The day has finally come. Two years and $2.5 billion later, we finally have out opportunity to cast our ballot. It seems that we've been in this process for ever! The experts predict that we will have a record turnout. Based on the timing in the economic cycle, that make a lot of sense. No matter the outcome, today proves to be historic.
Back in June at our annual beach trip, I predicted that Obama would win by 14%. That prediction was unanimously scoffed at and all stated that it will be a "photo finish" like Bush/Gore. My prediction then and now is that Obama will win by a landslide. I don't believe this because I think that he's the dominating candidate or necessarily the best candidate. I believe this because of the timing of the election with the economic cycle. As we entered the new millennium and the beginning of the "contraction" phase of the cycle, Bush took office. His approval ratings have consistently slid down to an all time low. In contractions, the mob becomes angry and fearful. Kings and presidents are thrown out of power during the contractions. The Republican party will suffer greatly during this election due to timing. The imperialistic occupation of Iraq has been cited as the explanation for the down trend in ratings, but ironically the conflict also aligns with the behavior "of the crowd" during the contraction phase.
The Obama landslide victory will reflect the significant shift in mass social mood from "happy and greedy" to "angry and fearful". The anger is focused on the Bush administration, yet the fear appears to be focused on the policies of a potential Obama administration. I believe that the anger will overpower the fear. When we're happy and greedy, we forgive a president for having sex with an intern in our country's White House. When we're happy and greedy, we typically re-elect the incumbent. John McCain is considered the incumbent. George Bush Sr. knows what happens when the tide shifts slightly off kilter. He still hasn't forgiven Greenspan for not printing more money to artificially stimulate the economy prior to his re-election bid. Greenspan made up for it during W's term.
Most concerning to me during this process, and mainly during the past six weeks, is the content of emails that I've received from my Republican friends. The fear mongering has been staggering. The most shocking have been those wrapping the election decision under the veil of Christianity. I believe that Jesus loves both candidates. The Republican party made the conscious decision to "go negative" instead of telling us why McCain was the right choice. During the Republican convention, all I heard were two things: "Vietnam POW" and "maverick".
The interesting question to ask on election day is: Should one vote for what they believe is best for themselves or for their country? For me personally, being a white upper middle class geologist in the petroleum industry, most would agree that I should vote Republican. The Republican Party states that they will keep my taxes low, keep illegal aliens from mowing my lawn, and they want to drill, drill, drill. Sounds like a simple decision. I actually believe that one should vote for what's best for the country as a whole. I firmly believe that one should assess the picture on a global scale. I also believe the "the chain is only as strong as the weakest link". If our "weakest link" gets weaker, it will affect all of us. So who is the best candidate for the country as a whole?
I don’t think it matters who the next president is. I know that 99% of you will disagree with this statement. I believe that he will be doomed by the economic cycle. The cycle is much greater than a president or a political party. The next president will time it horribly like Carter did, but much worse. He will be the fall guy. He will be worn down by the Middle East like LBJ was with Vietnam. Hopefully he won’t receive the fate of JFK. Yes, that sounds pessimistic, but history is very repetitive. Although Obama and Palin don’t have enough experience, especially for dealing with the rogue waves that lie ahead, I believe that both have great potential for a future moment in time. Obama has brought excitement and hope to the masses. I don’t ever recall seeing a 100,000 person rally for a presidential candidate. Palin has brought a freshness to the process and great hopes for future female candidates. McCain and Biden are career professional politicians and that’s not what the country needs. Bush’s term aligned with the “beginning of the end of the great expansion” and McCain can’t shake the Bush connection. I’m still trying to figure out if Obama is a Christian, Muslim, Arab, Kenyan, or terrorist?!?!
This morning I voted for Ron Paul as a "write in". I believe that our two parties are stuck in a state of significant paralysis. The rigidness and extreme perspectives are at a standoff. When this cycle finds a bottom in the coming years, it might be the opportunity for a third party to rise in power and stature. My vote can be easily cast as a wasted vote, but I truly believe that out of all of the candidates and through the entire process, Ron Paul was the only candidate that conveyed an honest and accurate understanding of the situation along with providing real, concrete solutions. He understands that a fiat system will ultimately come to a catastrophic ending. Someone in charge has to have a plan for this. Of course, I hope that I’m wrong. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and have been a full participant in the Supersize Me Era.
It's interesting to observe politics on the home front. My 14 year old son wants Obama, 12 year old daughter McCain, and my wife still was rooting for Hillary. How's that for diversity!
Now that the entire process is ending, I present my awards for the candidates:
-Best resume' for the job award: Mitt Romney
-Most bewildering strategy award: Rudy G
-The "What Was That" award: Fred Thompson
-The Bill Clinton award: John Edwards
-The Pitbull With Lipstick Award: I can't stand the Clintons, but I have to give it to Hillary. She's the only person that I've seen turn Bill O'Reilly into a teddy bear.
-The most sincere award: Three candidates conveyed honesty and sincerity to me throughout the process: Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, and Ron Paul. How's that for a diverse group.
-The best speaker award: Barack Obama
-The Big Winner Award: Sarah Palin; she rocketed on the scene and will be a huge winner in defeat. She's given hope to all of the young ladies that want to seek leadership positions in the future.
-The live off the distant past award: John McCain; I respect the man greatly for his military service and incredible tenacity to survive a terrible situation, but you can't focus a campaign on your military story from 40 years ago.
-The best tag line award: I'm torn between "change" and "maverick"
-The financial guru award: Ron Paul; he has incredible knowledge about the world financial system and the challenges ahead. The media and the process marginalized him and will regret it in hindsight.
-The Most Diverse Candidate Award: Barack Obama; multi-racial, raised in Hawaii by white mother from Kansas and grandparents, Kenyan father, degrees from Columbia and Harvard
-The big big winner: Tina Fey and SNL!
Well, these are interesting times. This will be an interesting day, week, month, year, and decade.
Good luck to your team. Your input is always appreciated!
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