Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Believe the lies, and believe that you only have two choices

How many fingers am I holding up? asked the California magician.

Two, I replied.

Why do you say that I'm only holding up two fingers? asked the magician.

Because you are, I replied.

But I am actually holding up six fingers, said the magician.

No you're not, it's only two. Everybody says that you're only holding up two fingers, so you must be holding up only two fingers, I replied emphatically, secure in my delusion.

Witness the latest from Sharon Cobb:

I can't figure out how anyone who holds a voter registration card could still be undecided this late in the game.

What are they waiting for? McCain and Obama aren't going to change, and they are very different men with very different ideas about how to run this country.

Yeah, right.

Look at your ballot. If you live in California, you have six choices in this Presidential race - and that doesn't count Chuck Baldwin (not on the California ballot) or several other people who appear on ballots in various states. If you don't live in California, go here and find your state to see who is on your Presidential ballot. Florida voters have 14 choices.

And if you really believe that Obama and McCain are, in Cobb's words, "very different men," you aren't a member of the Green Party:

“We appeal to voters to take a look at the Green Party’s ‘Peace Slate’ of candidates, with Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente on the Green presidential ticket. A vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent your own ideals is a vote wasted,” said Mr. López.

And you may ask Libertarian candidate Bob Barr how he feels about the supposed differences between the two:

While both the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, and his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Barack Obama, proclaim themselves "agents of change" as a primary reason for the American people to elect them to the nation's highest office on November 4th, the fact is, neither of these candidates -- or their running mates -- represents a real break with the typical, big-government solutions to problems facing America. This is illustrated most clearly in the latest government "solution" to the "crisis" in the housing sector -- the bailout by the U.S. taxpayers of the two government-created and -supported enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

All four of the candidates for the country's two major political parties publicly support this latest big government move by the Bush Administration. This puts voters on notice that an administration headed by either the McCain-Palin team, or the Obama-Biden, ticket will be business as usual, and "maverick" in name only.

But if you insist on believing that there are only two candidates in the election, then go ahead and believe that.

Of course, there are dissenting views, such as Jimmy Carter's view in 1980:

Q. Mr. President, how do you assess the Anderson candidacy and the feeling that some observers have that it'll hurt you more than it'll hurt Ronald Reagan?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, there's no doubt that it hurts me more than it does Reagan. All the polls indicate that it's different, and particularly in States like California and New Jersey--California and New York--and I'm not sure about New Jersey...

...I think Anderson is primarily a creation of the press. He's never won a primary, even in his own home State. He's never won a caucus contest in any State in the Nation. He ran as a Republican, and he's still a Republican. He hasn't had a convention; he doesn't have a party. He and his wife hand-picked his Vice-Presidential nominee. But Anderson being the third candidate in the race, who's given equal treatment on the evening news and in the newspapers with myself and the Republican nominee, is obviously the recipient of support from people who are disaffected with me or with Governor Reagan, and this makes him a very significant factor in the 1980 election contest..

...We've had other third candidates running down through history, some with parties and some without parties. On occasion they've been highly publicized, as was the case with Theodore Roosevelt when he tried to run for reelection, and George Wallace when he ran. But I don't know what's going to come out later on...

...It's still early in the season, and we are concerned about the fact that I've not been able to induce Governor Reagan to debate me, for instance, on a two-man basis. What he will do in the future is hard to discern, but as you know, a three-person debate format is more like a forum than it is a real debate...

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