My Prediction: Obama Wins

November 6, 2012

- See all 763 of my articles


Election day has finally arrived.  For those of us in the battleground states, it will signal the end of political ads and the returns of ads for Ruffles, Charmin, and Tide.  Hooray for Charmin!

The mainstream media likes to talk about the national polls, but as I have said in the past, these polls are completely worthless.  There’s no prize for the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Most of the polls have had President Obama maintaining a lead in the electoral college (based on his performance in various state polls) for several months now.  While it’s true that Obama’s leads are within the margin of error in many states, he will most likely win most of those states.  As long as the polling errors are not matter of systemic bias (unintentional or intentional) and are simply independent errors, these polls should be erring on the side of Obama roughly half the time and on the side of Romney half the time.  The fact that the margin is within the poll’s margin of error does not necessarily mean that the trailing candidate is the one getting the short end of the stick – the poll could also be understating the lead of a candidate.

There has been much talk about Ohio.  Without it, Romney has a nearly impossible task in front of him.  I see Obama winning Ohio, due in part to election day weather.  There is very little chance of rain on Tuesday in Cleveland and Cincinnati, and this helps Obama.  Every inch of rain on election days boosts Republicans by 2.5%?  Why?  This is simply a bus vs. car issue.  Taking a bus somewhere in the rain is a worse experience that driving a car, because of how wet you get walking to and from bus stops.  Two demographics that use public transit more than others are the poor and inner city dwellers (poor and non-poor alike).  Both of these groups skew to the left.

Election Fraud

There has been much talk about voter fraud and the possibility of requiring IDs to vote.  I really think people are missing the forest for the trees.  Studies have shown that in-person voter fraud is very rare.  Absentee fraud is far more common.

The real danger, though, is people who are being disenfranchised.  There are shenanigans every year.  Among the tricks this year and notifying voters of alternative voting methods (phone and email) that are not actually legitimate, throwing away voter registration forms for a particular party, and sending in a fraudulent absentee ballot for a vote, so that when the voter appears at the poll in person, they will not be allowed to vote.

At this point, I would suggest that you never trust anyone to help with your registration – handle it yourself.  Even taking the precaution of waiting for the registration card in the mail isn’t good enough, as it would be very easy for the perpetrators to send out counterfeit cards (which, of course, would be worthless when trying to prove you are registered).

Some international observers recently have been critical about the US election process.  With some of the tricks that get pulled by partisans, and the outright lies in many campaign commercials, I do think our election process falls well short of the standards we should strive for.  Today’s voters may have more information than at any time in the past, but in many cases, they aren’t more informed – they are misinformed.  Take a few minutes to find the context for quotes and “facts” and you’ll be a more educated voter.  We should strive for a future when voters are correctly informed and when every eligible voter is allowed to cast a vote – even when their party differs from yours.

Women in the Election

October 19, 2012

- See all 35 of my articles

No Comments

Shortly after the last debate, I starting seeing “Binders full of women” meme’s popping up all over my Facebook news feed. I didn’t understand where that phrase was coming from, and I had even watched the debate. And then, on the news, I saw the phrase that Mitt spoke. Again, I thought ‘So what’? He had a binder full of women who had worked for him.

After thinking about it, I realized, the liberals have got to have something to point and laugh at….distract everyone with. Because we all know Obama (and his supporters) don’t want to talk about his record. Who would? High unemployment, lower credit rating, soaring spending and the gigantic National debt. This is just another distraction from the left.

Honestly, I’d rather be in Mitt’s binder of women who work for/with him than in Obama’s binder of those on welfare list.

Women aren’t stupid, we get it. We make less than men (including in Obama’s administration). We’ve seen Obama’s idea/insult to women with his “Life of Julia” where a woman is dependent on the Government for everything and every stage in her life.

Thanks, Obama, but no thanks. I can take care of myself. I’m not distracted by the free birth control, the slamming the Conservatives claiming they’re the ones waging the “War on Woman” …I could go on and on.

To me it seems the only actual “War on Women” are those who are not yet born. What about those binders full of babies who were never given the chance to live?

Think about it. Don’t buy into their distractions. Let’s talk about the issues instead of birth control pills or binders.

Is This the Most Important Election?

June 7, 2012

- See all 8 of my articles

No Comments

Editor’s note: Peter Shaw is joining The Soap Boxers and will be writing a conservative political column the first Thursday of every month.  He replaces Squeaky, who will still write occasional articles, but on a less regular basis.  Welcome aboard, Peter.

Every election year I hear this phrase; “This is the most important election in our lifetime.” Sometimes you hear it’s the most important election since the Civil War. The recall vote in Wisconsin for Governor Scott Walker has prompted some people to say it’s the most important election ever. I am a political aficionado but the one thing I hate about politics are the emotional arguments. I don’t like being played by any candidate or cause.

I honestly believe the election of President George HW Bush, our 43rd president, was more important than this election in 2012. I believe the election of President Ronald Reagan was more important than this election. I believe the election of President Abraham Lincoln was more important than this election. In 2004 President Bush and other Republicans gloated that more people voted Republican than ever before. This claim is pointless since everyone knows there were more registered voters in 2004 than ever before. The real landslide was the 1972 election where Nixon won 49 states.

When President Obama tried to apply the Gospel of the Cross and the Golden Rule to same sex marriages he isn’t making a logical or theological argument. President Obama is playing on people’s reverence, love, and obedience to God. In the process President Obama is pitting Holy Scripture against Holy Scripture. I find this contemptible.

Recently the Department of Justice employed selective enforcement by not enforcing federal law titled “Defense of Marriage Act”. President Obama said this was done because the law doesn’t provide equal protection under the law. This interpretation of law is logical however it isn’t up to law enforcement to interpret but the courts. I find this unconstitutional yet preferable to President Obama’s emotional plea.

What needs to be done by every voter is examining their values and why they hold such values. Every voter should gain a deeper understanding of the issues and the institutions of our government and society. For example, we need to know why the state is involved in an ecclesiastical institution. We need to know what is life and when does begin? We need to know what made America great and why she is floundering. We need to know the real reason why the 2012 election is important.

I believe I have a distinct perspective on the issues because I always ask why. I naturally distrust second person sources. I make very attempt to approach every issue with a stoic, logical, and objective perspective. I will cover these issues and more in the coming weeks. I can’t tell you what your values are and why you hold them. I can share my understanding of politics, government, and society. Despite what Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say, rhetoric doesn’t divide a nation. A diverse culture divides a nation. I hope my stoic contribution to our web magazine somehow narrows the divide between liberals and conservatives.

My name is Peter Shaw and I write for TSB web magazine.

Who Should I Vote For?

October 20, 2010

- See all 763 of my articles


Election day is looming – and with it, the decision of whom to vote for. 

For the majority of Americans, this won’t be a difficult choice.  As devoted members of the Democratic, Republicans, or Toga party, they will simply vote for the candidate with a D, R, or T next to their name.

However, millions of unaffiliated voters will face a choice when they stare at the ballot.  Conventional wisdom suggests that voters should cast a vote for the candidate whom they have the most in common with.  But is this a time to turn conventional wisdom on its head?

There are hundreds of issues that you can take a stance on, but the vast majority are irrelevant for one of three reasons:

  • You don’t have particularly strong views on the issue
  • Nearly everyone agrees with you
  • Nearly everyone disagrees with you

By definition, an issue that you don’t care about very much shouldn’t sway your vote.  It really doesn’t matter if you vote for someone who agrees or disagrees with you – it won’t have much of an impact on your life.

If an issue has widespread support, it’s also irrelevant.  For example, I favor sustained peaceful relations with Canada (despite the fact that they have soiled the good name of bacon by releasing their own, inferior version).  Of course, so does nearly everyone else.  Regardless of whether I vote for a pro-Canada or anti-Canada candidate, I don’t see a war against Canada in the near future.

How about the flip side of this – an issue where nearly everyone disagrees with you.  Let’s say I support the deportation of all Nebraska residents to a colony on the moon (I’m fairly sure that I’m not in favor of this).    While this idea would likely get some support from people in other Big 12 states, it’s not likely to get more than token support in congress.  So even if I vote for the Nebraska-Moon party candidate, it’s not going to happen.

(Yes, these examples are both pretty contrived)

What does that leave us with?  Issues that are both:

  • Important to you
  • Competitive

I’ll quantify “competitive” as some with between about 43% of 57% support (among people who have an opinion on the issue).  This is an arbitrary range, but “feels right”.  These are issues where you can actually make a difference – if you and like-minded people elect a few people to congress who share your views, you may push support from minority to majority (or vice versa) and get new legislation enacted.

This year, two issues are front and center for me.

The first is gay marriage.  I have not friends that are openly gay, but I have become a strong proponent of allowing gay couples to get married (not just civil unions, but actual marriage).  I’ve written on this a number of times, and am not going to rehash everything I have said in the past.  Suffice it to say that it’s an issue that I feel strongly about.

The supreme court of Iowa (where I live) has deemed that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.  Opponents of the rule would like to enact a constitutional amendment to trump this ruling … but state law dictates that such a proposal must pay in two separate state general assemblies, at which point it would be placed on the ballot.  The current makeup of the state legislature doesn’t have enough support to get the ball rolling – and I’ll do my part to ensure that this remains true.

On the judicial side, three of the justices (the only three up for renewal this November) who joined in the unanimous opinion are under attack by groups opposing the ruling, who are running ads asking voters to throw them out of office.  In Iowa, voters simply vote to retain a judge or not retain them.  It’s not common for this to become politicized.  The judges, of course, can’t simply have fund-raisers to run their own ads – as this would be a major conflict of interest.  A group siding with the judges has recently begun to run ads.

I’ll be voting “retain”.  If the justices are thrown out because of this decision, what sort of message is this sending to the court?  A pretty clear one – don’t make decisions that could be unpopular, even if the decision is correct.  That’s a disturbing thought.  I have no problem throwing out justices who engage is judicial misconduct – but not for simply making a controversial decision. 

The second issue is the privatization of social security.  This falls completely on the other side of the political spectrum from gay marriage – being supported only by conservatives.

I’m very puzzled by the politicization of this issue.  Groups who oppose privatization point to downturns in the stock market and suggest that turning over Social Security to Wall Street would be very risky.

Of course, nobody has ever suggested that people take the contributions that currently go to Social Security (12.4% of wages) and throw them into penny stocks.  In my particular situation, I can beat the return of Social Security by putting your money into 30 year treasuries (this is not an exaggeration – my rate of return on Social Security is projected to be slightly over 2%).  Your mileage may vary a bit, but the reality is that you don’t need to take on a lot of risk to beat the return of social security (in my case, no additional risk).

This issue is probably a bit outside my range, as I don’t know that it has 43%.  However, I do feel that the issue would have considerably more support if it were properly explained on a bigger stage.

I doubt that these are the two issues that you care most about.  However, I suspect that you have a number of issues that are important to you and also competitive  – make sure your view is represented on these issues.