I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

How we need to win

(If you’re planning on voting for McCain on Tuesday, you should probably skip this post. Please don’t email me about it. I know this post will offend many people. I don’t care. You’re free to offend me on your blog.)

Almost two weeks ago, gregbrown posted this excerpt from Ytadel on the SA Forums that I keep thinking about:

This is inspiring but also kind of terrifying, because it reminds me of what this election stands to prove about America.<br/><br/> For almost two years now, Barack Obama has run a near-perfect campaign. His people haven’t misplayed a single card; they’ve spun negatives into positives, trumped the Clinton political machine, overcome a complete lack of name recognition, outmaneuvered and out-managed the opposition at every single turn. It’s been genius.<br/><br/> In contrast, John McCain has run an inept campaign based on gimmick after gimmick, has a universally reviled VP pick, suspended his campaign, seems old and lifeless on the campaign trail; it has been miserably and objectively bad no matter who he was running against.<br/><br/> Obama and Biden have drawn crowds larger than any seen before. Raised more money than any other ticket in history by faaaar. Won 4 out of 4 debates decisively.<br/><br/> Basically, we are seeing the best campaign possibly ever against one of the worst ever. The McCain campaign has less talent, less organization, less volunteers, less money, less issues to run on, less everything.<br/><br/> Yet they are somehow still within striking distance in the polls. And with everything above taken into account, if we somehow lose this election based on obvious character assassination and dusty old socialism accusations, I have to for the first time in my life agree with conservatives. This IS Bush country. This is a conservative, Republican country that does not trust Democrats or liberals. We will never be handed this good a candidate, this well-loved and well-funded a candidate, let alone against this horrible and inept an opponent EVER again. If Obama loses this election in 16 days, I really see no reason to believe any of us will ever see a Democrat elected president again in our lifetimes unless the Democrats shift over a couple decades to as far-right as the GOP is now and the Republicans shift right to fascism.

This greatly worries me. It’s what I felt after the 2004 election, too: severe disappointment in the people of our country, and the helpless feeling of being the lone sane person in a country of idiots.

Most statistically sound poll aggregators project that Obama has a near-certain chance of winning. But there are still so many unknown and unmeasurable variables that could swing the election on Tuesday: newly registered voters, people without land-line phones, voter suppression, racism, and just plain fraud.

And since 2000, I’ve had absolutely zero faith that I’m actually in a democracy. My side is playing fairly, running a very positive campaign, and doing everything right. People on my side are often here because they made an informed decision based on research of the candidates’ positions on issues that matter. Nobody on my side would ever want someone’s vote not to count, even if it was against us. We want to win by democracy, not fraud. If the people don’t choose our side, we’ll lose gracefully — we’d all be demoralized for a long time and Michael Moore would make a few more inflammatory political movies.

The other side is consistently lying, cheating, stealing, and committing what should be severe federal crimes, except nobody’s ever prosecuted. They put up a mediocre candidate and have run a terrible campaign full of negativity, fear, and mudslinging. Their fans are often there because of religious fanaticism, the lack of research, low education levels, anti-intellectualism, aggression, bigotry, racism, and hate. They’ll do anything to win, including significant voter suppression. They believe their candidate deserves to win at any cost, and the thought of losing, even through a proper vote, will drive many of them (including campaign and party members) to throw our democracy’s integrity out the window and commit any level of fraud necessary to shoehorn themselves into victory — they’ve completely merged political extremism and religious fanaticism. If they truly do lose by so much that they can’t steal the election again, they’re likely to become violent, even threatening our new President’s life.

We play right, they play dirty, and nobody’s enforcing the rules. How can we possibly win?

The only way is for us to win by so much that our victory can’t be stolen. We can’t win by just one swing state or 1% of the vote. We need to absolutely kick their asses. We need 340 electoral votes and +5% of the popular vote.

This is not a time for apathy. Care. Get everyone you know to vote on Tuesday. Lambaste anyone who tries to give you an excuse about why they couldn’t. This is not optional. Not this time. We need a huge win, and we can’t get it without every smart, sane, caring, rational person going to vote. We must win this, fair and square — and if we do, we cannot allow anyone to steal it from us.