17
Oct
08

I’m An Undecided Voter

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?

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!?

Yes.

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…

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7 Responses to “I’m An Undecided Voter”


  1. 1 Maria
    October 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Meredith,

    I’m fairly new to the political “scene”. I’m just recently learning what the political process is all about and this election has truly taught me what an important role politics plays in our everyday lives. I am a completely different person than I was just 4 years ago. I can’t remember if I told you, but I voted for Bush, Jr. in the last 2 elections. Yes, I’m still kicking myself over those 2 stupid decisions. I was one of those ignorant, uninformed voters. Not as bad as those nutty right wing Repubs who won’t vote for someone based on the color of someone’s skin, yet will vote for someone who’s running mate is awaiting the Rapture. Back then, I was still young, and thought politics was boring, a waste of time and really didn’t affect me personally. The past 8 years of Baby Bush have taught me more than I ever imagined. Not only have I become an atheist (of course this didn’t happen overnight) and freethinker (I don’t need to know WJWD to live a moral existence), but I am learning and educating myself on politics. I still feel like I know almost nothing, but I’m making an attempt. As you know, I’ll be going back to school in January and hope to eventually get a degree in Anthropology and find a career I enjoy and start making a difference in our society.

    While I understand your position and realize that Texas will probably always go to the Republicans, I’m still going to vote for Barack Obama. I’ve come to find him inspirational and and do agree on most of his issues. You just never know what will happen and since this is such a different election from those in the past, Texas could just get close. Who knows? (Yeah, right!) Anyway, I definitely think that the electoral college should be done away with and an opporunity given to additional candidates who could really make a difference for our country.

    I will end by saying that I am scared to death that McCain and Palin will win this election. Look what happened in the last 2. Hell! Look how dirty and nasty their campaign has gotten. They have to pull out everything, including the kitchen sink because they can’t seem to find any skeletons in Obama’s closet. I truly hope that those voters in the swing states, who want to make history and put Obama in the White House, will get out and vote…and don’t wait until election day. Go vote early! We need to put these 2 RepuliCAN’Ts where they belong – on the front porch rocking chair and in Alaska on the bridge to nowhere. Thanks, but no thanks McSame and Pain. I’ve had enough!

  2. October 17, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    maria – i hear you, i do. i feel what you say, but i feel that outside of any insane development, obama will win. i am not scared mccain will win – though i would be if i thought he actually had a chance. i am torn and will likely remain so until just before the election… although i plan on writing an endorsement and perhaps justification for my final decision.

  3. 3 pkel
    October 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    you are a joke to the American people… go ahead and vote for the Socialist Obama and run our country into the ground… Obama’s tax proposal is to lower taxes on 95% of “working” Americans… what he fails to tell anyone is that 32% of “working” American’s DO NOT pay taxes… do the math!… yet, they will receive tax refunds… WHAT!!!???… ANYWAY, a vote for Nader is a wasted vote… why would you vote for someone that has absolutely no chance at all, ever, of winning the presidential race?.. voting is the most precious right we have as Americans and you are going to waste it… stop blindly blaming Bush for everything, look up facts before you start making decisions… click on the link below and watch carefully how the economy has slowly been tanking… and the Democrats are the guiltiest of all… watch it!

    http://www.jibjab.com/view/253615

  4. October 19, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    pkel – i would suggest you stop speaking for the American people as you will most likely find yourself in the minority nov. 4. and in disagreement with tens of millions of americans. dissent and debate is part of the soul of america.

    mccain would give most businesses a tax cut – a large percentage of whom do not pay taxes due to the influence of their lobbyists, who have managed to have loophole after loophole written into law. apparently, i am not the only one who needs to do the math.

    also, no vote is a wasted vote. a vote is an expression of confidence in a person’s ability to govern. the only wast is not voting. we waste our power as an electorate by settling for this two-party system that is hurting democracy.

    i’m not blindly blaming bush for everything – obviously, there is enough blame to go around. but, moving our policies further and further right is hurting americans by pooling wealth at the top. under policies of the right, the poverty class has grown and the middle class has shrunk. the strength of an economy is based on the strength of the middle class.

    and as for socialism – i do not know how old you are, but i suggest you refuse your social security checks and do not cash those stimulus checks. better to oppose through action than through talk. you will find a bit of socialism necessary to keep our economy afloat. pure capitalism is a fantasy.

    thanks for the comment!

  5. 5 Wasaff
    October 20, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Hey Mer, bad news girl, I am in same boat as you and was thinking about Nader, who is spot on with most of my issues… but to my/our dismay I didnt see him on the sample ballot for Texas, you can write him in but he aint on it. Dont know about Barr though, trust him about as much as Obama. I would like to see Texas transform itself into a blue state, off the wall I know… but I think it could happen. I’ll end up voting for Obama..

    http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20081104/sampleballot_generalelection.pdf

    Further to this socialist convo… you know that our current firefighters, police officers, public school teachers and this new bailout and mortgage plans are all socialist programs… are people effin morons? Capitalism DOES NOT WORK on its own, we need a hybridization of several forms of government, its like the lotto we just got to get the right combination in there.

  6. October 20, 2008 at 9:43 am

    mike – you’re right, nader is running as a write-in candidate in texas. and we’re in complete agreement on the socialism deal – you’re the man.

  7. 7 Wasaff
    October 21, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I have my moments…


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