If things go according to an odd coincidental tradition that has to do with the Washington Redskin's game played this past Sunday, Kerry will move into the White House this January. For those of you unfamiliar with this story, you can check it out here. On one hand, I'm superstitious enough to believe that it'll get Kerry elected. On the other hand, I'm pessimistic enough to believe that this will be the first election since 1936 that it doesn't hold true. In other words, I'm crossing my fingers but not holding my breath.
While we're on the topic of politics, I thought I'd air some of my pet peeves (mostly about the people who are so uninformed that they have no idea we even have a Congress).
1) For those of you out there who think that Arnold (Conan the Barbarian turned Governor of California) will run for President someday, well, I have some sad news for you: HE CAN'T. Yes, I'm serious. Yes, it's true. If you'll recall, Arnie was born in Austria. So were his parents and grandparents. This means that he is NOT, I repeat NOT a natural born citizen. There's a difference between U.S. Citizen and Natural Born U.S. Citizen. To become a U.S. citizen, you can move here from another country, study a lot, take an exam and poof! You're American. (OK, it's not that simple, but that's just the short version). To be a natural born citizen, either you or your parents must have been born in the United States. This might even apply to grandparents, though I can't remember for sure. In either case, Arnold doesn't fit the bill, so he can't be President. Incidentally, the other two criteria required of any potentional Presidential candidate are: s/he must be 35 years old and s/he must be living in the country on the day of the election.
2) George W. Bush's impeachment is LONG overdue. I won't get into why I believe this because my fingers would get sore typing all the reasons.
3) I once had a conversation with a friend who tried to tell me that the Vice President could not be impeached because it's not an elected position. Well, he was wrong. The office of the Vice President of the United States of America IS, indeed, an elected position. That's why, when the Presidential candidate chooses the VP candidate, they are called running mates. They RUN for office together. If you still don't believe that we elect the Vice President as well as the President, check your ballot today. Both names are on there so you are actually choosing them both.
4) It still shocks me when people ask such silly questions like "How many electoral votes does my state have?" or, better yet "How come every state has a different number?" You'd think that after having beaten this issue to death in the 2000 election, the only people who didn't know it would have to live under a rock. Apparently they've come crawling out. Now, despite the fact that I learned this stuff in 8th grade and you should have too, I will take this opportunity to inform you. I still reserve the right to think you're a num-skull, however.
- Here's how it works: Every state has 2 and only 2 seats in the Senate. No more, no less.
- The number of seats in the House is based on population. EVERY state gets at least one, no matter how small they are. This means that states like New York and California get a lot more seats in the House of Representatives than states like Vermont do (We only get Bernie, assuming he's re-elected, which he will be).
- The number of electoral votes is equal to the total number of seats in Congress. Congress includes both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This means that you need to add the number of seats your state has in the House (varies by population), to the number of seats your state has in the Senate (always 2 - no more, no less, remember). For example, Vermont has 1 spot in the house and 2 in the Senate. This means that we get a total of 3 electoral votes (think back to 1st grade... 2+1=3). This also explains why New York and California get so many more.
As a bonus, I'll explain further how the electoral votes are divided. In 48 out of the 50 states, ALL electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote for that particular state. For example, If 51% of the people in Vermont vote for Kerry, 35% of the people vote for Bush, and 14% of the people vote for Nader, that means that John Kerry will get all 3 of our electoral votes. It is not divided up in any way. However, there are 2 states (possibly 3 depending on the outcome of Colorado's vote on this subject) that will divide up their electoral votes to more closely represent the voice of the people. If I remember correctly, they are divided by district (I may be wrong, so don't quote me on it). For example: If Kerry gets 51% of the vote in 75% of Maine, and Bush gets 51% of the vote in the remaining 25% of Maine, then Kerry will get 3 electoral votes from Maine and Bush will get 1. Confused yet? I know I probably didn't do a very good job of explaining it, but you really should have known this stuff already anyway. ;)
I will leave you now with today's little bit of wisdom.... "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." Not only did I hear it on the radio on my way to class, it was also written on the wall of the gym in which I voted.
*DISCLAIMER: I did not mean for any of this particular entry to be insulting, so please don't take it personally if it happened to have applied to you. :)
Now get off your arse and go vote!