Well, well, well, flyover America, the middle ground, the old industrial-agricultural heart of this country, is suddenly important again. At least for the next two weeks.
I won’t turn this into a rant about political ads. Yes, they can be tiresome. But I’m happy to be in a place where my vote matters and where the presidential candidates are continuing to court votes. It’s an odd feature of the American political system that only a few of us, a minority of Americans, are in that position.
Live in LA? Nobody is after your vote, because your state is blue, baby blue, as blue as it can be, your steady is already in the White House.
Live in Houston? Ditto, except, you weirdo commie, you’re blood red state is going for Mitt no matter what you do. (Why is Red both the color of Socialism and Republicans? Clearly, using the logic of Fox News, it must mean that Republicans are Socialists. So there.)
But, if like me, you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, you’re in a state that at best is slightly tinted blue—still in play, still part of that upper Midwest grey zone stretching from Iowa and Minnesota to Pennsylvania that will pick the winner in this year’s campaign.
Well, I plan to enjoy my day in the sun.
Yet, if I were king, and direct election were off the table, I would like some changes to how we pick presidents.
Here is Joe’s list for reforming presidential campaigns:
- Reverse Citizens United. Corporations are not “persons” in the sense that they have free speech rights like the rest of us. Find ways to enforce full disclosure, limit spending and tone down the outside groups that pollute our campaigns.
- Make it easy to both register and get on the ballot. No false barriers to suppress voting turnout or prevent choices. I don’t even care if we have voter IDs—but let’s make election day a Monday, a federal holiday, and also have universal easy absentee ballot rules for anybody whose away from home on Election Day (a federal holiday).
- Elect members of the Electoral College on a per-district basis. That would spread around the attention and campaign so that it’s not just the “o” states (Iowa and Ohio) that matter. It would not be the same as a national vote count, but at least it would spread the election around.
Anyway, it’s almost over. I hope, and think, Obama will still pull it out. Despite the Romney surge, the Electoral College math seems to favor the Democrats. And, whatever happens, I don’t want us to have a GOP President and a GOP Senate.
Still, come what may, life will go on. For now, I’m answering nightly phone calls from pollsters and political activists. And no, I’m not voting early.
Why cut the party short?