Clearly, there are issues with the current way our politics run, and we can't fix everything overnight. But there are some simple things that we can do to make people more politically engaged.
This is my first blog post since Sandy swept through and my last blog post before the election on Tuesday...so I have some stuff to say. Let's face ...
Here are eight cool, interesting (and useful) things to do in the next 36 hours in addition to voting to help get out the vote.
I had my first sit-down with Barack Obama in his Senate office. The sun was streaming in. He came around from behind his desk with that beaming smile, his tie loosened. He sat in a deep chair, his feet up on the coffee table. I was taken with his confidence, talent, grasp of the issues and buoyant charm: the real deal. That was early in 2007. Later that year I sat down with Mitt Romney on the Republican primary-season campaign trail. I had interviewed him years earlier, at his suburban Boston home. He hadn't changed a bit: chilly smile, wary but gracious, well informed, a mix of a steely mind, ferocious ambition and earnest Mormon good will: a class act. Today I ask: where did those two men go? Or were they mirages? The way both have campaigned this year makes me wonder. Is there something about the presidency -- or the pursuit of it -- that attacks the character of men and women under its spell?
There are three clear reasons -- positive for President Obama and, conversely, negative for Romney -- that explain and justify the president's re-election.
Obama seems to have a lead in the Electoral College, although even that is less assured today than in was three weeks ago. It is increasingly likely that either the national vote total or the Electoral College be decided by a very small percentage of voters.
Voting needs to become more accessible and more convenient. Why don't election officials work to expand opportunities for citizens to vote? Here are three recommendations to improve our democracy and increase civic engagement.
What will get me to my polling place this year, more than anything else, is this: I believe Barack Obama will nominate Supreme Court Justices who will vote to overturn Citizens United, which wiped out reasonable limits on campaign funding. And Mitt Romney would appoint Supreme Court Justices who would uphold it.
Here in Manhattan, the nation's financial and media capital and all-around nerve center, the bridges and tunnels connecting the island to the rest of the region have finally reopened, and the transit system is just beginning to restore service. Soon, we are told, everything will be "back to normal."
I know that voting absentee is technically the same as voting on Election Day. The US Postal Service insists that Sandy won't disrupt voting by mail. Even Obama voted early. Fine. But I still have a hard time believing that overseas votes aren't just shoved into a pile to be opened only in cases of electoral emergency.
The United States is the world's most famous democracy, yet we rank near the bottom of all nations in voter turnout. So why, when U.S. Census data says most Americans don't vote because it's inconvenient, do we vote on Tuesday smack in the middle of the week?
I have a personal favor I'd like to ask each of you. We all know the election next Tuesday is going to be very close. But I've got an idea that could help put President Obama over the top.
On both the financial catastrophe and the storm, Governor Romney got it completely wrong. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Romney looks all wet.
Is this what our political process and October Surprises have come to? We're trying to get the candidates to unveil their college applications and pin them for something they said in a divorce hearing in the early '90s? Give me a break.
Before you decide your vote doesn't matter in this election, I ask you consider this question: Where else in your life have you left the playing field because you didn't like or agree with the way the game was being played?
Who do they think they are? Telling you who to vote for. Just cause they made a little money? Or have a masthead? Or a Facebook account? That gives them the right to tell you who to vote for? Screw them.