotter than the Devil's anvil!"
"Politics is so expensive, it takes a lot of money just to get beaten."
"George Bush has got the hot dice now!"
"Bush's lead is as thin as November ice."
"It won't mean a thing if you don't get those swing... states."
"We don't declare winners, we PROJECT!"
"Only the votes talk. Everything else walks."
"When John Kerry wrote Santa Claus, this is one state he asked for."
"George Bush is sweeping through the midwest like a big combine."
"There's a big, black vote in Motown." (Bob Schieffer... too good to pass up in this listing...)
"We're on these returns like white on rice."
"It's humming along like Ray Charles."
"It is a beehive for George Bush."
"The Democrats must tee-totally have that race."
"They're getting within smelling distance (sniffs deeply)."
"That'll be whoopee news down in Texas."
"We had a slight hitch in our giddyup earlier."
"This is one of those cases where your mother was right, looks can be deceiving."
"John Kerry's moon has just moved behind a cloud in Florida."
"John Kerry needs a 60-yard field goal to win this."
"I know you'd sooner walk through a furnace with a gasoline-soaked suit than lose Ohio..." (To Kerry's communications director)
"Is that making your fingernails sweat?"
"No doubt about it, take it to the bank!"
"It's crackling like a hickory fireburr."
"If you had to bet the double-wide, you'd have to bet he'll win."
"His lead is as thin as turnip soup."
"It's three in the morning, and if you're hoping to find out who the president will be, well, so are we."
Wow. All those just make me proud to be a Texan. I voted Libertarian, so I don't care if Bush or Kerry wins. One is the devil we know, the other is the devil we don't. Neither one offered a clear enough choice to voters to have a victory untainted by lawyers. True, in some states, the margins were wide enough to not need to consider provisional ballots: proof that not every vote counts because not every vote is counted. This was less an election based on issues than it was a calculated marketing campaign more on the level of Pepsi vs. Coke or the idiotic "Beer Bowls" that increase the tension and excitement of the Super Bowls for a few desperate souls needy enough to be entertained by a brewer's intra-house brand rivalries. It's the morning of November 3, and the result is still up in the air. Bush likely has the victory, but it's simply not big enough for the Kerry legal team to concede just yet. Were it the other way around, you better believe the Bush legal vultures would be circling around the same states Kerry's carrion crawlers are swarming.
I will say this: Were tiny New Hampshire to have gone Libertarian, it would have thrown the whole election into the House of Representatives, and have removed the election from the voice of the people and put it into the hands of the nation's power brokers. That is not democracy, neither direct nor representative, because that is not one man, one vote. American people are proud, strong and freedom-loving. They deserve better than this sort of government. I believe the political debate this time should not have throttled voices from the Libertarians, Greens, or Ralph Nader. Although I can't stand the Greens' or Nader's platforms, they are American, too, and deserve to be heard just as much as the team I'm rooting for, the Libertarians. Exiled from the debates, America didn't get a chance to hear voices that could have steered the candidates into making uncomfortable statements about where they really stand on issues, promises that would come back to haunt them if reneged upon. Instead, we got a campaign with kid-glove comments like "I'll be tough on terror" or "I'm good for the economy, he isn't." Phooey. That's like saying you're against evil. Well, duh. Everyone's against evil when pressed to offer a vague position on the issue.
Kerry voted in favor of the war against Iraq at a time when the criticisms of the US government's lies, and they were most certainly known to be lies among many journalists and scholars as they were being said, were being decried as such in the press. Now Kerry claims he is shocked that he was lied to and tricked by the Bush administration's fancy talk. Baloney. Kerry voted with the President because he didn't have the conviction of character to stand up and question him on it. That's why I didn't vote for Kerry.
Bush? You want to know why I didn't vote for Bush? I didn't vote for Bush because he embarked on an operation that wound up responsible for killing more Americans annually than were killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. He ordered the invasion of Afghanistan, which destroyed that nation, such as it was. In the wake of that destruction, as predicted, opium growing took off like a rocket and heroin refining, well, shot up. If you didn't hear the predictions, then shame on you for not reading up on what your government actually does, because the reports were out there, online, for everyone to read. Worse, the US-backed government in Afghanistan depends upon the goodwill of the heroin traffickers in order to stay in power. It's the heroin warlords who control Afghanistan, and their export kills more Americans every year than Osama bin Laden ever took responsibility for in his entire life. And before you damn those deaths as worthless drug addicts, remember that those addicts were once someone's son or daughter, that they were once your co-workers or friends. The drugs got into their lives and destroyed them. Bush's foreign policy success now depends on the heroin continuing to flow from Kandahar Valley to a corner near you. The top producers and distributors will not be prosecuted: they are national security assets. I am opposed wholeheartedly to the creation of narcostates and the turning of a blind eye to the plague of opiates, and that is why I cannot support a president who is essentially the friend of the pusherman.
Where does that leave me? It leaves me thirsting for constitutional reform. When the Articles of Confederation no longer suited the needs of the nation, men met to form a new Constitution. Thomas Jefferson himself suggested such a convention should be held every 25 years or so, to give each generation a chance to shape the government to suit their needs. I'm with Jefferson, but the overhaul we need is almost 200 years overdue. Now, I'll have to overcome vast entrenched interests that depend on the system existing as it does now in order to enrich themselves at your expense and mine. I'll be happy, though, to get the ball rolling and to start a movement that, perhaps within 50 to 150 years or more, will be able to build an America that truly does embody the virtues we believe in our hearts it truly should have.
If you want to help, I'll be happy to hear what you have to say on the matter. If Americans begin to demand a higher standard in their governmental and corporate leaders, to borrow a phrase from Dan Rather, the people "will have the hot dice now".
And that's the way it is...
by Dean Webb