There are seven weeks to go before Election Day. Like many, I hope a huge number of my fellow Americans will turn out to vote, because that’s the only way to change the direction of the country. Rallies and protests and social media campaigns are fine, but they’re for naught if you don’t elect leaders who will make a positive difference.
Although I do write occasional political posts, I don’t make it a habit because I try to remain un-obsessed with the destructive nonsense that fills our information vaccuum every day. I’m aware of it, but refuse to let it overrun my life. I’m sure that even the professionals who have to cover all of it rue the dawn as if they were stuck in another “Groundhog Day,” with its repeated crush of mind-numbing stories that must be covered, analyzed, and discussed.
I’m not interested in any forecasts of what will happen when the votes are counted on November 6th. Anyone who says today, with certainty, that they know how the makeup of the House and Senate will change is either lying or deceiving themselves. Those predictions often come with biased claims that whichever side they’re on will do better than expected. I’m not talking about professional data crunchers, like the Five Thirty Eight crew, but rather the loudmouths on radio, TV, blogs, and podcasts who make up the overgrown punditry beast.
Of course, if they turn out to be right, they take full credit and crow non-stop about their brilliant foresight. But if they turn out to be wrong, they never mention it again because they don’t want to be held accountable. Unfortunately, the media outlets who give them a platform to make their prognostications don’t care either way. You can be wrong ten elections in a row and still get invited to sit on a set and blather on about whatever you’re sure will occur in the future.
That only happens in politics and the stock market. No one who watches Jim Cramer on CNBC has any idea what his record has been regarding stock picks, but I bet they still act on his pronouncements as if he could foresee future earnings reports for every public company. Contrast that to a scenario in which, every year, a sportswriter predicted with 100% certainty that the Cleveland Browns would win the Super Bowl. It wouldn’t be too long before ESPN stopped putting him or her on one of its panels of experts.
All of that said, I’ll leave you with one guarantee for Election Day: though turnout may be up, there will still be far too many Americans who don’t vote, yet will still complain about the outcome.