Stacked Decks and Powder Kegs

I hope Senator Barack Obama wins this election for the sake of this nation. I hope Senator Barack Obama doesn't lose this election unfairly for the sake of my neighborhoods. I'm observing a positive occurence, particularly in the African American communities where I live, where I worship and where happen to pass through. There's an engaged, aware, and sometimes excited anticipation for what could come out of this historic election on November 4th. It's an atypical fervor that probably hasn't existed since African Americans were first given the right to vote, but it's not limited to African Americans. I know, I know... I didn't break any new ground with that deep revelation. But what I'm also noticing, which is new ground, is another trend... A mobilization of anti-bamboozlism (trademark pending).

To be bamboozled is to be cheated, fooled, manipulated. It's usually applied when referring to a person, but eyes and ears are up and mouths are talking while fingers are typing and forwarding to try to cut the cards where they see the deck being fixed. And what unprecedented access we have to be informed of not only the issues that each candidate stands for, but also to check them out in their daily posturing and pandering and backtracking - "I never said that..." - really, well let's roll that beautiful bean footage (come on, who doesn't like a baked beans commercial reference with their political ranting???). Factcheck.org, political blogs out of the wazoo (might I recommend this as one of my favorites), and the only news source I really trust on tv to deliver the story in a non-panicked, begging for ratings manner - The Daily Show are just a small sample of outlets to get your daily intake of reporting and opinions of this campaign season.

But then there's a little matter of the election day itself. Many people are preparing not simply to vote or die (I hated that marketing ploy P.Didd.Puff.Pass.Sean.Pie, sorry), but they're also preparing for what can go wrong as republican operatives continue in their attempts to deny (likely democratic) citizens their constitutional right to vote. As election day looms closer and closer, I'm getting more and more emails and general "heads up" messages from friends and associates regarding various questionable, albeit legal in most cases, rules in place that people may not know about until they show up to the polling place. For example, electioneering (the process of actively campaigning for or supporting a candidate, political party or issue in/near polling places) is already established. But This article from the Philadelphia Inquirer (or click here for the shorter snopes investigation) talks about how republicans in Pennsylvania are using the practice of "passive electioneering" to prevent democrats from voting on election day -

... rules have generally been applied to prevent overt electioneering: posting signs or banners; passing out pamphlets, flyers, or other literature; making oral exhortations, etc. Recently, however, movements in some states have sought to have bans on electioneering enforced against “passive electioneering” as well - the wearing by voters of buttons, pins, t-shirts, and other adornments bearing the names of candidates.


As simply as I can say this, leave your Baractimus Prime or your Sarah Palin Bridge to Nowhere t-shirts at home or they may not let you in the building to vote.

Then individual states have rules that you probably want to pay attention to. From a friend that lives in Florida -

FYI - In Florida, if a registered voter has not voted in the past four years, the state reserves the right to "un-register" that person without notifying him/her. That means that a person could show up at the polls and be denied the opportunity to vote.
So we're getting this information and passing it on to our friends and family, but let's not forget those individuals who don't check email every 5 seconds - I'm sorry hold on, I have to check my email - and those who aren't reading the blogs and watching what's happening closely. They have to be informed too, and I must say that Mr. Obama and his campaign team are doing an excellent job trying to educate every nook and cranny of this nation regardless to their access to the interwebtubes.

Now, I don't want to re-hash the anger that came from some of the botched up and flat out illegal practices of the last election in 2000 and 2004. But if either side's candidate... okay, who am I fooling?... If Barack Obama loses and stories begin to emerge about voters being turned away at the polls for reasons that have slipped through the cracks of our diligent email-my-face-twit-text community, then there's the real possibility that we'll see a resurgence of 60's style protests, both the peaceful and the violent. How many people have you seen disenfranchise themselves because they have accepted a mind that says they'll get an unfair shake anyway, and thier vote won't make a difference. How angry might these people be if they find that the ONE time they choose to believe and participate in the system, they wind up robbed, cheated... BAMBOOZLED?... There's a (not so far-fetched) possibility that you could look out your window and see Tulsa, Watts, or Chicago revisited.

Let me be clear. This is not and endorsement for rioting just because Sen. Obama loses. Rather, it's a prayer for this country if he loses and there is enough evidence (and the bar will be set really low on "enough") that it was because of a technicality or a batch of critical ballots getting lost or because rule 20E74z states something to the effect of "na-na-na-na-poo-poo, you lose"- and I'm using legal terms. My point here is, are we sure that we have enough security around to insure that sneaky tricks and dastardly deceptions don't ruin this election???

In all seriousness, it's not just about a violent reaction. For many people, it's about the about trust in American ideas of democracy and in the democratic process. It's about a simple faith that thier country honors thier participation, not work to stifle it . It's also about the relationship and cooperation between one half of the country that believes they want to maintain power for the sake of having it (I'll refer to them as "red states" for lack of better term) and the other half that emerges from a "victimhood" coma every 4 years, only to return to it after a shady November election loss.





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