Friday, October 24, 2008

The Fat Lady Ain't Sung!

Many in the Obama campaign and the media (sorry to be repetitious) have declared that this race is over and the “chosen” one has every thing accomplished but the swearing in ceremony. They point with glee at the polls and see no possibility but a landslide victory for their messiah. Or so they say.

American elections can be capricious. If you have great grandchildren, you will remember the headline on the Chicago Tribune front page announcing “DEWEY WINS.” Never mind that Harry Truman was the guy they swore in during the inauguration of January 1949. A famous snob from New York City observed after the election of Richard Nixon that “nobody I knew voted for him, no one!” In that election, Nixon got all but 17 of the electoral college votes. The worst ever defeat was FDR over Landon with the loser garnering only eight electoral votes.

The simple truth is that our citizens resent the intrusion on their privacy by anyone who seeks to find out what their intention is at the ballot box. As a pollster, you face persons who may or not be registered, wags, intentional deceivers, and a vast army who tell you to go mind your own business. With the advent of “caller ID,” many folks check the screen for 1-800 calls and just plain don’t answer. I have no idea whether that is more common with Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. In that it is bound to skew the polling data, doesn’t really matter.

We are assured that cell-phone polling is as prevalent as land line calls but my personal experience says otherwise. I have difficulty remembering the last 1-800 call I saw on my cell phone screen. I have a hard and fast rule on the telephone; I don’t talk to machines. Roy Blunt called me some months ago and invited me to participate in a conference call type forum with an opportunity to ask questions and I happily went along with that. I didn’t exercise my privilege to ask any but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the others that did.

An NR reader recalled a paragraph from Robert Hienlein which I found arresting. It went as follows:

“The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a "warm body" democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction.... Once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.”

As I considered Hienlein’s writing I had no difficulty seeing the projected parallel. Currently, my greatest concern is the presence of Mickey Mouse, the starting lineup for the Cowboys, and Ben Dover joining the legitimate electorate. The greatest outrage is the fact that federal monies have been funneled in to the organization which is perpetrating this fraud—ACORN. I trust this has not gone unnoticed by the voters and will be reflected in their final decision. I do believe that the average American does have a sense of fairness and righteous moral action and will respond appropriately. In fact, I’m counting on it. If I’m wrong, Hienlein’s gloomy prediction may be closer than we think.

With this all in mind, I am not nearly as discouraged as some folks I know. Part of the problem is that some people don’t recognize the adversary. They fail to properly identify and separate the mistaken from the evil. They also submit to the notion that someone who apparently endorses programs which will work to their specific self-interest are doing what is best for the country. Although there may be nominal merging of that self-interest, it would obviously be impossible to coincide with each voter’s particular desires. Hence the constant parade of generalities and platitudes. A major challenge to the successful candidate will be to make the most difficult decisions palatable to the most people.

Being president is a horrible job. Would you want it? There is a reason that even the sedentary make an effort to maintain their physical self by biking, running, working out, or for our current president, clearing brush and chopping wood; maintaining the physical/mental equilibrium results in enhancing both. With all the “leadership” talk put aside, it is a unique job and no man can claim to be fully prepared to deal with the huge variety of challenges which are faced on a daily basis. The strongest component in preparation would seem to be the character issue.

My first formal job out of school was working for a remarkable man, J. Edgar Hoover, at FBI headquarters at 9th and Pennsylvania in Washington, D.C. All manufactured anecdotes aside, he knew what was going on in every room in the building and in the many field offices. Revisionist historians have painted a far different picture of him than that which pervaded the Justice Department when I labored there. He ran a tight ship. I handled literally thousands of documents while I was there and nearly every one had a cryptic comment in his own hand with the familiar “J.E.H.” signature. It occurred to me one day that I should consider the ones I hadn’t seen and then began to appreciate to work load he assumed. When I entered the military, I did appreciate the rigorous work ethic and developed loyalty to the nation and its citizens. I also came away with a clearer impression of the communist (socialist) threat to the country. That attitude has not changed in the intervening 55 years.

In the later years of his 48 year history as the nations “top cop,” Hoover was slimed by his foes with spurious stories, innuendo, and outright lies. This process is all too familiar to those who are paying attention to devious moves so obvious in today’s campaigns. This mania has approached a near template quality which has placed the politics of personal destruction over the national interest.

I would remind the readers not to bet the farm on what is projected as the “obvious” outcome of the upcoming election. I have, as I am sure you have also, prayed to God to work His wonders on the parties involved and to protect this republic which we all hold dear. I remind myself daily that he is fain to destroy that in which he has an investment.

More simply stated, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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