Monday, November 08, 2004

St. Louis teams may want to stay away from New England teams for awhile. First the Red Sox decimate the Cardinals in a World Series sweep, then yesterday the Patriots clobber the Rams. The game featured, among other things, Troy Brown at cornerback and a touchdown pass from Adam Vinitieri to Brown on a fake field goal.

The kids had a very busy weekend with soccer, swimming, a Korean Student Society event at Tufts, Sunday School and a birthday party that R. was invited to on Sunday. We didn't get to see The Incredibles with all the other stuff going on, but I'm planning to take the kids next weekend. The reviews I've seen have been outstanding and I'm a big Pixar fan, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the film.

The Tufts event was fun. We met up with the kids "bigs" at a bowling alley in Somerville near the Tufts campus. This place looked like it was right out of the '50s. No electronic scoring. No video games. Just bowling alleys, pool tables and lots of wood paneling. They even had a mechanical cash register! The kids had a great time, and A. and I enjoyed having someone else watching the kids so we could just relax and watch the action.

I've been reading a lot of the commentary in the papers and online about how the election shows how divided the country is. On one side is the blue states that voted for John Kerry, which include the west coast, the northeast and the upper midwest states. The other side is the red states that voted for President Bush, the south and the middle of the country. A lot of pundits are weighing in on the reason for the stark split - differences in morality, religion, etc. Many of them are saying that the blue states have a lot more in common with Canada than they do with the red states. So a lot of maps have been making the rounds showing the blue states merging with Canada and the red states forming a new country. The names are usually "The United States of Canada" and "Jesusland" or something like that.

While the maps are somewhat tongue in cheek, the point they make is interesting. It appears that a large part of the country is voting based on moral issues - abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage; where another part is voting based on economic and foreign policy issues - health insurance, jobs, terrorism and others. These certainly aren't exclusive: there are certainly people in blue states that vote for Bush and people in red states that vote for Kerry. But there is certainly a difference in what people consider to be the critical issues and what they think government should be doing.

One other issue is that some people seem to be woefully uninformed before they vote. One poll showed that three-quarters of Bush voters believed that Saddam Hussein had wepons of mass destruction and was involved in 9/11, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Would a lot of these people have changed their votes? I don't know, but I think you really need to have correct information before you vote.

I'd also be interested to see what would happen if the Democrats put up a more compelling candidate. As I heard Curt Schilling say on the radio this morning, a lot of people voted for either George Bush or the guy who wasn't George Bush (including me). John Kerry just didn't do it for a lot of people. He wasn't inspiring, and he came across as aloof. The Democrats have to find someone who can get people excited, or they're going to have a hard time ever recapturing the White House.


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