Having already filed my vote early, in a state that is unlikely to have any real bearing on the outcome of this election considering it wasn’t Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, or Colorado, I decided to get out and join the bloody fray of national election day (if you’re wondering who I voted for I’ll just say that I cast my ballot for the guy with the weird first name).
As I surveyed the national landscape, trying to figure out where I should hunker down to witness the outcome, my destination became readily apparent. It just so happens that the Mildly Relevant national headquarters are in one of the ten or twelve counties in this country that actually matter this year – Cuyahoga County, in Ohio. So I grabbed my bag, filled it with provisions for the coming Armaggedon that both candidates promised would occur if the other won, including canned goods, toiletries, pepper spray, and the necessary ingredients to make a Molotov cocktail, and headed out to northeastern Ohio.
Upon arrival, I was first struck by the air of defeat that had settled over the city of Cleveland. And it wasn’t the usual malaise that seems to permeate every dying midwestern industrial town. No, the spirit of the people of Cleveland and, seemingly, the entire populous of Ohio appeared to have been conquered and overwhelmed by the unceasing campaign stops by the candidates, radio and television advertising, billboards, and pandering they’d been subjected to for months now. People were stumbling around blindly, staggering to their local polling places, looking like it was the first days of the zombie apocalypse.
I started driving around town checking out polling stations, trying to get an idea about how this crucial area of the country would vote. I was primarily struck by the obvious voter fraud that so many Republican strategists had been warning of for months. You could see it at every turn. There were “voters” of every color – black, brown, yellow (poor people suffering from jaundice). It was obvious they were all, or nearly all, pawns of the local Democratic establishment, sent out to vote “early and often”. That is, after all, the number one way you can tell when voter fraud is taking place. The more people of color, the more voter fraud. That’s why the state of Ohio has spent the last several months trying to disenfranchise every minority voter they could. I think we should all give the Ohio Republican party the credit it deserves for protecting the integrity of this all-important election.
The other thing I quickly became aware of was that the actual voters seemed to be outnumbered by journalists, pundits, political operatives and, above all else, lawyers. All of them swarming the state to predict, project, blather and, in anticipation of a close vote, sue. Actually, that last one more than anything else. You can smell the blood in the water, with the legal sharks circling, knowing they will soon, Lawyer God-willing, have a chance to sink their teeth into miles of legal paperwork. Every Starbucks in town is filled with suit-wearing, Bluetooth-adorned, laptop-toting, legal eagles. You can’t come across a conversation where words like “adjudication”, “petitioner”, any number of Latin terms and, these being lawyers, “four-iron” aren’t being bandied about. It’s getting scary out here. I feel like a citizen out of A Clockwork Orange, but instead of being under siege from bowler hat-bedecked ruffians I find myself cowering in alleys waiting for roving hordes of slick-haired attorneys to pass by without noticing me.
As the day winds down, and we come closer to finding out who will spend the next four years in the Oval Office, the city of Cleveland is slowly devolving into a futuristic hellscape where we might soon see political operatives, television talking heads, and lawyers break into an all-out blood bath. Of course, we might also just see a relatively smooth voting process that has a major impact on deciding the election. Unfortunately, the hellscape scenario makes for a much juicier story. So I’m sure those of us who are glued to the airwaves today will instead be inundated with that storyline.
Happy voting, everyone!