Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
By the time you read this, let's hope, it will be over. We put that "hope" in there to pour one out for our homies lost in The Battle of Hanging Chad in Election 2000, when over a hundred million votes and who would hold the most powerful office in the world came down to a handful of nimrods who couldn't fully push a stylus through a piece of paper in Florida. We love the Redneck Rivera, Florida, but don't screw this up for us this time. Seriously.
No matter how it all turns out, it's done for another year. All the political signs on their way to be used as insulation for chicken coops as God intended, all the attack ads that made life like the world's longest spookhouse henceforth seen only by political science students, all the polling places gone back to being schools and churches and quiet firehouses where the company Dalmatian sleeps on the seat of the ladder truck, waiting for the bell. The Observer can't quite say good riddance to it all. Every four years, we get to experience the great spectacle of Americans actually caring for a moment about politics, as beautiful, in its way, as wildebeest migrations on the African savanna, or a capybara being slowly swallowed by an anaconda. Can you tell from that crack about the anaconda that The Observer is well and truly done with Election 2016?
Don't let us bring you down, Dear Voter, especially when Dorito Mussolini just lost the presidential election, thus denying a hair-trigger demagogue with authoritarian fascist tendencies command of a $500 billion per year military, an electronic surveillance state that can know in 10 keystrokes or less what time you took a deuce this morning, and enough nukes to turn Earth into a lifeless cinder ... we hope. Outlook unclear, our Magic 8-Ball says, try again later. As we write this, it's still all up to you, America. Hope you made the right decision.
If it goes the way we pray, this country (and probably the world) will have done a rail grind on the edge of a very dark abyss. No matter who wins, we no longer get to smugly say, "It can't happen here," because it has happened here now. We further know that if a large portion of this country doesn't do something to turn the ship away from the iceberg of enmity, it's going to happen again and again until it happens all the way. And then you've got Hitler with access to surveillance satellites, drone warfare and stealth bombers.
This is assuming a lot, of course, writing this as The Observer is on the morning of Election Day, the sky outside our window as gray as a wool overcoat. It assumes that, as you read this, we are not all spending our first day in Orangemerica, the haters vindicated and jubilant; the chants for a beeyouteeful wahl ringing in the streets; the 10 percenters on the march under their confusing flourish of American and Confederate flags; the talk of Dorito's political opponent being jailed or worse rising up from the haymows and little towns like a craven prayer; all the decent, hardworking, desperate people who supported him in the hope he will bring back their job on the factory floor not yet knowing they've been bamboozled by the best. From the safety or wreck of tomorrow, Dear Reader, witness The Observer's fear this Election Day morning, as we sit here knowing the state we love will cleave to a sexist, racist, barely coherent Vladimir Putin fanboy by 15 percentage points or more.
Even if the vision visited upon us by The Ghost of Election Day Future doesn't come to pass, we worry strange creatures have been loosed from chaos to stalk the land for years, plotting and scheming until they find someone smarter, less rash, more polished, less flawed, but with all the same terrible marbles rolling around in his head. But we'll worry about that later. Right now, we're thinking about Wednesday. Good luck, America. We'll see who you are tomorrow.
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