Calm Before the Storm

Oct 252004
Authors: JP Eichmiller

Does it feel good to be wanted? To know that someone out there

desires your affection? Well I have felt the love, and I want it to


For most of the nation, this October has felt little different

from years past. Temperatures dropping, leaves falling and the

disturbing trend of beginning Christmas celebrations before

Halloween; all mark the annual transition into another winter.

However, for those of us lucky enough to live in one of the

undecided states of America, this autumn has been anything but


Being treated like a single woman in Alaska is the price we pay

for living in a battleground state. We have men fighting for our

attention regardless of whether we deserve it or not. In fact, we

probably deserve less attention than most of the country based on

our state’s prosperity over the last four years while most of the

rest of the nation is suffering economically. For various reasons,

however, the men only have eyes for us.

If one were to base attractiveness on the amount of electoral

votes available, California, Texas and New York would draw the most

suitors. Yet somehow, at this dance the debutants are being passed

over for the ugly stepsisters of Colorado, Iowa and West Virginia.

Of course, this is only a result of those other ladies having

already chosen a date for the ball while we have optioned to wait

it out and watch them fight over us. As a result, this is what

happens – we are harassed with phone calls, inundated with lies

told in both the first and second person, and generally just left

to feel used and abused.

Well, there is good news and there is bad. The good news being

of course that this courtship is only one week from ending (and if

you don’t think the courtship has gotten bad, please be reminded

that the president just visited Greeley – when was the last time

anyone wanted to go to Greeley?). The bad news is that the

politicizing may be about to get a whole lot worse. How could this

assault of negative ads and mudslinging get any worse? One word:


This election is already unprecedented in many regards. Never

before has an incumbent had his reelection bid so closely

contested. Throughout our country’s history the sitting president

has been either reelected through mandate (former President Ronald

Reagan), or had his rear handed to him on a gargantuan scale

(former President George H.W. Bush). A closely contested reelection

is unheard of for a sitting administration. That this election is

not falling into that pattern speaks both of President Bush’s

massive shortcomings and Sen. John Kerry’s inability to sell


What this is setting us up for is a very ugly loser. The notion

of a concession speech from either candidate on election night is

becoming increasingly unlikely, short of a major upset in the large

swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. If, however, those

states are closely contested, as expected, then it could be game

on. The epidemic that occurred in Florida four years ago could

spread nationwide and even infect our own little hamlet here in the

Rockies. Electronic voting, voter registration drives and

provisional ballots are all setting up a formula for a November

voting disaster, the likes of which our republic has never seen.

Throw into that Colorado’s own little initiative to split our

electoral votes, which if it passes and decides the next president

would make our own state the number one destination of lawyers


For anarchists this would be nirvana. Proof positive that this

self-righteous nation of ours is unable to properly run an election

of its own, much less force it on others. For those among us who

hold disdain for the Electoral College as well as a love of twisted

irony, there is one result to tuck under your pillow and wish for

the tooth fairy to grant: Bush wins the popular vote, but Kerry is

elected president by the electoral vote.

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