If Only White Men Voted

BuzzFeed Politics published some interesting electoral maps, including these:

 

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  1. Very interesting. This is like alternate history stuff, a subject I always found interesting in the SF genre. But, as Steven King made clear in his last novel, “11/22/63″, you can’t change just one factor and then accurately predict the ramifications of it. It’s the butterfly effect. If those crucial legislative actions had not occurred, I would like to think the effects would have been so deleterious to the country that some other processes would have ameliorated their lack. But, who knows? Horrendous things are possible, aren’t they? The USSR, Nazi Germany, North Korea. Makes me want to vote all over again. :smile:

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    • King Beauregard

       /  November 11, 2012

      Hey, I can actually make an Armistice-Day-appropriate observation! I sometimes call World War One “The War of the Baloney Sandwich”, because the whole thing could have been defused with a baloney sandwich.

      You see, back in the day, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was run by Emperor Franz Josef, a massive tool who didn’t care how oppressed the various peoples under his control were. But the heir apparent was one Archduke Ferdinand, who had visions of greater liberties for the various peoples, and who even once drew up a map of a proposed United States of Greater Austria. He saw that the world was changing, and ruling with an iron fist was no longer the way to go.

      However, certain Serbians got it into their heads that it would be a good idea to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand, so they crossed the border into the empire and stationed themselves in Sarajevo. Well, these were Inspector Clouseau-grade assassins. The first group of assassins threw a bomb at Ferdinand’s car; it bounced off the car and into a crowd, where it hurt some bystanders. Ferdinand stopped the car to help, because he was a pretty good guy. The would-be assassins panicked, and jumped into the river to either escape or drown themselves; but since it hadn’t rained in a while, the water was maybe only knee deep. So they chomped down on their cyanide pills, which didn’t work, and just gave them stomach aches. Archduke Ferdinand, meanwhile, went on to deliver a speech in downtown Sarajevo.

      That left Gavrilo Princip, who was stationed elsewhere during the bombing attempt. He heard about the attempt’s failure, and decided to get lunch at a cafe. As he was eating, who should drive around the corner but Archduke Ferdinand, done with his speech and ready to go home. The car had made a wrong turn; the driver tried to reverse the car, the car stalled, and while the driver was trying to start the car, Princip (a notoriously bad shot) was able to just walk up to the car and shoot Archduke Ferdinand.

      Well, we all know what happened next: Austria pinned it on Serbia and trumped it up into an excuse for invasion, Austria and Serbia both enlisted all their allies (the major colonial powers) to slug it out, and because everyone felt they were just defending themselves, there was really no good point at which to decide that the war’s aims had been achieved, until one side or the other was too exhausted to fight any longer.

      But just imagine if you, possessing a time machine, could have stood there on Franzjosefstrasse, handing out free baloney sandwiches when Princip was feeling a mite peckish. What might have changed? Well, Archduke Ferdinand would have taken the throne and granted much greater autonomy to the ethnic minorities in his empire. The Balkans most likely wouldn’t have been a permanently peaceful place, but the conflicts there might not have spilled out to the rest of the world. And while wars between the various great powers were inevitable, maybe they wouldn’t have been all-encompassing wars that touched every continent except Antarctica.

      All for want of a baloney sandwich.

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      • Never heard that detail before, King. Outstanding example! Don’t miss the Steven King novel if you haven’t read it – I predict you would really like it.

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        • King Beauregard

           /  November 11, 2012

          I subscribe to the theory that World War One proves the existence of time travel. That whole story I laid out is utterly ridiculous; if I’d put it into a work of fiction nobody would publish it. But it really happened, so I submit that there must be two teams of time travelers at work; here is how the timelines worked.

          Original timeline: Serbian marksmen assassinate Archduke Ferdinand efficiently. World War One happens.

          Variant timeline A: Idealists in the 22nd century travel back in time to 1914, give the original team of assassins the flu. Alternate team of much less competent assassins attempts to shoot Archduke Ferdinand, and fails miserably. Relative peace prevails. Time Travel Team A leave themselves an encrypted note carved on a stone tablet, instructing their future selves on what they have to do to preserve the peace they are so accustomed to (build a time machine, buy some flu, etc).

          Variant timeline B: Prime Directive-y time travelers in the 22nd century also decrypt the stone tablet and decide the original timeline must be restored. They are at odds with Time Travel Team 1, so they wait until Time Travel Team 1 has set up the new team of assassins, and Time Travel Team 2 arms the assassins with a bomb. The assassination works. Time Travel Team 2 carves a different stone tablet because time loop.

          Variant TImeline C: Time Travel Team 1 tells Archduke Ferdinand to put up the damn roof on his car. Bomb bounces off, relative peace, stone tablet, etc.

          Variant TImeline D: Time Travel Team 2 still provides a bomb, but also secretly gives Gavrilo Princip a gun and a little training. Assassination.

          Variant Timeline E: TTT1 provides Gavrilo with the best porn the future has to offer; he masturbates himself nearly blind. His shot misses (and I mean that on multiple levels).

          Variant Timeline F: TTT2 slips Ferdinand’s driver a confusing map and steals Gavrilo’s lunch. Assassination.

          We are clearly living in Variant Timeline F. This will keep going on until one team or the other accidentally reinstates the conditions of the original timeline, and the whole set of timelines will just keep looping.

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          • Exactly what I was thinking! And one theory is that all possible variations exist simultaneously in alternate universes. :roll:

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          • Oh, yeah? What happens if a Time Travel Team with a death wish travels back in time and literally pisses in the primordial soup? Huh? My guess is that Sarah Palin would be president under that scenario.

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  2. Note Oregon is blue in all the situations.

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