Decisive Even If on the Wrong Course?

(c) Bado (Guy Badeaux), Le Droit,

This political cartoon has got to the best at encapsulating the U.S. election this coming Tuesday. Those Americans who support Bush often cite their belief that he is clear about where he is taking their country (À la “Either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” manner), whereas they see Kerry as being undecisive — a “flip flopper.” On the other hand, those who support Kerry consider his ability to see shades of grey to be an asset, and Bush’s either/or-ism a liability. While I agree that the “liberals'” propensity towards overly nuanced analyses can overemphasize process over action, I also think that weighty issues such as those America (and indeed “The West”) is facing cannot be reduced to simple dichotomies.

Friday’s release of the latest bin Laden video was certainly a zinger, although there’s no way of knowing how it’ll play in the mind of the electorate on Tuesday, which I predict as many others will be one very messy affair. Imagine the shame that’s probably being felt in the States as a result of this election being monitored by international observers from such beacons of democracy as Zambia and Nicaragua! (See story) But whatever the outcome — even a clearer than expected majority one way or the other on Tuesday — the cleavage in American politics will remain. Indeed, no matter who wins, we can expect the losing side to accuse the winning side of stealing the election, as well as four more years of bitter (and destablizing) divisions.

Side notes
¤ I wish Nader would have fuckin’ stayed out of the running. If we accept his claim that he is not doing it to favour Bush (which I believe he isn’t), then obviously he’s only doing it for himself and not for the Americans he proclaims wanting to protect along with their freedom. While polls show he’s not likely to be as big a factor as he was in the 2000 election, he could still be the spoiler.

¤ Funny how red is used to depict Republican states and blue for Democratic states. It’s precisely the opposite in Canada (conservative = blue and liberal = red).

¤ I get queasy each day when I visit this site because polls show that the numbers are always shifting. This only reinforces my belief this election is going to be a mess.

¤ Clearly the U.S. is big on decentralization, even when it doesn’t work. Especially after the 2000 election, isn’t it obvious that elections shouldn’t be run by states and, in turn, counties? And what about those jurisdictions using voting machines that leave no paper trail! Christ on a stick! Is it really impossible to make those machines work like ATMs?