It's Election Day and with the polls still open, pundits aplenty are predetermining the election outcome as a pack, with few free thinkers straying from the herd. But the voters must still have their say. I've been on the phones nonstop with organizers in the field and their refrain, especially in the west is this: don't suppress us with your punditry, let our people vote.
Predictions of electoral conclusions are sounding like the run-up to the Iraq War -- the beltway brain trust reached a consensus and that was that. Brave Democrats who spoke out (including half the House Democratic caucus) and expressed what many in the country were thinking -- wait a second, where is that coalition of the willing? Will we be greeted as liberators? Where are the WMDs? -- were roundly criticized by the wise men (and women). But in the end, results were not as the beltway brain trust presumed, and the media roundly criticized itself for not being more skeptical. They didn't fire anyone for being wrong -- or change their ways -- because here they go again.
The same groupthink is at play with today's election. Already pundits have decided that the race is over so why bother fighting the tide? Friends working with new and old media outlets told me today they are are fighting the push for a "what does it all mean?" meta-conclusion come 8pm Eastern -- with millions of Americans yet to vote. I think we must challenge this groupthink and let our people vote!
First, the obvious: I'm a California Democrat and I want my team to win. I think we can win despite our underdog status because our candidates have the talent and character to grit out victories just like my underdog World Champion San Francisco Giants did last night. I don't want to hear anyone -- especially not a Democrat or a progressive website -- suppress votes by saying the election is over while polling places are still open.
Second, Americans have tight races across the country, especially in the West -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State -- that could be decided by one vote per precinct. That potential voter should not come home from work at 6 or 7pm only to hear from the punditry that their vote won't matter because "we" already know the outcome.
Third, Latino voters already insulted by the GOP's "Don't Vote" ads will cast most of their ballots in communities west of the Mississippi . If the elections are deemed over at 5 or 6pm western and mountain time, the pundits delivering meta-conclusions will be no better than the "don't vote" ads crowd they roundly criticized two weeks ago.
Anyone who's ever walked a precinct with an hour to go and heard a voter say "it's over -- they called it" knows exactly why we must push back against the groupthink and let all Americans from sea to shining sea let their individual voices be heard. We'll have the rest of our lives to discuss what our votes meant -- till the polls close, let's use the national microphone to get our votes cast.
And now back to the phonebanks ...