When I was a kid the results of an election were not known until the wee small hours of the morning or not even that soon, sometimes taking well into the next day as hand marked ballots had to be counted manually and there were no computers to help with national tabulations.
I remember catching the school bus on November 3, 1948 after hearing on the radio that Thomas Dewey had defeated incumbent Harry Truman for the presidency and got off the school bus that afternoon to find out after the count had finally been finished, Harry Truman had actually won.
Technology was in its infancy, polls were rudimentary, television was nonexistent in the rural parts of the nation and the media news industry was not the "on the scene, happening now"
coverage the modern public has gotten used to and now basically takes for granted.
In fact, there is a famous picture of Harry Truman holding up the front page of the November 3, 1948 Chicago Tribune with the bold banner “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.”
Sounds pretty primitive by today's standards, or does it? Are the polls, computer generated surveys, exit polling and the other sophisticated sample taking really capable of accurately predicting the outcome of a presidential election?
It would seem that in most instances they are, but this past election, anomaly, overconfidence or whatever, most of the polls got it wrong, real wrong, leaving tons of unpopped balloons, unignited fireworks, thousands of half uncorked champagne bottles and egg faced talking heads by the dozens.
Now I admit that I have never completely allowed myself to totally enter the modern world, I still love working cattle with horses, fishing with worms, wood fires and scratch baking and many of my attitudes are fostered by these tastes, but I'll have to admit that I love it when machines are unable to predict the behavior of human beings.
I love it when, after all the computer-generated facts about the extent of injuries, the roster for the day, weather conditions, home field advantage and all the other facts the sportscasters have at their fingertips have been taken into consideration, the unpredictable human element enters and the football game goes to the underdog.
Human beings are individuals, not robots and their behavior, in so far as choice and performance should not be so predictable.
Rising to an occasion or changing your mind in a voting booth, making life's choices should be based on one person's preferences and whims and as unpredictable as a puff of wind.
The more predictable we become the more sheep like we become as political parties and commercial businesses see patterns developing and aim the crux of their advertising toward appealing to our predictable tastes leaving out the parts they know we won't like.
I refuse to be lumped into a group of people who never kick over the traces, never take a hard turn or make a last-minute decision or can be counted on doing exactly what convention predicts I'm going to do.
The rural terrain and hilly topography we live in favors pickup trucks and four-wheel drive SUVs and for the last 20 years or so we have bought the same brand.
We've been happy with the brand and when I got ready to buy a new pickup, the conventional thinking would predict that I'd buy the same.
I went in a completely different direction.
Because I wanted to.
Long live independent thinking.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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