At long last, we are coming down the homestretch of this hideous and seemingly endless election. The polls are fairly tight and the outcome is still uncertain. Since many pundits are making their predictions as to what is going to happen, I have decided to throw my hat into the ring with some hopefully accurate and unorthodox prognostications.
First, whatever the outcome, I believe that this election will be remembered by posterity as the most thoroughly corrupt one in American history. Everyone should fasten their seatbelts, since I suspect that an avalanche of election fraud is coming our way.
While both sides will undoubtedly cheat, I predict that the Democrats will especially outdo themselves this time. I don’t think this because the Republicans are more honest (to the contrary, the neocons would steal candy from a baby if it helped to advance their agenda), but rather because the Republicans simply do not have the corrupt, urban political machines that the Democrats have at their disposal.
And I expect that these machines will be working overtime this year. The dead will rise again to vote, busloads of unregistered voters will go from polling station to polling station with trial lawyers in tow, illegal immigrants will cast ballots in droves, and bedridden Alzheimer’s patients will miraculously become lucid enough to mail in absentee ballots.
More to the point, I predict a flood of sleaze this year for several reasons. First, the Democratic Party is now dominated by sixties baby-boomer Marxists. As a group, they have always believed that the end justifies the means. They will engage in any chicanery imaginable to advance their political agenda, including massive voter fraud. Ethics and morality are alien concepts to them, and they mean to win at any cost. While a certain morally ambiguous attitude has always infected the thinking of political operatives, this crowd is in a league by themselves.
Second, the Democrats are harboring bitter resentment over the outcome of the last election in Florida. They believe (wrongly, in my opinion), that the 2000 election was stolen via underhanded maneuvers by Jeb Bush. Consequently, they think that massive fraud is now justified on their part to win this election. Also, they suppose that any accusations launched against them by the Republicans will fall on deaf ears due to the events of the last election in Florida. It will be tough, at this juncture, for the Republicans to credibly claim that they are the victims of fraud when so many people believe that they stole the White House last time.
Thus, the Democrats figure that they have a "free pass" this year.
As far as the winner is concerned, the first thing to keep in mind is that (due to the above-mentioned fraud), we will probably never know who actually won this election. But as a consequence of the electoral swindling, I expect Kerry to win several swing states and emerge victorious. I further expect that this will not pass unnoticed by the right-wingers, who will squeal like stuck piglets.
This election thus may well be an even bigger train wreck than the last one, with Kerry emerging as a wounded president from the very beginning.
Overall, I think that there are several silver linings in all of this for the typical libertarian bystander.
Silver Lining #1: A repudiation of the neocons
As has been exhaustively noted, Bush launched an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation under false pretenses. And if this wasn’t bad enough, he ran the war in a thoroughly incompetent manner. We didn’t have enough troops going in, we didn’t have a plan for the occupation, we didn’t prepare for the insurgency, and our troops still don’t have all the equipment that they require.
This policy of pre-emption is reckless and unconstitutional, and Bush carried it out in a totally ineffectual manner. Bush’s defeat will put future presidents on notice that they can’t try this again and still expect to be re-elected.
Furthermore, if Bush loses, it may set off a vicious civil war within the Republican Party. The other more traditional factions will blame the neocons for the defeat, and will hopefully attempt to purge them from the party.
That, by itself, is an important reason to smile at a Kerry victory.
Silver Lining #2: A crippled Kerry presidency with a Republican Congress will result in gridlock
The two parties essentially represent opposing, rapacious gangs who fight at election time for the right to pillage the taxpayers. The worst thing that can happen is if one gang gains undisputed control of the entire apparatus. If this occurs, the victorious gang gorges itself on America’s wallets like hyenas at a zebra carcass. When Clinton was Emperor and the Republicans controlled Congress, they fought so much that hardly anything got done and relatively few new spending programs were enacted. As a result, the deficit shrank and a small surplus arose (though this surplus was largely illusory due to accounting gimmicks).
But when Bush II came to town, the Republicans went on a spending bender. Even discounting the war on terror, non-security spending has mushroomed. Bush failed to veto a single bill, apparently agreeing with every spending outlay sent his way. Consequently, our deficit has exploded and our nation is plunging towards bankruptcy.
With Kerry as the new Emperor and the Republicans controlling Congress, we can hope for a return to those blissful days of gridlock.
Silver Lining #3: Discrediting the current two-party system
The Democratic and Republican party apparatuses exist, as noted above, to plunder the taxpayers for the benefit of their separate special interest groups. What allows them to get away with this is the credibility that the system has in the eyes of the American people.
The two parties have become so antagonistic and so rapacious that they are beginning to lose sight of their larger common interest. Specifically, they are beginning to act in a reckless and self-destructive manner that will undermine the collective credibility of the system. The controversial manner of Bush’s election in 2000 damaged his presidency. A sleazy Kerry victory in 2004 may well discredit the entire system.
If the American people do not have a belief in the integrity of the electoral process, they may well lose respect for the outcome of that process. And, as a result, they may turn their backs of the federal government as a whole and open their minds to the possibility of alternative methods of organizing our governance.
Since I believe that the current hideously corrupt establishment in Washington DC is the source of most of our society’s problems, and that a restoration of liberty and limited government is the solution, then the scorn heaped on this system by defrauded voters may be just what the doctor ordered.
The liberals, by corrupting the electoral system, are about to plunge a stake into the heart of the very vampire which they worship as their god. But they are so blinded by rage and hatred that they may not realize the repercussions of their actions until it is too late.
So let them steal the election. Let it be blatant and even humorous in its sleaze. In so doing, they will have unintentionally advanced the cause of liberty.
Silver Lining #4: Spread the blame
The Empire is drifting towards crisis on several fronts. We are faced with the occupation of a giant West Bank in Iraq and with fighting a smoldering guerilla war in Afghanistan. The American people are beginning to get squeamish over the casualties and with the damage that the Iraq War has done to our nation’s reputation.
Simultaneously, we are heading into an economic crisis. Our budget deficit has reached the trillion mark, our total debt is skyrocketing, and our monthly trade deficit figures are horrific. These trends are not sustainable. Eventually, something will have to give. Mostly likely, we will face a currency crisis which will impoverish Americans for years to come. And compounding this is the impending burst of the Fed-orchestrated real estate bubble.
It would be a disaster for America if the blame for all of this was heaped solely onto the Republicans and George W. Bush. This would allow a neo-FDR to rise from the wreckage of another Herbert Hoover and begin a new round of statist socialism that might well finish off any hope of restoring our Republic.
If Kerry wins, things will probably continue to deteriorate on both the military and economic fronts. He will probably continue with the futile conflict in Iraq and with uncontrolled spending domestically. Thus, when the crash finally occurs, both Bush’s and Kerry’s fingerprints will be on the crime scene.
Having thus both been discredited, we can hope that the American people will then look past the two establishment parties for alternative solutions to our predicament.
Silver Lining #5: No President Hillary
Assuming that Kerry doesn’t visit Ft. Marcy Park during his first term, his election in 2004 will mean that he’ll be the Democratic candidate in 2008. Thus, Hillary Clinton will not be able to capture the Democratic nomination until at least 2012 (and even then, we must assume that John Edwards will have the inside track on the nomination…assuming he also avoids Ft. Marcy Park). This will all but end her dream of becoming the first woman president.
Since I consider her to be a truly dangerous Marxist ideologue whose rise to power would be an absolute catastrophe for our liberty and our free market system, this alone is reason to hope for a Kerry victory. Kerry is merely a smarmy Leftist whose lack of political convictions will render him relatively harmless. But Hillary is a different entity altogether.
We are far better off with Kerry. He is like a creeping opportunistic fungus, while Hillary is political small pox.
Silver Lining #6: First Lady Teresa
Kerry’s wife Teresa has an eccentric and somewhat unstable personality which will provide endless material for those of us in the political commentating arena. She calls reporters "idiots" and "scumbags" to their faces (which is a somewhat admirable trait, actually). She spins strange tales about her personal lifestyle and has a dash of odd, Shirley MacLaine-style "star child" about her. She also apparently likes to have a few too many drinks and blabber into the television cameras.
Since we libertarians experience so much outrage and frustration while observing American politics, she will afford some comic relief to an otherwise dismal political situation.
It isn’t much, but we have to find a little respite wherever we can.
I am going out on a limb here and predicting a narrow Kerry win. His election will be the dirtiest and sleaziest victory in the history of American politics. It will be fraught with so many voting irregularities that it will make America a laughing-stock around the world. This will also make a mockery of our claims that we seek to "bring democracy" to other lands…since we won’t even be able to run a credible election right here. His presidency will be wounded from the start, and will go down hill from there as he is beset by serious problems in both foreign and domestic affairs. From this hideous mess may well rise a future opportunity to truly reform our broken system by forcing the American people to realize the necessity for fundamental change.
In the near-term, this is obviously a bleak forecast. But we should also remember that it is often darkest just before the dawn.
Steven LaTulippe [send him mail] is a physician currently practicing in Ohio. He was an officer in the United States Air Force for 13 years.