Nightmare in Purple, or Son of 2000

Last night I had an election year nightmare–hopefully not the first of a series. It was the Thursday after the US election and I was glumly watching the news about the ongoing recounts. On the little electoral maps that the networks all have, every state was purple–too close to call.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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14 Responses to Nightmare in Purple, or Son of 2000

  1. newguydave says:

    What did the electoral college do in you nightmare? For most people, knowing their popular vote can be overturned is a nightmare in itself.

    • JE says:

      Right: count me in that group. It hadn’t gotten that far in my dream; the Electoral College doesn’t actually meet until sometime in December–one of those fun facts about which I was blissfully ignorant before the electoral debacle of 2000.

      • newguydave says:

        I’ve never had nightmares about elections, but that probably has to do with Canadian elections being extremely short compared to what happens south of the border.

        Since moving to the US in Sept 2007, it seems that the news has been monopolized with first the primaries and now election coverage. Sheesh, how do you poor people do it? If the Gov’t of Canada ever tried to tie up so much of people’s time with politics, they’d get ousted, and we’d bring the Queen over as a substitute. At least she rarely makes the news. 😉

        • JE says:

          The elections have gotten longer every cycle for as long as I can remember. In ’68, Robert Kennedy decided to throw his hat in the ring only in March, and almost certainly would have won the nomination and the general election if he hadn’t been assassinated. That sort of late entry just wouldn’t be possible nowadays. I think much of that is due to money: candidates have to raise a lot to be competitive and to manage that they have to plan a long ways ahead of time.

          • Anonymous says:

            In the city of Haven (Simon R Green’s Hawk & Fisher series) campaigning is limited to one day (the lucky bastards). Anything longer would likely destroy the city.

            Jesse Ventura’s relatively late entry into the governor’s race is sometimes cited as one of the reasons he won. It didn’t give people time to grow bored and wander off.

          • JE says:

            I’d already fled St. Paul for the golden vistas of the Great Black Swamp when Jesse Ventura was elected, but I wouldn’t be surprised if novelty was a big part of his appeal.

            On the other hand, Barkley seems to be polling well in the Senate race this year. If the Reform party were targeting congressional districts instead of statewide offices, I bet they could increase their share of office holders. I’m not sure if that would be a good thing, but it would be interesting.

          • Anonymous says:

            Barkley has my vote for pretty much the same reason Ventura got a lot of votes–he’s a common sense kind of guy and I’m sick to death of the other two. I suspect he’ll do more damage to Franken than Coleman, but there you have it. It was good to have him in the debate, but none of the R or D campaign material I’ve received in the mail has mentioned him.

            I missed out on voting for Ventura, but I did get to enjoy the early part of his reign for a year. Aside from him getting pissy at Keillor, it was good.

            –Jeff Stehman

          • JE says:

            My sense of Minnesota politics way back in the 80s & 90s was that long-term dominance had made the DFL sloppy and entitled, but it wasn’t getting healthy competition from the Republicans (who tended to isolate centrist figures like Arne Carlson). The shock of a healthy third party might be long-term beneficial for the 2 major ones. Or kill one of them off; either way…

  2. peadarog says:

    You must be one of them socialist fellahs to be dreamin’ that way.

    • JE says:

      Well, I’m certainly to the left of Obama on most issues. Which makes it kind of funny when I hear McCain et al. fulminating against the ideological iniquities of Comrade Barack. I must be some kind of unreconstructed Trotskyite–and all this time I thought I was an old-school Minnesota DFLer. Live and learn be re-educated, I guess.

      • Anonymous says:

        Minnesota Trotskyite SF writers. Yeah, none of them around. 😉

        –Jeff Stehman

        • JE says:

          If the DFL is now Trotskyite then real Trotskyites must be something like the Red Scare from the Tick comics. Everything’s relative, I guess.

          • Anonymous says:

            I was thinking more of Brust and a few other members of the Scribblies. But since Obama is now a Marxist, I’m guessing Trotskyites are somewhere left of Pluto (and still claiming it’s a planet, no doubt).

            My gaming community is international, which makes US political discussions more comical. Despite some members actually being socialists or communists, accusations of a US politician being a radical leftist are still common.

            –Jeff Stehman

          • JE says:

            “Bolsheviks… IN SPA-A-A-ACE!” British title: “Kommistars!” Hm. There might be something in that: an alternate history where the USSR won the Space Race and hence the Cold War.

            I had some weird political conversations in Italy last summer. Some people whose economic opinions swung far left of mine had oddly old-fashioned attitudes toward ethnicity and race. Probably to plot people’s political/social opinions one would need not just a one-dimensional spectrum but some sort of 4th-dimensional space.

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