Egerton Chang, Contributor
The question we all ask ourselves more than once
Is how do we live a good and respectable life
A question of everlasting importance to all humanity
A debate that has lingered on without so much as
A truly precise and unequivocal answer or formula
That leads us to where we want to go in this crucial area
I guess you can think of it as more of a puzzle and a quest
In reality, how best should we lead our lives?
While we are still alive able to make life-altering decisions
"A good man is a good man, whether in this church,
Or out of it," Brigham Young wrote sometime ago
Which simply means good men anywhere in the world
Those men who value honour, decency and conviction
Are to be found anywhere and at anytime
Nearly any and every situation we will find ourselves in
Yet the number of good men today the number itself
Of good men and women may have waned or is declining
But should not cause us much distress, for good people are still around
They have not vanished utterly from this imperfect world
Where evil acts of mankind are done throughout
Without much hindrance or delay, yet acts of good
Which includes mercy, justice and love have not faded away
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's
Character, give him power," the words of President Abraham Lincoln
You can always tell who the good people are in society
The men and women who rose from mainly irrelevance and difficulty
To do the many acts and gain recognition for what few could do
These good people attained true greatness and immortality
Or were closer than many ever were to those exalted positions
Shown when truly good people are given power over their peers
They fought for them in any way, shape or form feasible at the time
To do the necessary but never easy things needed or required of them
While being honourable and lawful in surely almost every respect
Even when facing their most fervent and dreaded opponents
There is nearly no discernible thing between a good man and woman
And the ordinary person as that person or persons are the ones
Who, over time and because of their efforts, become extraordinary
True, not everyone is born decent and upright
And lives what we consider or think of as a good life
As this world and life we lead rarely permit us to do so
For we are forced to do and make decisions we usually loathe
And yet occasionally some do these things willingly
In any situation we find ourselves in at any point in our lives
The seemingly noteworthy and highly regarded good life
Is or maybe placed out of our grasp, no matter what
And all that we really have left is to do or make decisions
Which concern our survival and to live as best we can.
OBAMA: POTHOLE OR CAR WRECK?
Which brings me to Obama, who may be leading the good life and may even, one day, be considered a great man.
In my letter to the editor of this newspaper emailed too late for publication on November 6, 2012, I wrote:
"I am writing this letter on the day before the US election day.
"I know I may be putting my foot in my mouth, but I feel confident enough to write this letter.
"When all is said and done, perhaps it will be Obama's handling of Hurricane Sandy that turned it into a positive 'October Surprise' and puts him over the top by the extra percentage point needed to ensure victory.
"In my column titled 'Obama: pothole or car wreck?' published Sunday, October 21, 2012, I stated:
"My prediction is for a worst-case scenario of Obama 281, Romney 257. My more likely scenario flips Virginia back to the Obama camp, making it a 294 to 244 race.
"If anything, as I now see it, the Electoral College may give Obama more, not less. Therefore, President Obama's poor first debate performance was just a pothole and not a car wreck."
Yes, it was just a pothole. At first glance, Obama's campaign may have seemed as if it was in panic mode after the first debate. Nevertheless, in retrospect, Obama can truly say he was in full control of the ship of state.
Actually, Mitt forgot about the 47 per cent and completed only 53 per cent of the race.
And I was correct, as right as the most celebrated analyst or pundit, especially as my initial forecast was made almost three weeks before the actual elections. Obama did indeed garner more than 294 electoral votes and, in fact, ended with 332.
Rasmussen Reports was wrong on six of the nine swing-state polls, and the NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College poll incorrectly predicted that Obama would win North Carolina, while the CBS/Quinnipiac University poll incorrectly showed Obama losing Colorado.
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight fame analysed about two dozen of the top polling firms that ran multiple surveys in the last three weeks of the campaign and ranked the pollsters based on their accuracy: Gallup came dead last, with an average error of 7.2 points compared to the actual results. Mason-Dixon was off by 5.4 points, while Rasmussen was wrong by 4.2 points.
The four most accurate and the four worst are showcased below:
NATE SILVER: POLLSTER ACCURACY AND BIAS IN 2012:
|Pollster||# Polls||Ave. Error||Bias|
|IBD / TIPP||11||0.9||R +0.1|
|Google Consumer Surveys||12||1.6||R +1.0|
|Rand Corp||17||1.8||D +1.5|
|Rasmussen Reports||60||4.2||R +3.7|
|American Research Group||9||4.5||R +4.5|
Of note is that of the 23 pollsters, all but four had Republican biases.
BY THE WAY
The excerpt from 'The Good Life' was not taken from the works of some renowned scholar or thinker. It was written by my son, also named Egerton. I don't normally review the works of my children, but thought it outstanding enough, in this case, to highlight it. What do you think?
Egerton Chang is a businessman. Email feedback to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.