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It's Your Vote

J. D. Pendry

Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing. -Bernard Baruch

I trust you dutifully watched the first and second string presidential debates. The presidential debate I watched all of, the vice presidential debates I watched during timeouts of the football game (Marshall and Western Michigan). Even during the time outs, the vice presidential candidates came across smarter than the A team did. For those of you who missed the main event, I took some notes for you.

The two candidates entered the stage from opposite sides. Each, wearing dark blue suits, white shirts and red ties. It would have been much more interesting and entertaining if they'd shown up in WWF costumes. Blazing red, white and blue spandex with Mr. Pres stenciled on the buttocks. With face paint, and barbed wire tattoos on their biceps.

Hellooooo America! Are you ready? Okaaaay. Let's get ready, I said let's get ready to ruuuuuuuummmmmmbbbbblllllle. In this corner the reigning number two, Al I'm-my-own-man Goooooooorrrrrre. And, in this corner, the number one contender from the state of Texas, Geoooorrrrrrrrge I-ain't-my-daddy Bush!

Obviously, they chose a more the conservative approach. Meeting at center stage they grinned for the cameras, shook hands and moved out to their podiums. What do you say to someone that you are about to debate for the chance to be the most powerful man in the world? Good luck? It was probably closer to Mr. T's quote from one of those Rockie movies, "Ahm mon bus' you up!" Given Mr. Bush's experience with live microphones that weren't supposed to be I'm sure he didn't greet Mr. Gore by referring to him as a body part.

The moderator explained the rules - no biting, no eye gouging, no stimulating intellectual exchanges... - both contestants complied. The main points of the debate centered on social security, prescription drugs for seniors, taxes, education and one momentary glimpse of the state of the military. I listened hard for substance. It went like this. (This is not an exact transcript of the debates. I have taken the liberty of condensing it so that you can get the main ideas)

Mr. Bush: My prescription drug plan is better than your plan.

Mr. Gore: Nuh-Uh.

Mr. Bush: Is too.

Mr. Gore: My plan for social security is better than your plan.

Mr. Bush: Nuh-Uh.

Mr. Gore: Is too.

Mr. Bush: My education plan is better than your plan.

Mr. Gore: Nuh-Uh.

Mr. Bush: Is too.

Mr. Gore: My tax plan is better than your plan.

Mr. Bush: Fuzzie math, fuzzie, fuzzie, fuzzie.

That was about it. A spit flying, hair on fire, finger in your chest, WWF-like tirade from one or the other would have perked things up some. However, just as I was dozing off my radar pinged.

Mr. Bush: Our military is in trouble. The morale is low, training is inadequate, funding is inadequate, equipment is getting old, they're over overextended...

Mr. Gore: I want the American public to know that our military is the best trained, best equipped, best led, most powerful...

Your vote is your choice. When casting it, you may want to consider the implied promises in that exchange between our candidates concerning the military. The military vote is a very large block. Go vote, take the troops with you, and remember this:

Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. -Franklin P. Adams

See you at the polls, troops.

© 2000 J. D. Pendry