The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Voter Turnout

Dan (and Andrew) make a good point that while Bush is often labeled as an extreme right winger, he is objectively a "foot in the oven, foot in the icebox" moderate. This makes him an unpalatable candidate in my view, as I am only conservative with regard to fiscal matters and he spends money like Ted Kennedy at a drive through liquor store. He has increased the budget of almost every department, put through a huge new entitlement that will only raise the cost of prescription drugs further, and he keeps imposing tariffs on things (First steel, but most recently Chinese furniture. From Ahren).

Then, he goes off and compounds my dislike by supporting increased entanglement with religion, a ban on stem cell research, and the horrifying Federal Marriage Amendment. How has this all come to pass?

Karl Rove is in charge of this shift. He is the president's chief strategist. He's a stats guy and he thinks that he can win the next election just on the strength of "the republican base" if it turns out in nearly full support. Apparently the base no longer contains fiscal conservatives. He stated that in 2000 "over four million evangelicals stayed home" and has made it his quest to get them all out to vote. If he can, he believes that the president can not be beaten. This should scare everyone to death.

I often say things like "I like low voter turnout" and "please don't vote today" when an election comes up. This will usually get me dirty looks. But I have a rational reason for this. Most people don't know a thing about the candidate they vote for. Some will not vote for Bush because he's an "imperialist, racist, anti-environmental Hitler-ite." Some will not vote for Kerry because he's an "unpatriotic soft, wishy-washy, elitist, socialist who's out to destroy America and looks like Lurch from the Addams Family." Both of these are wrong (Well, except for the Lurch part). Fortunately, these people tend to cancel each other out, leaving the real decisions to those of us who pay attention (this is similar to how Sandra Day O'Connor operates on the US Supreme Court). I think we usually do a pretty good job. But Karl Rove is threatening to upset the balance.

For every extra member of the "Republican Base" that comes out, it basically cancels out a vote from an "informed" person. If he can get enough, he can disenfranchise all of the informed people! This strategy is not new, as democrats have been busing people to the polls for years. But this strategy has more potential for success. The social right is already organized into a block. There is no need to drive around buses and round them up. Just to spread the word. The president has been doing a smashing job at hurling out bribes (note: almost all discretionary government spending is a bribe to someone). This is what is responsible for the increase in discretionary spending under Bush. Bribing old people with drugs, and evangelicals with money.

Now maybe fiscal conservatives will stay home this election (right now I will not vote for either candidate) in which case the balance will be restored somewhat, but this is something to keep an eye on.

And next time someone says that voter turnout is too low in America, ask them if they want more of these people voting.


  • Is that last link real? If it is I want to make a donation to help their cause and get them their own "Country" as soon as possible.

    By Blogger DannyNoonan, at 2:29 PM  

  • It's real. Did you read their mission statement? No drinking, no working on Sunday, dress code, no homosexuals, no swearing, no fun. Like the Footlose town before Kevin Bacon showed up. A totalitarian religious state. Scary.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:51 PM  

  • Because The Onion wants us to pay for access to their back issues I can't link to it, but does anyone remember the Opinion article, "Yee Haw, My Vote Cancels your Informed One", or something like that? So true, I was crying through the laughter...

    By Blogger Peter, at 1:46 PM  

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