Wait. It’s not what you think.
This may cast a shadow of doubt – for my five daily readers – on the politically sensationalist notion that there is a golden pool of undecided voters who have yet to be decisively plucked by either John McCain or Barack Obama. Oh trust me, the golden pool of undecided voters is there. But the field of pluckers is wide open.
Let me explain,
I live in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. As of today, Pollster.com has McCain ahead of Obama 55.4 to 39.8 here in my home state. Now, it’s quite clear from my previous blogs that I do not want McCain to win. However, I am not in love with Obama, I do not have a crush on Obama, nor am I engaged to Obama. Furthermore, I steadfastly believe in the necessity to progress our nation beyond a two-party system, which is anathema to democracy.
So, it would seem under this political equation that my well-considered vote is leaning toward Ralph Nader. He’s a third-party candidate. Of course, you wouldn’t know there were third party candidates from the mainstream media. Perhaps they’re bitter about 2000 as well and have made a pact not to discuss any presidential hopefuls other than BO and JM.
Most of us secretly know what will surprise many in the voter booth come November fourth. Lo and behold – there are more than two names on the ballot (Can’t speak for Oklahoma – when god was punishing me by making me live there in 2004, Nader was not included in the election in that state. I was pissed). Ralph Nader – Independent, Bob Barr – Libertarian, Chuck Baldwin – Constitutional, and looney tunes Cynthia McKinney for the Green Party. There are actually SIX presidential candidates! Six!
Of these second and third tier candidates, I would choose Nader. As a tireless founder of and campaigner for consumers’ rights, Nader has spent a life voraciously doing the right thing. While there is no saint of seat belts, my vote would at least heartily congratulate Nader for his selfless endeavors while at the same time giving a shot in the arm to a third-party system and avoiding any benefit to McCain. Win, win, win, no?
Texas will ultimately send its electoral college designates to the malfunctioned Republican Party. Though I had hoped Hispanic support for Obama could somehow miraculously turn Texas a whiter shade of pale blue, it’s not lookin’ good. It’s lookin’ bad. If it were a closer race, I would automatically vote Obama to help tip the scales. Well, it’s not a close race, so I should definitely vote Nader. But, I’m not sure I want to. I mean, I want to. But I also want to vote for Obama.
You’ve heard it a thousand plus a thousand times: this is a historic election. The first African-American president! He has good character. He has reasoned judgment; he is calm. He is not showing us any of the daddy issues that led Clinton and Bush to professional baffoonery. Sure, growing up a black man in a white family has left him in search of a few things, but a black wife and black children have largely served a salve for that wound. Basically, Barack deserves my vote as well.
BUT, I have a degree in government. I do not believe political science is an oxymoron. I highly prioritize decisions and opinions that will strengthen democracy and am firmly of the idea that a multi-party system would do so.
My heart wants to participate in the history, my head wants to add a brick to our democratic institution. I am undecided.
And I believe that all the rest of the undecideds swimming in this glorious pond of uncertainty are of the same persuasion as I in that they are not simply choosing between Obama and McCain. They are choosing between:
- Obama and Nader
- Obama and not voting
- Nader and not voting
- McCain and Barr
- McCain and not voting
- Nader and Barr
- Barr and not voting
**I know I left out Baldwin and McKinney. I mean, they got to be joking. For reals.
And the only people really grappling over Obama or McCain are the Hillary PUMA freaks who are deciding between doing the right thing (Obama) and revenge voting (McCain) – either way, their numbers have dwindled and they are no longer a factor in this election.
Obama and McCain are completely different on policy, completely different in demeanor, age, race, party, background, wealth and they have fairly different records. There is no one choosing between them. Not even Sam-The-Joe-Uninformed-Plumber/Fibber. The biggest challenge Obama and McCain have now – this late into the race – is convincing their supporters to actually suffer the inconvenience of voting.
What an unAmerican thing to say!! That someone would somehow ignore the sacrifice of lives necessary for our right to vote!?
Say hello to the majority of the eligible electorate. I call it the “get-off-the-couch” vote. And I hear there are some wicked awesome video games literally tethering their “eligible voter” players to the console or keyboard or whatever the hell the jail-pale birds use these days. How insightful of the Obama campaign to purchase ad space on 18 online computer games.
The Obama team understands they’re no longer running against John McCain, they’re running against that un-cast vote belonging to the eligible-yet busy, distracted and unconcerned. McCain is shouting a lot of hoopla about fighting and being a fighter and having to fight, so I think he gets it just a little as well.
I do hope mainstream media decides to kill off this fictitious character Independent-Undecided Voter. We’re not sitting on the edge of our seats anymore. We’re either unusually angry or cautiously excited. And for campaigns and news organizations to pretend the race is about Obama and McCain and not the channel-surfers and workaholics and unmotivateds, is increasing my perturbation and decreasing my MSM intake. Though, as a political scientist, I love all the recent rise of awesome op-eds declaring what a long-shot McCain is. If only I could figure out who to vote for…