No. Not really. But the thing that's been lurking in a deep, dark corner in the back of my mind started appearing on the internet recently, emanating from the "lunatic fringe." The thing that is strange to me is that the thought first appeared to my mind circa mid-2004.
It feels strange to type this; the thing that has been lurking in a deep, dark corner in the back of my mind is something I don't actually believe will really happen. At least, I don't believe it anywhere but in that deep, dark corner in the back of my mind.
The idea that has been lurking in a deep, dark corner in the back of my mind is this: on November 4th, 2008, no polls will open. Or maybe, only some of them will open. Or perhaps they will close abruptly. Insert some value for incomplete/improper/invalid/non-existent election into the equation and that's what it is.
The thing that planted this in my head in the first place – four long years ago – was one of the main campaign slogans of our incumbent president: "can't switch horses in the middle of a race" (and many more folksy variants thereof.) Here was my thinking: I wrote back in 2004 that the president's real agenda is war without end. If you take this and draw out the above slogan to its logical conclusion, the so-called "horse race" is still going on, ergo we should "not switch horses." I just searched my own blog, and found that I actually wrote about this, how it irked me then, and how silly I thought it was. The entry was called "Horse Race."
A lot has happened since 2004. Many of the seeds of autocracy have been sewn into the fabric of our society; this process has been going on since the events of September 2001. No, I'm not suggesting (as so many other conspiracy theory nut-job types have) that those in power predicated the tragic events of September 11th; merely that they exploited it. Before 2004 we saw the Patriot act, the scapegoating of Muslims, Arabs, and many other groups that supposedly resemble Muslims and Arabs (even Sikhs! Madness!) Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, "Mission Accomplished", and the establishment of out-of-system prisons run by the military. Since 2004 we've seen warrantless wiretaps, government mining of domestic telephone call records, the establishment of a network of secret prisons, significant tightening of journalistic freedoms (followed by a lot of journalistic capitulation), senseless, mass arrests (think both major parties' political conventions, both in 2004 and 2008), I could go on. And now, just in the last few days we have the deployment of U.S. troops to... the U.S. and U.S. military spy satellites pointed at... the U.S. (Remember Real Genius and the "Crossbow"? Okay, maybe not that.)
So I don't actually believe that this is going to happen, or even anything resembling it. I do believe we've already ceded too many of the freedoms we should cherish and protect. I also think it will be irresistible for the next president (whomever that might be, even if it's the "Chosen One") to hold on to a lot of the newly endowed (or recently left unchecked) powers that the presidency has acquired. If it weren't for all of those things I mentioned above (and countless more I don't even bother to mention), the thing that has been lurking in a deep, dark corner in the back of my mind would have died long ago. It lives on though, albeit contained to the recesses of my psyche. I expect that will be where it stays until it finally dies on November 5th.
So you can't really call me a nut-job. Unless you want to.