Friday, October 29, 2004

Choose or Lose

Returning from lunch a little while ago, I noticed a street vendor advertising a "$5 Pashmina Blowout." I guess he has to sell his stock quickly make room on his table for the winter fashion line. He also made it a point to say that they were "real pashminas," subtly implying that the merchandise of pashmina vendor across the street - who was also selling them for $5 - was either imitation or inferior. He had a crowd at his table, and the other vendor had nobody, thus proving once again that the good advertising can be the critical difference between success and failure in the fashion industry.

Anyway, election day is just around the corner and the race is still very tight. One day Bush is winning, the next it's Kerry, and the next day it's too close to call. The only constant is that most people don't even know that Nader is running this time. Slate.com has a good article about called A Consumers Guide to Polls that explains the various polls and any bias they may have.

For what it's worth, here is how I see things shaping up. If the Democrats had a candidate that people could get really excited about, they would be running away with the election. They don't, so this election has come down to Bush vs. Not Bush, as opposed to Bush vs. Kerry. Consequently, I think the Democrats are going to have a hard time getting people out to vote, which doesn't bode well for Kerry. Bush supporters, on the other hand, fervently believe in their candidate and will do everything they can to ensure that his supporters get to the polls on Tuesday.

That's not to say that Bush doesn't have issues as well. His poll numbers are abysmal for an incumbent, and from what I've read, many of the undecided voters will make up their mind while they are actually in the voting booth. The latest news about the missing munitions in Iraq, along with the ongoing probe of the bidding process that awarded Halliburton the Iraq contracts are popping up at exactly the wrong time. Bush and his supporters are also in the troublesome position of defending the man who started a largely unpopular war, and who is heading up a relatively bad economy. More often than not, they point to his strength and willingness to stand by his decisions as evidence that he is, indeed, presidential material. Sure, but what if the decisions are wrong? For my money, they also seem to lean a little too heavily on patriotism as an excuse to re-elect the President. Disagreeing with the current administration - whether during a war or not - isn't unpatriotic. The freedom to do so is one of the cornerstones of our society. Besides, weren't the Republicans the ones who, a few years ago, spent billions of dollars trying to undermine Clinton? From what I recall, the argument at that time was that bringing the misdeeds of our leader to light was the most patriotic thing one could do. My how times have changed.

So what it comes down to is a choice between the lesser of two evils. So who am I voting for? I think I'll decide in the booth.