To hear the podcast, please click on the “play” arrow. The music is “Liberty City” by Jaco Pastorius.
Election Day is not a national holiday, at least not in the traditional sense. But it is the one day that our nation asks something from all of us, even if it’s just a few minutes. If you follow calle ocho through Little Havana in Miami on Election Day, you’ll see a long line houses with the red white and blue of US and Cuban flags stretching off into the horizon. Families sometimes come together across generations, as with any holiday, before they go off to vote. Cubans are a people that know what it means to be free because freedom and good times are often best measured against their opposite.
The conviction of Senator Ted Stevens has highlighted one of the unspoken problems of the US Senate. The pictures of Sen. Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator ever, have shown a rather pathetic senior citizen fighting a battle against what appears to be reality. There’s little doubt that he’s way past his prime, which is what the problem is in the Senate as a whole. It’s not that they are all corrupt, it’s that some of them are surprisingly old.
As the reality of our economic situation sinks in, some implications will seem a bit strange. A Depression (or a Depression like situation) is marked by the loss of jobs, and we can reasonably expect higher unemployment. Unlike the last Depression, however, people have a lot riding on the bennies they get through employment. The implications will become vast before this is all over.
Back in 1999, I wrote this piece to recruit potential members of what I called “The Pragmatic Party”. It was a party beyond ideology and all the other nonsense people drone on about – a People’s Party for a cynical age.
Naturally, it went nowhere. Since I wasn’t surprised, I wasn’t upset. But when a crappy looking attack piece tying Obama to Bill Ayers hit my mailbox today, I had to laugh. After all, this was exactly the kind of nonsense I knew how to innoculate against. As this campaign descends into a pitiful series of lessons from Tactics 101, I thought it was time to re-run my original piece from Columbus Day Riot on how to run a Pragmatic Campaign. Here it is with only the introductory paragraph removed.
As the election draws closer, the inevitable cries of fraud and vote buying are being raised. Early voting has opened in Florida and other states, and the process is being watched closely. Despite all that we’ve heard on this, however, vote buying and fraud is almost certainly a big industry in some parts of the nation, particularly Florida – just not in the form people are talking about.