November 01, 2012
Make it clear. "Kids get a much better sense of what you want if you use the term 'taking turns,'" says Karp. That's because they've learned to take turns in infancy in babbled 'conversation' with caregivers, he says. Explain that toys work the same way – everyone gets a turn.
Webmd.com, quoting Harvey Karp, MD, the author of The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old.
So, the other night, I was watching the 3,423,544nth commercial for the presidential candidates, and I said to myself: You know what, I used to care about this, but I don't care anymore.
Right now, I am just saturated: I've been dunked repeatedly into the vat of ugly froth that is this presidential campaign – I have been just absolutely soaked in it – and now I simply don't care: I just want to come up for air.
I just want it to be over. I'm fine with either the socialist Muslim undercover al Qaeda operative who just last week signed an executive order forbidding a kind-hearted Donald Trump from giving $5 million to the Blind Orphan Fund for Inner-City Kids; or, conversely, I'm also fine with electing a man who once tied a helpless dog to the back of his car and drug it across the country simply because he enjoys the smell of fur burning on pavement – the murderer and misogynist who will, on the morning of the day he takes office, lock all women up in prison labor camps and force them to bear children.
At this point, either of those two men seems like a fine choice to me.
Like I said: I just want it to be over.
Right now I'm simply looking forward to a time when everyone will stop their whining and complaining and their accusations.
Now, the other night, I saw something that disturbed me at first, but that then gave me a great idea, which subsequently brought me overwhelming calm.
I was sitting on my couch watching CNN's John King, the network's chief national correspondent. He was showing the swing states using a touch screen graphic of movable states. He was showing the states that Obama was expected to win and the states Romney was supposed to win.
And I was sitting there listening to him run through all of the possible scenarios, thinking: Well, it all seems very, very close from what I can tell, and a lot can happen in a week and a half – so who knows who will win?
While watching him run through the various scenarios, I delighted in the following thought: At this point, we can't know anything about the winner with certainty, but one thing we do know with certainty right now is this: After Tuesday, Nov. 6, it will all finally be over.
Or, at least, if this election is a real barnburner, and it all comes down to recounts in Colorado and Ohio, then maybe it will be over a few days after Tuesday, Nov. 6.
John King said, "It could be Colorado that keeps us up late into the night."
You know, it could be late before the winner is known because it's close, all the votes have to be tabulated, and this year not a single electoral vote is meaningless.
But, regardless, once all the votes are counted, no matter how they come out – well, at least it will finally all be over once and for all.
So that's what I was thinking …
But, then, right as I got that thought out, John King began moving his touch screen states from under one column to another again, and he said something like this …
"Now, here is a really interesting scenario and a real possibility at this point. If [these states go for Romney, and these states go for Obama], then that gives Obama 269 electoral votes and it gives Mitt Romney… also 269 votes. It would be a tie."
And I had never heard of anything like that before. That was completely outside my worldview. You mean we could go thorough all this – this two-year-long election process – and hand out all the electoral votes, and still come up with a tie.
I mean, I knew the Electoral College system was messed up – but how can you have a tie.
I was absolutely dumbfounded. When I heard that, I thought: So, you mean, no one even thought to have an odd number of total votes in the Electoral College? This is a system where you elect the president of the United States of America and they can't even come up with a system that won't result in a tie.
I mean, even American Idol, Toddlers & Tiaras and the Miss America Pageant don't have ties.
And it gets even crazier. Do you know, according to the Constitution, how a tie is supposed to be settled? Part 4, section 22 of the Constitution, states that, in the case of a tie, the country "shall engage in a civil war between the red states and the blue states
for the purpose of determining a winner."
A civil war! Brother against brother. What the heck kind of process is that?
OK, so I made up that last part about the civil war. In reality, the county will be divided up into 12 districts and, the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the 12 districts to fight to the death on live television with only their wits to protect them. So, all that's left at that point is to hope you end up with Katniss fighting for your side.
No, I don't know what they do. It's probably mentioned somewhere in the Constitution, but who ever knows what the heck the Constitution is trying to say? If you notice, no one, even the smartest judges in the land, can ever agree on what it says, because our founding fathers, for some reason I'm still not clear on, decided to write the Constitution in old-timey English using 50-cent words that no one can understand, rather than having the forethought to put it in plain English so everyone could understand it.
Even in the parts of the Constitution that should be really easy, they go out of their way to make it complicated. Here's how the Constitution starts "Four score and seven years ago …"
Do you know what that means? Well, neither did I but I looked it up and guess what? It means 87. Look, if you mean 87, just say 87. How hard is that?
Another part of the Constitution is called the "Emancipation Proclamation." They should have just titled that part "And we're freeing the slaves." That way everyone could have understood exactly what it meant and there wouldn't have had to be a giant civil war to figure out what that part of the Constitution was saying.
But no, the Constitution is all, "Henceforth, so fore with, this assemblage of beings shall procure but not enunciate the jurisdiction, but not the aforesaid applications of the powers vested in the bifurcated houses. …"
Who knows what all that means? No one I know. (I think it's because our country's four fathers – Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington – wanted to make it sound important, just like, if you're writing a letter to the governor you want to put a lot of big words in it,)
Anyway, getting back to giant civil wars, I'm not sure that we want another one right now. So I have, in my wisdom, come up with a very simple solution for a tie....continued on page 2