You may think that we are moving into Autumn, and while that is true here in the United States, we are also moving into election season. Most of the primaries are over, so the political hopefuls will be busy bombarding everyone with their pleas for our votes.

Some people running for office are going to say things to which other people will take exception. People may even say that their comments are lies, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some people call for certain advertisements to be banned and silenced. I have a problem with banning political speech. If you object to what someone has said, the proper response is to speak up for yourself, not to call for the other person to be silenced.

And speaking of silencing other people, as I walked to work this morning I just happened to notice that there were five political signs lying on the ground. I don’t remember any strong winds blowing over the weekend. Strangely enough, only signs for Republican candidates had been uprooted. Discriminating wind? Or an example of people trying to silence the free speech of people with whom they disagree?

Any time the topic of silencing free speech arises, I think Andrew Klavan of Pajamas Media seems to sum it up best:

It’s about time I addressed a number of commonplace beliefs held in the United States which, while they often sound great in sound bites, are almost always based on flawed reasoning. I call these beliefs “American myths.”

Since 2010 is an election year, the news media will almost certainly begin to run more and more articles about the importance of voting and how everyone should vote. While I agree that voting is important, I disagree with the idea that everyone should vote. This is a common American myth.

Let’s think about it. First and foremost, anyone who isn’t an American citizen cannot and should not vote. It’s considered an act of fraud in every state, territory and dominion of the United States. Voting is a responsibility and a privilege associated with citizenship, but this idea isn’t universally understood. In San Francisco, certain people want everyone, citizen or not, to vote on local city issues. While non-citizens living in San Francisco will certainly be affected by local votes, they still remain non-citizens. Membership can and should have its privileges.

Are you aware that in the United States, convicted felons cannot vote? Since a felon has already demonstrated that he or she is not a good citizen, society has determined that a convicted felon loses the right to vote. Yes, this right may be restored after the felon has served his or her sentence, but until then, a felon cannot vote. I can’t help thinking this is a wise rule, especially when I try to imagine Charles Manson casting a ballot.

No one should vote more than once. Even if an individual finds some clever way to circumvent the many laws designed to stop people from registering and voting multiple times, he or she is still committing voter fraud. I include in this category those who damage or spoil ballots, those who browbeat or threaten other voters, and those who coach the mentally incompetent into voting for their chosen candidate or issue. In the American democratic process, no one should be allowed to get away with the thoroughly non-egalitarian idea that some votes are more equal than others.

Apathetic citizens who are otherwise eligible to vote, but who haven’t bothered to register by a certain deadline, cannot vote in the next election. Even if you’re a fully eligible U.S. citizen, you must register in your local voting district if you want to cast a legal vote. If you haven’t taken the paltry amount of time and effort required to register to vote, you won’t have much cause for complaint when the day comes around and you can’t participate because you’re not on the voter rolls.

Finally, while it isn’t illegal, no one ought to vote in ignorance. If you don’t care or can’t be bothered to find out about the issues brought before the public, why participate? There’s not much point in voicing your opinion if you don’t have one. Granted, Joe and Jane Citizen certainly have the right to walk haplessly into the voting booth and vote for candidates and initiatives based on the results of a coin toss. But every citizen who votes in ignorance is failing in his or her civic duties. During the Democrat run-off leading up to the 2008 elections, I heard someone at work say she couldn’t decide whether to vote for Barack Obama because of his race, or for Hillary Clinton because of her gender. Neither of these reasons had anything to do with the issues at hand. One of my wife’s relatives once stated that she voted for JFK because he was such a good-looking man. But neither the candidate’s nor the voter’s race, gender, or pulchritude should have any bearing on a vote. Instead, we need to take the time to do the research–read the voter guides, study the pros and cons of the initiatives on the ballot, find out what we can about the history and political beliefs of the candidates, then vote for the people and ideas that best fit our own political philosophy.

So should everyone vote? No. Only eligible citizens who have taken the time to carefully study the issues and candidates should vote, and vote once. Anything else is either illegal or ignorant. And we’ve had enough of that.

Tomorrow is election day around the U.S. Since it is an odd year, the races are local in nature for the most part because local races are pretty odd. Federal elections for Representatives, Senators, and Presidents happen on the even years because they are even odder than local races.

To explain every political commercial you will ever see, here is Uncle Jay:

Senator Barack Hussein Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States. And while I didn’t vote for him, he will be my President because he will be America’s President. This is what separates the left “Bush ain’t my President” and the right. We recognize that the office, if not the man, deserve respect. And so come January 20th, 2009, Senator Obama will become my President. And while he is my President, I will pray for him to make wise decisions and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So, several things need to be said:

  • The next person who tells me that Americans are racist will get laughed at full in the face by me. This election should put paid to the idea that American’s are horrible racists.
  • On that day in January, President Bush will hand over the reins of power to the newly-sworn in President Obama, contrary to what some people might think. One of the reasons why America is great is the way the presidency of this nation is handed off from one political party to another without bloodshed.
  • If you are ever a candidate for President, don’t concede the race until after all the polls have closed across the nation. Don’t do what President Carter did in 1980 and Senator McCain in 2008.
  • There will be no call for voter fraud investigation of ACORN by the new powers that be.
  • America will weather the coming socialist policies that President-elect Obama will champion, but I feel really sorry for the Iraqi people when he chooses to end the war there rather than win the war there. And while we have won the war, and won the peace, it’s not too late for Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory there.
  • I am so glad the election ads are over.
  • While the Fairness Doctrine bill may not be the first one handed off to President Obama to sign, it will be within the first five. That part of the First Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” won’t matter to the Democrats when they are ready to take revenge on talk radio. >
  • Any chance of the mainstream media of doing a good job of investigating President-elect Obama has just gone out the window.
  • But in the end, I will never have to worry about paying for gas or a mortgage ever again because Obama will be our next President.

I votedYes, I voted. Since my polling place is in the same school my niece attends, I walked with her through the rain to school and then right into the polling room. I had a very short wait since there were only two people in front of me, but I’m sure that will increase as the day goes on.. As I was leaving, I was given the sticker pictured here, and I really like the “farewell to polls” statement on it. I will be really happy to not hear any election polls for a while.

I have no intention of following the news closely today. I figure the voting and counting, the yelling and screaming, the lawyers and lawsuits will happen today whether I pay attention to them or not. And besides, I’d rather go out to eat with my dear wife tonight than pay attention to the news media.

John Nance Garner, the 32nd Vice President of the United States, once summed up the office of the Vice President as being “not worth a bucket of warm piss.” But if you were asked about the duties of the Vice President, could you name them? Here is a video of Republican Vice President candidate Sarah Palin responding to the question of a third-grader — “What does the Vice President do?”

“A Vice President has a really great job because not only are they there to support the President’s agenda, they’re, like, the team member — the team mate — to that President, but also they’re in charge of the United States Senate. So if they want to, they can really get in there with the Senators, and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon, and his family, and his classroom. And it’s a great job, and I look forward to having that job.”

This hands-on approach to the Senate is getting some people on the left upset, as reported on the completely impartial and non-biased *snicker* news organ, CNN:

The comments have drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal blogs which note the actual role of the vice president when it comes to the Senate is simply to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a stalemate. According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the vice president is the “President” of the Senate, but has no executive position when it comes to presiding over the chamber.

Donald Ritchie, a historian in the Senate Historical Office, told CNN that Palin’s comment was an “overstatement” of what her role would be.

“The vice president is the ceremonial officer of the Senate and has certain ceremonial functions including swearing in new senators and can vote to break a tie,” he said. “It’s a relatively limited role. It’s evolved into a neutral presiding officer of the Senate.

Ritchie also noted recent vice presidents have played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role on Capitol Hill for an administration’s policies, but called it “somewhat limited.”

Let’s read exactly what the Constitution says on the role of the Vice President, as it relates to the Senate:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

That’s it. Notice how the article does acknowledge that the VP is the President of the Senate, but does so by putting it in quotes, like the VP isn’t really President, the VP is only “President.” (Free tip for Alexander Mooney and other aspiring journalists: scare quotes have no place in a serious news story. You’re welcome.) Anyway, the learned opinion of Mooney continues: “but has no executive position when it comes to presiding over the chamber” as if that were actually stated in the Constitution itself. But as you can see, it isn’t.

The VP is free to be as hands-on or hands-off the Senate’s day-to-day activities as he or she desires. The only official responsibility a VP has is to cast the tie-breaking vote, but what stops the VP from mingling with the Senators and persuading them to vote one way or other? The only thing that would stop the VP from doing that is the VP. Did you notice that historian Donald Ritchie admitted as much in his above quote, about how recent VPs have played a “behind-the-scenes lobbying role on Capitol Hill for an administration’s policies”? I see that as being exactly what Palin is talking about when she said a VP could really “get in there with the Senators.” And interestingly enough, she isn’t the only person who claims that power.

The same article quotes the Democrat Vice President candidate, Joe Biden, as saying pretty much the same thing as Palin: “I hope one of my roles as vice president will be as the person actually implementing Barack Obama’s policy. You gotta get the Congress to go along with it.” And how exactly do you get the Congress to do that? Well, you could try to “really get in there” with them.

Palin says it, and CNN responds that she is misstating the role of Vice President. I can envision them murmuring, “Dumb ol’ Sarah.” But Biden makes a similar statement, and there is no sanctimonious head-shaking at his comment over at CNN. That’s why I have to laugh every time I think of CNN’s claim to be impartial and non-biased in their reporting.

Frankly, if I were given the choice between a CNN interview or a bucket of warm piss, I’d take the bucket.

Here’s something to think about each time you hear someone talk about Senator Obama’s “historic” nomination as the first black Democrat Presidential candidate. Does this mean that the U.S. no longer has problems with race? Of course not, say liberals. That won’t happen until Senator Obama becomes President Obama, so any vote against him is therefore a racist vote.

Bull pucky.

America will have finally gone beyond race when people stop talking about the first black Democrat Presidential candidate and just talk about the Democrat Presidential candidate–when people stop talking about the color of his skin and focus on the content of his character. Hey, that’s kinda catchy.

I will not vote for Senator Obama this November, but not because of his race. I will not vote for Obama this November because I don’t want a barely-experienced, Marxism-enamored Senator to be our next President.

There is a building cult of personality surrounding Senator Obama. Currently making the rounds of the Internet is a slickly-produced plea for Obama to ride in and save us all. (hat tip American Digest)

Yes, all that they want will be theirs when Obama becomes President, merely because he will be President. Curiously, the “we are the ones” theme carried echoes of something I’d seen before. Maybe you have seen it, too. Yes, we can do it! We can succeed! We are the ones we’ve been waiting for! Tomorrow belongs to me!

Any way I try to see it, there will be a bunch of angry and disappointed Democrats in the near future. On the one hand, there is Senator Clinton, and on the other hand there is Senator Obama. And since liberals view everything through the prism of group identity instead of individuals, that means the fight for the Democrat presidential nomination is between someone who is a woman, and someone who is black.

Of course there is far more to these candidates than their sex and race, but to liberals who have made sex and race identity so important, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have become visible embodiments of sex and race. And this can be a problem for liberals when group identities collide. Are liberals meant to vote for Clinton because she could be the first woman President, even though she is white; or should they vote for Obama to become the first black President, even though he is male?

You can see this conflict in the way liberal groups are handling the sex/race conflict of Clinton and Obama. When Oprah Winfrey announced that she was supporting Obama, she was labeled a traitor for choosing race over sex. But that’s assuming Obama’s race was more important to Oprah than Clinton’s sex. Could she have chosen to support him for other reasons? That’s not an option if you view everything through the lens of race or sex. Fortunately, not everyone will “vote their race” or “vote their gender,” as some CNN readers have stated.

I’ll say it again — if you vote for Obama primarily because he is black, you are racist. If you vote for Clinton primarily because she is a woman, you are sexist. And if you vote for McCain because he’s a white male, you’re… unusual. (Conservatives tend to focus on issues over identity politics, so I don’t see this as being as much of a concern for conservatives as it is for liberals, but let’s cover all the bases for the sake of equity.)

The race between Clinton and Obama is close, but as I write this, Obama has slightly more delegates than Clinton and appears to have the momentum. But since Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island all have primaries today, the race isn’t over for the two contenders.

Since there can only be one winner in this race (and no, I don’t believe that either candidate would deign to become the other’s VP), half of the Democrat voters in the primaries will be pissed off at the result. Those who view sex as being the most important will be disappointed and angry if yet another man is nominated. Those who view race as being the most important will be disappointed and angry if yet another white is nominated.

Regardless of who gets the nomination, I see a time of anger and resentment for Democrats when the primaries are over. I just don’t see their anger preventing them from finally rallying behind the Democrat nominee when it comes to the national vote in November. On the other hand, I see many conservatives who are still angry about Senator McCain becoming the Republican nominee, and I don’t believe they will rally in numbers to vote for the party’s choice this year. And that means we will likely have a Democrat President come 2009.