This past weekend on one of the Sunday Pundit shows I heard one of the "Talking Heads" (and I mean the panel, not the band) ask how, this late in the day anyone could still be undecided. They were discussing one of the latest polls that showed that may of the people that voted in the recent primary had decided upon whom they wanted to vote at the last minute.
The commentator's logic was something like: "How can anyone, this late in the game, really not know who they want to vote for?" And I suppose that in any previous year that would be a valid question. Unfortunately, this isn't any other year. This isn't any other election.
This is Florida 2000 on a nation-wide scale. We have a Democratic party which is so evenly split against itself that it is in danger of losing an un-losable election.
We have a Republican candidate who is running on a platform made-up largely of "more of the same" policies in a year when the incumbent of his party is almost historically unpopular, who started an ill-advised grossly expensive and hugely divisive war. The economy is bad and getting worse, the dollar is an international joke; American popularity worldwide is practically non-existent; in short, if ever there was an election that should be change-driven, this is it!
Throw that into the pot and let it simmer a while. Now, spice it up with a popular press that has decided that it is more Jimmy the Greek and less Edward R. Murrow and there is no wonder that people are going to the polls undecided. I must admit that I am torn myself.
The least disingenuous person in the race is the one that I am least likely to vote for anyway. With the Republican (presumptive) candidate at least you know where he stands. He really is serious about continuing the Bush War and Economic policies that have worked so well for the last eight years. (Pardon me here while I splutter with sarcasm, disbelief, and derision.)
Neither of the likely Democratic candidates has had a position that they have felt strongly enough about to hold it the entire race. They both have changed their minds on whether large state wins should count more than sheer number of elected delegates or popular votes as a method of securing the nomination. They have both changed their opinions as the wind blows. (Which ever benefits them at the moment… that is what they want!)
One has a campaign spokesperson that calls the other a monster and it is a huge deal. The other has a campaign spokesperson that makes racist and sexist comments and it is no biggie… One feels they are being picked on by the media, the other says they're overreacting. The media turns their gaze the other and they think all the sudden the media is being unfair!
If there was any real and qualified third party in this country, I would vote for it! (That's the advantage of being an unaligned voter.) Unfortunately, a protest vote this year would be stupid in the extreme. (That's the disadvantage of being an unaligned voter.)
Children! Unless you want to watch the next four years from the sidelines, you need to play nice! Start talking about the issues, quit squabbling with each other! (Don't make me pull this election over and come back there to separate you two!) Just let us know how you plan to fix what the idiot who currently holds the job has broken. You can't expect to get the job if your entire interview is pointing at the other guy and calling him a doo-doo head!
Wherever you are today, I hope you'll get active in your local politics… all politics is local politics.
Don Bergquist – March 13, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA