In professional football, there was a time when it was considered unsportsmanlike to run up a score against an opponent. Once victory in a game was assured, a coach would pull the first string off the field and send in the bench-warmers to get some experience while running out the clock.
But that was a long time ago, and this ain't football--Victory on Election Day is by no means assured.
On the one hand, national and state polls show that Gov. Mitt Romney has gained ground on President Barack Obama since their first debate several weeks ago. The administration's disgraceful response to the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department information specialist Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Ty Woods in Libya--which Obama made worse by referring to their deaths as "bumps in the road"--has caused even some of his previous supporters to question his agenda and his judgment. Moreover, as Daniel Greenfield wrote recently, many voters are just plain tired of being fed an endless stream of Obama's empty slogans.
Furthermore, as William LaJeunesse explained in a Fox News article on Thursday, Obama's recent statement on national TV in favor of a semi-automatic firearm ban (and, possibly, restrictions on handguns) could come back to haunt him when the votes are counted in eight battleground states--Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin--in which two million people have hunting licenses. And in Wisconsin, only yesterday, gun owners celebrated the one-year anniversary of their state's Right-to-Carry law, which will help to remind them of what's at stake on Tuesday. New York City's anti-gun mayor, Michael Bloomberg, didn't help Obama among Second Amendment supporters by endorsing him for president earlier this week.
On the other hand, the polls that show Gov. Romney ahead show him only slightly ahead, and in only some of the "battleground" states. And for every political professional and amateur fortune-teller on the internet who is speculating that Gov. Romney has this or that advantage going into the home stretch, there's another who is confidently explaining how early voters, independents, Hispanics, women, storm victims, or some other subset of the voting public will keep Obama in the White House another four years.
The reality is, for reasons that are difficult to understand, this election--which on the basis of his performance and his ideology President Obama ought to lose by an unprecedented margin--is still too close to call.
No one should have any illusions going forward. Victory on Tuesday may go to those who are on the right side of the issues facing the country, but victory will not be theirs for that reason alone. Victory always goes to those who, when the time for talking is done, finish the job by going to the polls and casting their votes, one American at a time. This election can be won, but it won't be won by accident.
With Election Day here, it's time to focus on our mission. It's certainly about winning, but on top of that, it's also about running up the score to send a message.
The message is that America is, and intends to remain, without apology, the greatest country on Earth. That presidential campaigns that are profane and deliberately vulgar are beneath our dignity. That a president and vice-president who, to distract voters from their mistakes, wage juvenile name-calling attacks against decent, polite, upstanding men like Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan don't deserve to be entrusted with any public office, let alone the nation's highest. That the murders of four Americans by America-haters overseas are not going to be written off and forgotten as "bumps in the road." And that the things that have made America great are not going to be given up, taken away, or dismantled on our watch. If anything, they are going to be reaffirmed.
Vote on Tuesday, November 6!