Over at Scott Addams’s blog a few days ago, he postulated a scenario in the upcoming Presidential election. It goes like this:
The markets continue to tumble for the next 7 days, so that by Tuesday everyone who has assets is even more skittish than now.
Obama continues to gain in the polls until he has a seemingly insurmountable lead (like 70-30 or something crazy like that).
On election day, people get nervous when they’re alone in the voting booth, and start second guessing their choice for a black man (if they’re latent racists) or a “socialist” (if they’re latent fiscal conservatives). Of course, they’re embarrassed about telling their friends they didn’t vote for Obama, so everyone still thinks he’s going to win, but he doesn’t. McCain wins.
Everybody freaks out. Some people will think that the election was rigged, some people will think the voting machines got hacked, some people will point to the impossibility of American blacks ever having true equality, and some will have crazy conspiracy theory explanations. Regardless, everyone freaks out.
Poor, urban people freak out in the form of rioting in the streets. Wealthy people freak out in the form of solidifying their wealth and security – shutting the castle gate, as it were. Institutions like banks and large corporations freak out by freezing up until they see what the outcome is going to be. There will be a general societal schism between haves and have-nots not seen (in a civilized country) since the French Revolution.
Sounds pretty bad, right? So why isn’t someone taking steps to communicate with all concerned NOW, so the uncertainty isn’t so explosive on November 5th? Of course it could be that some genius has already thought of this and come to the conclusion that almost no-one changes their vote at the last second, so the whole thing is moot.