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John Drew

Election 2012

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I know we have forgone the Politics Forum, for better or worse. I'm not starting this thread for last minute discussion or flaming. I just wanted to pass along two posts that friends of mine posted on Facebook today, both full of hope for a better future between all of us who live in this nation, and this world. These two folks couldn't be further apart in their political views, yet their messages have a surprisingly similar feel.

The first came late last night from my friend Jerry Montoya...

Our country seems insane in this moment. Tomorrow, some believe, the fate of Earth lies in the balance. At the least, the future of this amazing country is at stake.

Have we so little faith in each other? Half of the country thinks the other is either deranged, an idiot or the embodiment of evil.

Don't you remember me? We went to high school together. We worked on the same show. Or, I

remember, you're the friend of a friend. I'm not your enemy. We're on FB. On the Internet. Which is amazing.

I think we all love this country we are fortunate to live in. We all need to have a conversation about how we can best solve our long term problems. Can we do it, please, in a manner befitting fellow citizens of these United States.

No matter who wins tomorrow we have a lot of work to do.

Jm

The second came later today from Jason Bortz, who used to be quite active on these boards (I do wish he'd come back and add to our discussions)...

"One's political candidate of choice doesn't bother me. Truly.

What concerns me is the behavior of the voter, the citizen, when they are confronted with the outcome of the election.

Moreover, with the consequences of their choice.

We must stand behind our elected President. But we must be vigilant in weighing his actions, in calling him to account. We must contribute our efforts, our time, our talents to the betterment of this nation--but we cannot, must not lift a finger until we weigh that to which we bend our intent.

The only way to do this is to listen--to divest ourselves of our opinions and preconceived notions and fully invest ourselves in understanding.

We cannot afford to allow ourselves to fall prey to secondhand convictions, to bandwagon credos and entitlement paradigms. We must be active, as a country, to unify the myriad differences on common ground.

I believe we must adopt a quality that has sadly gone untaught in later generations--the skill, of volitional listening. We hear many things. We actively listen to very few.

This is a listening that shuts down the reflex to finish another's sentences, to glean the similarities to our own experiences behind another's words and, therefore, to tune out their individual expression. A listening requiring an "emptying of one's own personal teacup", as Bruce Lee put it, in order to taste of another's life.

I believe we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slower to become angry.

A divided nation cannot stand. There is no record in human history to the contrary.

We are the people of the United States. If we are not united, then our state is one of discord. No machine can operate when in discord. No heart can beat life if it is not functioning in harmony with the rest of the body. It may exist for a time--but it cannot thrive, nor experience all it were intended to.

Yes, we are different. Yes. Thankfully unique, every one of us. But at our core, we want life. We want love. We want vitality.

I believe God made us this way--whether you feel the same way is irrelevant in how I'll celebrate your uniqueness. If you bleed, I'll attend you. If you're hungry, to feed you. If cold, to warm you. And if down, to lift your spirits.

We are the people of the United States. We are not our politics. We are not our bottom line. We are not our fame, nor our fortune, nor our glory.

We are miraculous. And we have a voice. And your voice is worth listening to, as is mine. But we must speak and not be silent. We must listen beyond merely hearing.

This is our United State. And we must strive to remember this, no matter the results of this day, if we are to remain."

Amen to both of these guys for saying something that I know a lot of us feel.

John Drew

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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To quote what I just wrote at Facebook:

Romney has been leading in the popular vote pretty much all night (at least since I first checked, when there were over 8 million votes for each candidate; as of this writing, there are 29 million for Obama and almost 31 million for Romney). But everyone seems to expect Obama to win the Electoral College. So, just for a bit of historical perspective:

The previous elections in which the popular vote and the electoral college disagreed are:

-- 1824 (the first year for which the popular vote was tabulated; John Quincy Adams, the first son of a president to become president, won the electoral college, while Andrew Jackson won the popular vote)

-- 1876 (Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral college, while Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote)

-- 1888 (Benjamin Harrison, the only grandson of a president to become president, won the electoral college, while incumbent president Grover Cleveland won the popular vote)

-- 2000 (George W. Bush, the second son of a president to become president, won the electoral college, while sitting vice-president Al Gore won the popular vote)

So, if we're looking for meaningless trivial statistics, this election *could* mark the first time since 1876 that the person who won the popular vote lost to someone who *wasn't* the descendant of a previous president.
Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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To quote what I just wrote at Facebook:

Romney has been leading in the popular vote pretty much all night (at least since I first checked, when there were over 8 million votes for each candidate; as of this writing, there are 29 million for Obama and almost 31 million for Romney).

Short answer: California hadn't reported in yet.

Long answer: Different states report their results at different rates. Generally speaking, states with later poll closings and later time zones turn in their results later. The result is that early popular vote results are not necessarily representative of the whole country. Particularly important was California, which was on Pacific Time and had a late poll closing time and which favored Obama over Romney by almost 2 million votes, none of which were counted in early popular vote results.

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bowen wrote:

: Short answer: California hadn't reported in yet.

Oh, definitely.

It's interesting, though, that Obama is the first president ever (at least since George Washington, if Wikipedia is to be believed) to win a second term with less votes than he won the first term with. Obama also had less votes this year than McCain got in 2008, and less than Bush got in 2004 -- and this despite what I assume is a growing number of people eligible to vote.

Obama is also the first president since Woodrow Wilson to win a second term with a narrower *margin* than the one with which he won his first term... but when Wilson won his first term in 1912, he did so as one of four major national candidates. (Teddy Roosevelt's upstart Progressive party came second, while the incumbent president William Howard Taft came third -- has any other incumbent president come third when running for re-election!?) So of *course* Wilson won by a narrower margin when he ran against the Republicans in a *two*-party race in 1916. Obama, on the other hand, was competing in a two-party race both times he won.

Another fun stat: The Clinton-Bush-Obama elections of 1992-2012 mark the first time since the Jefferson-Madison-Monroe elections of 1800-1820 that three consecutive presidents have won two terms each. So does this mean whoever becomes president in 2016 is doomed to lose their bid for re-election in 2020? Or is that yet another precedent that will be broken one day? :)

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Another fun stat: The Clinton-Bush-Obama elections of 1992-2012 mark the first time since the Jefferson-Madison-Monroe elections of 1800-1820 that three consecutive presidents have won two terms each. So does this mean whoever becomes president in 2016 is doomed to lose their bid for re-election in 2020? Or is that yet another precedent that will be broken one day? smile.png

Well, if you're looking ahead to 2016, if the Democrats win, it will be the first time since Reagan/Bush I that a party has held the White House for 3 elections. Before that you go back to FDR and Truman, before the 2 term limit was in place.

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Darrel Manson wrote:

: Well, if you're looking ahead to 2016, if the Democrats win, it will be the first time since Reagan/Bush I that a party has held the White House for 3 elections.

True -- I believe Bush Sr. is the only sitting vice-president to be elected president since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Nixon, a former VP, won in 1968, but he hadn't been an incumbent in eight years; and Gore won the popular vote in 2000, but we know how that turned out.

The last election, in 2008, was remarkable because it marked the first time since 1960 that the country elected a mere senator (rather than a current or former president, vice-president or governor) to the presidency. But this was inevitable, of course, because *both* parties nominated senators for president -- which made the 2008 election the first since 1908 (a full century) in which *neither* of the major parties nominated a current or former president, vice-president or governor.

: Before that you go back to FDR and Truman, before the 2 term limit was in place.

Yeah. And what's interesting is how, between 1896-1908 and 1920-1928, you find a couple cases where a sitting vice-president rose to the presidency after his president died, and then he got re-elected as a president in his own right, and then he promised not to seek re-election *again* because he thought it would be wrong to serve three terms and so he hand-picked a successor who did go on to win again. (I'm thinking of McKinley-Roosevelt-Taft and Harding-Coolidge-Hoover here.) So you've got three or four elections in a row that were won by the same party, with a clear line of succession between three candidates, there.

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