One month.

The one basic question that faces all Americans in one month’s time: ‘Are you better off today than you were four years ago?’

In the end, that’s what it comes down to. Bread and butter win the election over foreign concerns. Do you have more money in your pocket? Do you even have money in your pocket? Do you still have your job? Do you have better health care? Do you still have health car? Are you paying lower taxes?

In the post-9/11 world, of course, there are a few new questions: do you feel safer now than you did in the immediate aftermath of September 2001? (I think it’s unfair to ask if you feel safer now than you did four years ago, because I doubt very many people do.) Do you feel safer with the Taleban no longer in power? Do you feel safer with Saddam no longer in power? How many of you have lost a loved one or know someone who have lost a loved one in Afghanistan or Iraq? How many of you sympathise with those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq–including those uncounted civilians?

We all know which side I’m pulling for here, but that’s not the point here. The point is that you have to vote for who you think will do the better job. And, in the end, you have to vote. I didn’t vote four years ago and although Massachusetts went securely for Gore, I still regret not having voted.

A month from now, if you’re American, vote. And pray that the predicted problems with electronic voting machines–why does no want to talk about this?–don’t happen.

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