This is kind of comforting, weirdly: a Republican arguing that we should vote for Kerry because Bush is an extremist caricature of a conservative. See, if Kerry’s elected, the Republicans will have to work out why Bush lost, and become more moderate. And Kerry’s going to have so much mess to clean up that he’s unlikely to be reelected, so in four years time a “good” Republican government will be elected. I heard someone argue this on Norwegian TV a while back: the best thing that could happen is that Bush is reelected, because that would cause a second civil war in the US and you’d have a chance for a real change in politics.

The libertarian writer Lew Rockwell has mischievously noted parallels between Bush and Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II: both gained office as a result of family connections, both initiated an unnecessary war that shattered their countries’ budgets. Lenin needed the calamitous reign of Nicholas II to create an opening for the Bolsheviks.

So if you’ve been anxious about the election, reloading that predictor of who’ll win most electoral votes based on current polling (it keeps tipping back and forth, I warn you) perhaps you can stem your anxiety. Or increase it: no matter what happens, it could get worse.

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