October 2008

This morning, during a C-SPAN call in program, an elderly woman from Buffalo phoned in to explain why she and her family members–including several new voters–would be pulling the levers for Sen. John McCain. She said the new voters in her family were particularly excited:

“They love Sarah Palin and they are voting this year for the first time. We are a big family…We love children. We’re pro-life. I don’t know how people can survive without children…John McCain believes in children. Look at his family…His mother…And Sarah Palin and her family all believe in large families and it’s just wonderful and it’s going to set an example for this country for all those with large families.”

Though I’m pro-choice, I do have an appreciation for many pro-life people as opposing what they feel is wrong. But this isn’t about abortion. I’m more interested in why people choose who they vote for and if indeed most of us know why we are voting for someone or something at all. The woman from Buffalo struck me as having a vague entirely simplistic reason for voting for her candidate. And it’s not only McCain supporters who can be accused of this.

Today the Daily News carried a column by 20/20 reporter John Stossel. I normally find Stossel to be a blowhard, but this caught me. Short and to the point,it said something no newspaper editorial board or television pundit has had the gall to say, which is that many–if not most–voters do not exactly vote on policy or principle but rather on very vague notions of what they want or expect. Stossel notes many people don’t possess the most basic idea of civics. They don’t know the number of people who serve in the United States Senate (from which both major candidates come). That doesn’t bode well for grasping the more fundamental concepts that any eighth grader should know, including the separation of powers and layers of federal, state and local governments.


After going to bed Thursday night and finding out the next morning that the Tampa Bay Rays blew a seven run lead to the Red Sox, I was pretty convinced that my initial prediction of yet another Red Sox ALCS was going to come true, to my dismay.

Boston people in celebratory fashion

Boston sports fans in celebratory fashion

I couldn’t bear to watch Game Six on Saturday night, so I went to bed uncharacteristically early (I also wasn’t feeling well). When I woke up early in the morning and found out that they’d wormed another win from the team that just two days before was on victory’s doorstep and forced a seventh game, I resolved myself to just act as if my most hated baseball team had won and just get over it. After all, I’m friends with some Sox fans. I don’t care enough to lose sleep over it. But still, I can’t stand the sanctimonious, holier than thou attitude of Red Sox Nation, so a part of me hated admitting the Sox would once again be in it to win it.


I’m watching Game One of the ALCS and the Red Sox are winning 2-0. Dice-K has pitched brilliantly in the big situations, when there have been ducks on the pond. I feel like I just need to give in to the fac tthat the Red Sox are going to have a repeat in the World Series. I hate the Red Sox. Though I’m a Mets fan, I really hate this team a lot, which I’ve written about on this blog, but I have to concede the most important point which is that this team is good and their fans are with them all step of the way. It’s 1,500 miles away, but I just heard a Youk chant down in St. Petersburg. The Sox just loaded the bases on a bad pitch by Balfour and, well, the smart cash is on the Red Sox. I can’t watch anymore unless I want to admire how good and how clutch this ballclub is. I predict Sox in five games.