The Watering Hole, Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016: Election Day – VOTE!

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It is the official policy of The Zoo since its founding to not endorse any political candidate or party for elected office. (But if you can’t figure out where most of us stand or how we intend to vote, you probably haven’t been paying attention.) So there’s one question I have for anyone reading this:

If you have already cast your vote, or intend to cast your vote, for any Republican, for any office, at any level of government (even local), could you please identify the candidate and office (include state and pertinent district – congressional or assembly) and explain why you’re casting a vote for that person? I truly want to understand. In my own home state of New York, most of the Republicans in this area are pretty moderate. I know many of the local politicians personally and they’re decent people. I don’t vote for them usually because they run unopposed. And since you can’t lose a race running unopposed if you vote for yourself, there’s no reason for me to vote for any of them. But they do a decent job, and I have no serious complaints. But my focus is more for the national level, and Republican control of any level of our federal government concerns me.

I ask that you not give vague and ambiguous platitudes like, “I support the Constitution.” (How so? What do you feel is being attacked? And what evidence can you cite for that?) I’d like to know the reasons why you wish to vote for a Republican, but I should caution you that the reasons you cite may be challenged by me or by others who post here. As a general rule, we tend to adopt the tone of the person commenting. If you start out exceptionally rude or with name-calling, I can’t promise you any civility in return. But if you’re polite, I promise you I will be, and I can safely vouch for the regulars here that we will be respectful as well.

Please, help me understand. Because I can think of lots of reasons why you shouldn’t, and I hope there’s time to talk you out of it.

This is our daily open thread. Please be sure to vote.

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The Watering Hole, Monday, November 7th, 2016: “Trouble sleeping?”

With the most consequential election of my lifetime now just one day away, a scene from Star Trek: Next Generation’s “Best of Both Worlds” Part 1″ keeps returning to my mind. It takes place before the battle with the Borg, as Captain Picard paces through the Enterprise, and finds Guinan alone in Ten-Forward:

Guinan: “Trouble sleeping?”

Capt. Picard: “It’s something of a tradition, Guinan – Captain touring the ship before a battle.”

Guinan: “Hmm. Before a *hopeless* battle, if I remember the tradition correctly.”

Capt. Picard: “Not necessarily. Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar.”

Guinan: “Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?”

Capt. Picard: “No, but the battle was won.”

Guinan: “Do you expect this battle to be won?”

Capt. Picard: “We may yet prevail. That’s a… a conceit. But… it’s a healthy one. I wonder if the Emperor Honorius watching the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill truly realized that the Roman Empire was about to fall. This is just another page in history, isn’t it? Will this be the end of *our* civilization? Turn the page.”

I wish that I had the calmness, almost equanimity, with which Captain Picard views the possibility of approaching doom and the likely takeover of the United Federation of Planets by a heartless, merciless “race.” I cannot view a similar fate for our country without a feeling of utter dread.

“We may yet prevail” as Picard says, if by “prevail” one means that Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the Presidency. If that happens, in my humble opinion, we the sane will have only one night, possibly, to feel the relief of dodging a bullet. As long-time students of politics and human nature, particularly ‘American’ human nature, we Critters and Zoosters and other reality-based folks are all too well aware that a final election result which denies Donald Trump the Presidency is just the beginning. There inevitably will be a barrage of ‘bullets’, figuratively at best, to continue to dodge. And it may well “be the end of *our* ‘civilization’.”

Guinan offers hope of a sort:

Guinan: “This isn’t the end.”

Capt. Picard: You say that with remarkable assuredness.”

Guinan: “With experience. When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived – as will humanity survive. As long as there’s a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail – even if it takes a millennium.”

And while Guinan could be right, that “[t]his isn’t the end”, I wish that *our* people were able to scatter throughout the universe. “Humanity” may survive, but will it still be recognizable as “human”?

This is our daily Open Thread–talk me down?