Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

I’m watching election results and listening to Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine.” It seems right. Lyrics like “.. to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all….”  Good stuff.

It’s the closest presidential race since anybody was paying attention.  It’s fascinating TV, like watching two trains colliding live in slow motion, or seeing two snakes eating each other.

Looks like Ralph Nader supporters are right—there is no difference.  Because I find it hard to believe that, if there was a difference, that the American people would be so exactly evenly split.  The presidential election should not be “This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land.”  This is the quadrennial National Divorce, it shouldn’t be so unbelievably egalitarian, unless, of course, the candidates are truly so close to fine that they can be swapped as easily as letting out the seat and pinning up the cuffs of the official inauguration suit.

Why are things so evenly matched this year? Because they can be.  Damn computers.  They allowed the strategists to figure out, keep track of, calculate each state, each district, each subdivision of likely (undecided, swayable) voters and determine exactly how much of the freely running campaign money will need to be directed to swing 50.01% of the vote to that candidate.  Don’t spend $1,000 when $993 will suffice.  Don’t bother with those “safe” 53%, 54% states.  Focus on the battle fields.  Visit that trailer park in Florida. Get that butterfly in Beijing to bat its wings a little harder, a little to the left, no the right.

Was the election boring? Yes, strategically so.  Boring is predictable, and vice versa.  What are the surprises in this election?  Dubya knows the A-word.  Gore supports big government programs.  Both really, really, want to be your friend.  Until a few days ago, I didn’t care, and according to my friend who watched the debates (do you have a friend who watched the debates, because you probably didn’t), there wasn’t much to care about.

Were the campaigns poorly run? Were bad decisions made? Absolutely not, at the micro level.  Picture two black belts in competition, perfectly parrying, blocking, nullifying the opponent’s swings, kicks, jabs.  Waiting the the other person to tire, or for a fly to land on his (or her) nose.

Is Nader that fly? Is Pat Buchanan the ill-timed dribble of sweat in the eye that is forcing the election-losing blink?  Time, and precious little of that, will tell.

At the macro level, perhaps some good will come of this.  A vote does matter, and this election, more than any other recently, will probably drive that point home for a new batch of voters, reenergizing campaigns and elections for the next few years.  It’s hard to ignore an election if you believe that your personal opinion will probably make a difference.  And as I said earlier, vice versa.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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