One of the big limitations in writing for print is the delay between when you write something and when it will actually arrive on newsstands.
Thanks to the advents of the digital age, time-tested printing techniques and generous amounts of incredibly cheap, carcinogenic ink (been wondering about all those nosebleeds, right? Well, what can I say, Sudoku is a harsh mistress), that delay has been whittled down to less than a day.
And normally that’s a pretty inconsequential span for an opinion columnist, unless of course the day sitting between you and your audience happens to be the one where we decide the next leader of the free world.
Thusly, stuck on the wrong side of Nov. 4, I’m going to have to call this election early. It’s taken a lot of thought and poll-scouring (not in the stripper way), but I think I’m ready to make my prediction.
I’m declaring that Gov. Thomas Dewey of New York will win in a landslide over both Democrat Barack Obama and fellow Republican John McCain. Congratulations, Governor!
For those of you who don’t remember, or perhaps were just a twinkle in your parents’ unfertilized gametes at the time, or, more likely and even less palatable, your parents were just twinkles in your grandparents’ unmentionables, then let me bring you up to speed:
Dewey was the swell Republican candidate of the 1948 election, known during his governorship to have cut loutfulness and crum-bummery by a corking 14 percent. Keen!
Sadly, despite having been predicted to win the presidency by an overwhelming margin of the nation’s pollsters, Dewey was defeated by incumbent and genocide-dabbler Harry Truman.
Saddened by the narrow loss, Dewey was consoled by his brothers, Huey and Louie, with whom he spent the late ’80s embarking on various, mildly entertaining adventures that filled the time until “Darkwing Duck” came on.
Despite having not been on the ballot this year and having died in 1971, I’m giving this election to Dewey because, frankly, he’s what America needs, even if Americans are not aware of it, him or that stupid face we make when we chew our food. Really, we’re never going to get with Trinidad and Tobago if we keep that up. I mean, come on, people — twins!
Where Obama relies on vague affirmations (“Change we can believe in,” “Yes we can”), and McCain, the pro-war candidate for an incumbent party, likes to pledge opposite-day aspirations like “Reform. Prosperity. Peace,” Dewey cuts through the partisan bickering and campaign double-talk.
This is a candidate whose very presence invokes leadership: his stoic manner, his proud, desiccated features. A man the average voter can trust, because though he may not have much to say, you can always tell what’s on his mind. Because of the rotting, you see. You see the inference there, right? Yeah? High five.
As Dewey learned all too well, surveys and exit polls can predict the outcome only to a point.
The National Council in Public Polls states that in the last 50 years, polls have erred 1.9 percent per candidate. By using the power of skewed mathematics, we can see that the pollsters were wrong about Dewey, and that since 1948 there have been 30 major party candidates to have run for the presidency, meaning there is a staggering 57 percent margin of cumulative error, more than enough for a surprise Dewey sweep in Tuesday’s election.
Now, my detractors will point to previous statements I’ve made in which there are a few, perhaps, questionable claims concerning the outcome of various events, political and otherwise.
My article on the 2004 World Series, “Dewey defeats Red Sox,” was flat wrong, I’ll admit, as was my 1997 Kentucky Derby report “Dewey defeats Pinecone,” my 1985 motivational piece “Dewey defeats Don’ty,” and the now infamous gaff while I was on the science beat, “Dewey defeats Cancer,” which, as many ink-afflicted readers pointed out to me, he really didn’t.
To those doubters, I will say simply: I told you so. As we can all see from the election results Tuesday, our nation has placed its faith in Dewey, and I for one would like to welcome our nation’s first zombie junta. Here’s to a great four years!
Ryan Nowell is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to email@example.com.