Political “Crunch” Time

The 2008 US presidential election finally arrives at Crunchable.

Unless you’re living in a cave — and maybe even if you are — you are undoubtedly aware that there’s a little election going on here in the United States. Somewhere amidst the imploding economy, the fighting over wars, the ailing health care system, the lipsticked pigs and all the flipping and flopping, we Americans will decide in the next six weeks or so which of these audaciously hopeful maverick candidates should lead our nation.

And yet, over here at Crunchable we’ve been writing about things like air mattresses and basement clutter. During this whole hugely significant election year, we’ve published just one political article.

That hasn’t exactly been by design, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. Crunchable has always been about telling stories that matter personally — those that cross over into public life, as well as the many others that do not.

This site was born just weeks after the towers fell and the Pentagon burned, even as we struggled to find some emotional meaning in our loss and vulnerability and as our leaders grasped for political and military responses. At that time, Crunchable founder Chris Klimas wrote:

There’s a question that some people have been asking lately: How, with all the tumult surrounding the terrorist attacks on the U.S., can we talk of silly things? How can we write words that have nothing at all to do with airliners or anthrax?

The answer is as obvious as the moon. There have been enormous holes left behind by the terrorist acts and their aftermath. And these holes must not be filled with fear and hate — what kind of world would we live in if there was no longer any room for stories about miniature golf or lemon meringue pies?

So I still believe it’s wonderful that we can celebrate things like Scrabble games and TV shows here, carving out article-sized oases from the political screaming all around us.

That said, Crunchable also has a strong tradition of political writing. Within the site’s first year (back in August 2002, before the war in Iraq), writer Jonathan Ratican gave us this remarkably prescient observation:

[T]he likelihood is that Iraq is also not as far along in its development of weapons as Bush administration officials would like us to believe.

Saddam most certainly wants them, but all the evidence seems to indicate that he has few, if any of the ingredients necessary to construct them. At best estimate, UNSCOM officials believe he may have some ingredients for chemical weapons (though none yet assembled), a few left-over Scud missiles, and a guy in a tree with a slingshot.

(Jonathan’s track record in that article is pretty amazing, actually. He also wrote: “Saddam’s army is not likely to come running into our arms in surrender the way they did 10 years ago.” Also: “Saddam, as brutal and dictatorial as he is, has been the only source of unity and stability in the country for more than 20 years. In his absence, the country would likely become divided, creating a potentially infinite number of factions [...]“)

More recently, Dennis Wilson’s “The Haunted Song” has humanized the geo-political, economic and social realities of Mozambique through the prism of — of all things — rap music. Crunchable also published a slew of articles about the 2004 presidential race and a few earlier contests, and we’ll start featuring those in “this week in the archives” up through Election Day. We start this week with Jonathan’s August 2002 take on women in politics who were taking positions that weren’t all that progressive. (Sound familiar?)

The main reason we’ve had so few political articles this year is simply that our two or three most political writers have been busy with their lives, so they haven’t had loads of spare time to write for free.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t chime in.

This is an open invitation to write about this election for Crunchable. Write about your views, or about your struggle to form them. Be funny or thoughtful or persuasive or even angry — just don’t be vicious, and aim for around 400 to 600 words. After you check out our Writers’ Agreement, send your submissions to eds@crunchable.net

On Nov. 4, we face one of our nation’s biggest decisions. Tell us what you think about that.

Article © 2008 by Michael Duck