Sunday, August 31, 2008

On the American Voter

Heres something I don't do very often. Usually I'm pretty positive about the future of our county - but man there have been some things that have caused me either to worry or to feel like ripping my hair out.

A list of grievances:

A. I'm sitting here watching a Frank Luntz campaign focus group on CSPAN. The general consensus among voters are that both candidates "don't offer specifics" about social security. He then proceeds to play several clips of Obama and McCain talking specifically about social security making them all look like the idiots that they are. In this moment in time - IT HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER TO FIND OUT A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES STAND ON A SPECIFIC ISSUE. Both candidates (hell, even third party candidates) have exhaustive sections on nearly every issue important to most voters on their websites just a click away. It reminds me of Clinton voters who criticized Obama for not "offering specifics" when he had a several hundred page pdf file of his specific policies available for free download on his website. Did these people expect him to read all those pages at every campaign stop for seven hours straight? Have voters gotten so lazy that they expect to be force fed all the information they "need" to make a fucking decision?

B. While we're on that topic - Who the fuck are these undecided voters? On many important issues McCain and Obama offer a stark contrast. They've run very different campaigns, come from very different backgrounds and by all accounts would appoint very different individuals to serve in their administrations (and on the supreme court~!!!). Are these people so uninformed that they're unaware of these differences? Do they just like how it feels to say "I'm undecided" as if deciding between McCain or Obama will force them to forfeit some measure of intellectual integrity?

Now I have great respect for folks who say "none of the above" and support a third party candidate - at least they have ideals (I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos) and from the standpoint of a staunch libertarian a McCain/Obama matchup may not offer that much of a choice - but most "undecideds" aren't third party folks - they usually lean in a Liberal or Conservative direction. Are these people just too cowardly to take ownership of the consequences of their preferred candidate losing? After all "undecided" voters have no sense of responsibility to give their time or their money to affect the outcome of an election. I should know, you won't see me volunteering for Amanda Fritz or Charles Lewis - then again, they have just a LITTLE more in common than McCain and Obama do. That being said Republicans are now flaunting Sarah Palin's experience as the mayor of a town with 6,000 people so who knows, the next vice president may come from Portland City Council - maybe I need to go to some candidate forums.

C. I was listening to KPOJ today and heard a supposed progressive claim that Hurricane Gustav is proof that "God is a Liberal". First of all, this incident in the Gulf Coast may prove to be a great opportunity for Republicans - but secondly and most importantly people have died as a result of this storm. Families will lose their homes and an entire community will be at the mercy of the insurance industry. Has partisanship really caused liberals (surely this guy that called in isn't the only democrat thinking this) to become like the James Dobsons of this earth? It was only weeks ago that James Dobson encouraged focus on the family members to pray for rain during Obama's speech - remember how funny we all said that was? Guys?

In retrospect, this was probably a mistake. At the very least it was poorly written. Offering their one sentence response to Sarah Palin voters just offered up "Refreshing", "Good looking" and "Fighter". I need to avoid CSPAN after 10 PM or so.

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