It is the 3rd of November 2010 and I don’t know anyone who voted for Obama in 2008. Seriously, I don’t know a single person who voted for him. When I think back on it, I don’t know anyone that voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 or 1996 either. I know some people who voted for him for governor, but not for president.
Put aside your partisan politics for a moment and consider this. Most people in the United States do not remember who they voted for in the last Presidential Election. I don't remember and I suspect that you don't either. So you think I'm nuts do you? Well that may be true, but I'm certain of my facts.
I also have it on good authority that fewer than 600 people voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and even with his mandate in 1996, there were fewer than 538 that voted for him that year. I'm not getting these figures from some straw poll I conducted in downtown Burns Flat, America--though that is both the cultural and political center of this great republic (OK, that last part is only opinion, but the rest of this article is fact). Being the only Republican from a family of Democrats, I often am not taken seriously when I tell them that I have never met anyone that voted for Clinton. Still don't believe me? So you want answers? You want the truth? You can't handle the truth. In 1992, only 370 people voted for Clinton. In 1996, only 379 people voted for him, but sure enough that's him in the oval office.
Want to know more? The real election for president didn't occur until December in 1992 and in 1996. We have narrowed it down to 538 people that could have voted for Clinton in 1996--and you thought we conducted elections by secret ballot. Actually, the people that elected our current president even signed their names to their ballot and your government knows who they are. You say that 538 number sounds familiar, but you can't quite place it. It's got nothing to do with the grassy knoll or the number of times that your Microsoft operated computer shuts down each day due to an illegal operation. That's right it's the total number of Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress, but they don't elect the president. In fact, they are not even permitted to vote for the president. So is this coincidence or conspiracy?
Actually, it's neither. It's Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America that provides for the election of a United States President. "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." Yes our president is elected by people we call electors. When you vote in a presidential election, you are voting for electors. We call this group of people the Electoral College. This is a special year in our country's constitutional process. We get to experience both a census and a presidential election. By mid September, when your television is inundated with political commercials and commentaries, you'll probably say "enough with the experience." But with Independence Day still on our minds, this might just be a good time to find a copy of our Constitution and refresh our memories on how we elect a president.
I'll close with a special warning to my Republican brethren. The fox is in the henhouse. Guess who is in charge of counting the votes for the 2000 Presidential Election? You guessed it--Al Gore. That Buddhist Temple stuff is small potatoes compared to this. Speaking of potatoes, wasn't it Dan Quale that was in charge of counting the votes for president in 1992? I knew we should have followed up after that spelling thing…
This was a piece first published in conjunction with the 2000 election. I occasionally resurrect it during November.