In search of the legendary Undecideds

If political news was drugs, I’d probably be in Betty Ford right now. Or dead of a massive overdose. I read way way too many blogs, both for the articles that buttress up my own opinions, and the ones that … Continued

If political news was drugs, I’d probably be in Betty Ford right now. Or dead of a massive overdose.

I read way way too many blogs, both for the articles that buttress up my own opinions, and the ones that I violent disagree with. When things are going well for my guy, I want to bask in the elation. When things are going poorly, I spend even more time online, looking for people who will tell me, “There there, it’ll be alright. Shh.”

But the election won’t be decided by people like me, because people like me already know who we’re voting for. We’re not in play. It’ll be decided by the people that don’t have a side yet. And that’s what I can’t quite get: after two freakin’ years of non-stop politics, how can you still be Undecided?

Like any election, most voters were locked in before the candidates were even announced. I will most likely never vote for a Republican, and most Republicans I know (yes, I know some) would never vote for a Democrat. And the few actual Independents I know made up their minds months ago. Yet, there’s still a big block of Undecideds, seemingly immune to our most frenzied entreaties.

But the Undecideds aren’t what amaze me the most. I can totally understand why you’d want to wait until the debates, and see the two of them speak without a teleprompter. What really puzzles me are these shifts in the polls.

After the Democratic Convention, there was a big bounce. That means a lot of McCain people were suddenly like, “Wow, that Obama guy gives a good speech! I’m with him!” And then after the Republican Convention, literally millions of people were suddenly like, “Hey, that veteran and the scrappy frontier lady made some good points too! Guess I’ll vote for them now.”

Who are these people switching sides? Whoever they are, they’re the people causing these three-point fluctuations that are driving us all to the brink of insanity.

But I have a solution. I want these people to step out of the shadows and post a comment below. I’m talking about the Undecideds, who really don’t know who they’re going to vote for, as well as the Switchers, who have gone from one candidate to the other in the past few months. Don’t be shy – step right up and introduce yourselves.

I’m not even going to try and get you to vote for my guy. I’m just curious what it’s like to not have your mind made up. It might be nice to hear from someone who hasn’t long ago dug in their heels for an all-out fight to the death.

30 Comments on “In search of the legendary Undecideds”

  1. Dan Alt #

    Somehow I doubt there are very many reading this blog.


  2. Crazy Loco #

    I accept the challenge, and I appreciate the opportunity to voice my concerns. While most liberal thinkers are encouraged to vote democrat(Which I was going to), I was very dissappointed that Obama got the nomination. I did want Hillary to get it. Yes, I know. She’s the woman whose husband can’t keep it in his pants. The punchline of every joke. But Clinton still has many connections in the world, and the previous experience in the whitehouse would have brought help to the nation.
    On the Republican flipside, McCain brings a wealth of experience, and has chosen an electrifying VP. I know many people dislike her stances, and many are comparing her to Obama. This very fact concerns me. The Democratic Presidential Candidate and the Republican VP Candidate have the SAME amount of experience.
    McCain can afford the most expensive health Care in the land, and I am offended at the insinuation that 70 is too old for the whitehouse. Its the mind that should work, nothing else. Besides, he’s been in politics forever. Nobody’s waiting on the grassy noll for him.
    Isn’t placing Biden as VP tantamount to hiring a structural engineer to run a fast food drive thru window? What about all the old school politics that will just go over Obama’s head?
    As I understand it, VP is basically an individual who exports good will. They are tough when they have to be, and soft when they don’t.

    If you have explanations for these concerns, please help!


  3. mlawski OTI Staff #

    My thought is that it’s much easier to be undecided if you think of the election as a contest of personalities rather than issues. I personally see John McCain as a guy who once was sort of mavericky but is now a big old liar who would sell his soul to win the presidency (see: for his list of flip flops as of July), but I can sort of understand why people would like him. He seems like a presidential kind of guy, I guess. And yes, he does have experience, but Karl Rove has plenty of experience and I wouldn’t vote for him, either.

    If you look at the election as a contest of issues, then I don’t see how you could be undecided. The two candidates have very different platforms. There’s been a funny little idea floating around for a while that Republicans and Democrats are very similar, actually, but that’s just plain false. If you’re still undecided, I’d urge you to look at Obama’s and McCain’s websites, see what they believe, and decide what you’d like to see happen in the next four to eight years. I’d like to see a big change in energy policy (not toward drilling- which is only a stopgap measure MAYBE in several years’ time), a shift towards strong diplomacy rather than invading Iran, and a tax plan that doesn’t give more of my money away to the top 1% of income earners in this country. I’d love to have healthcare that made sense and that covered me no matter what. I’d prefer not to have a vice president (or maybe one day president) who believes that I should not have control over my own body, even if I’ve been raped.

    As for the experience issue, I do not think Sarah Palin and Barack Obama have the same amount of experience. Barack Obama was a U.S. senator who co-sponsored bills of national importance. Sarah Palin was the governor of the fourth smallest state in the Union, a state that runs in a very peculiar way (read up on their income tax, their earmarks, and so on). Barack Obama has spent the last nineteen months running a very large campaign with millions upon millions of dollars– and he won the nomination. Against Hillary Clinton. That’s nothing to sneer at. Sarah Palin got onto the ticket by having a couple of five minute conversations with McCain. Before his stint in Congress, Obama was a politician in Chicago. Before her stint as governor, Palin was a politician in Wasilla, which at the time had about 5000 people in it. Not the same. Obama has lived outside the country and can speak coherently about every foreign policy issue I’ve ever heard anyone ask him about. Sarah Palin once refueled in Ireland, and she’s also really close to Russia, I’ve heard.

    So, long story short. For years, politicians have been making presidential races about personality. Yes, personality is important. I do not like that John McCain has a very bad temper and that he sings songs about bombing Iran as a funny joke. Back in the day when I wasn’t sure whether to vote for Obama or Clinton, I didn’t like that Obama was a newcomer, until I heard about his policies and realized that he knows his stuff.

    Let’s stop making these elections about personality and culture. I’m not going to vote for McCain because he’s a nice guy, and I’m not NOT going to vote for him just because he’s over 70. Unlike some people I know, I’m also not going to vote for Obama just because his daughters are adorable (even though they are) or because he speaks pretty (and he does). Issues, issues, issues. That’s all I care about right now. Hope that helps.


  4. Rob #

    Mlawski is right – there are big differences between where McCain and Obama want to take the country.
    McCain wants you to pay taxes on your health benefits – if you earn $45,000 and your company pays $12,000 for your family’s insurance, McCain’s IRS will tax you on $57,000 of income, while Obama will only tax you on the $45,000 that you actually make.
    What’s more, Obama will *cut taxes* on 95% of Americans, and anyone making under $111,000 will get a bigger tax cut from Obama than from McCain.
    Check out this website for more:

    So there really is a fundamental difference. Obama values your middle-class family, while John McCain wants to cut John McCain’s taxes at your expense.

    You might also consider McCain’s relentless support of Bush’s war in Iraq that has our country billions of dollars and thousands of lives while ignoring the actual threat in Afghanistan. The fact is that McCain has advocated policies that have had a detrimental effect on our national security, which are only compounded by their detrimental effect on our economic security.

    When people claim John McCain has “foreign policy experience”, they ignore the fact that he has consistently been *wrong* about every issue we face today: on Pakistan, John McCain and George Bush got it wrong by supporting Musharraf, and they had to come around to Obama’s position. On withdrawal from Iraq, Obama was right that we can get out in 16 months, McCain and Bush had to come around after the Iraqi prime minister said Obama was right. On tough diplomacy with Iran, Obama was right, and Bush and McCain had to come around to Obama’s position.
    The fact is, Obama has shown the expertise, the judgment to lead America, and all McCain has is advisors who earn more money from the government of Georgia than Joe Biden makes in the Senate.


  5. Carlos #

    Oh boy.

    Another post that has nothing to do with overthinking popular culture.

    Keep ’em coming!


  6. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    I’d say the election is TOTALLY part of the popular culture right now. But never you fear – I’m writing something about Superman II.


  7. Gab #

    Crazy Loco: Yay for Hillary!!!

    The differences between Obama and Palin in terms of experience have been covered nicely already.

    As for the function of the VP, it has certainly evolved over time. Truman, for example, bemoaned whilst VP under FDR that he had more power as a Senator than as VP. That changed, though, until VPs more recent VPs like Gore were not only appreciated but EXPECTED to be active participants in various forms of policy-making and negotiations, especially with foreign countries- this gave the president the ability to stay at home and deal with the closer issues (remember, “all politics is local”- US citizens prefer their Commander in Chief to help THEM first). But Cheney’s office has abused and stretched it far too much (like that whole “I HAVE no branch of Government/am my OWN, BITCHEZ!” bs last summer, for example), and the office of the Vice President has lost a great deal of credibility. Since both parties have made claims that they wish to “restore credibility” to the White House, I believe this will, as a result of Cheney, lead to a shrinking of the VP’s influence, making them more like Truman and less like Gore. So Biden injecting “oldschool poltics” as you claim will probably not happen as much as you fear. (And besides, Obama HAD to pick someone with more experience than him, or else he’d have picked someone that was even less experienced than himself or Palin, and then his ticket would have lost for certain.)


    That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be qualified for being PRESIDENT, since in the case of the President becoming incapacitated, the VP takes over. This is why Palin worries so many people (myself included). If she became President because something happened to McCain, she would be completely lost and have no idea what to do. And while Hillary may have been better than Obama, Obama is better than Palin, and so is Biden. I would be much more comfortable with Obama or Biden as the Commander in Chief than Palin. And right or wrong, good or bad, McCain’s age IS important, because if he’s that old, he’s more likely to die in office of natural causes. Being President takes years off the life of the office-holder: compare pictures of ANY of our previous Presidents at the start of their first term to the end of their last. You’ll see much more than the four or eight years they were in office gone. So there is a legitimate worry that it may be too much on McCain’s body, however quick his mind may still be. As such, his VP candidate’s credentials MUST be scrutinized.

    I could write a WHOLE LOT about why Palin is bad for America and how she’s an anti-feminist, but, well… Doo bee doo bee dooooooo…

    (WARNING: conspiracy theory coming) In general, the undecideds are the voters that I think sit at the heart of the media miscoverage I’ve suggested before. The sun shines out of Obama’s ass for now, but in a few weeks, he’s suddenly going to have all sorts of flaws that went unnoticed previously, and any mistake he makes will be blown astronomically out of proportion in comparison to McCain. In other words, he will be Swift Boated (I love how that has become an actual term people use. Ah, political jargon…). And since the undecideds are mostly as such because, as has been stated above, they vote more on personality than issues, they’ll pick McCain in the voting booth at the last minute because of the smearing and flying fecal matter. They’re the target for all of the pedestalizations of Obama, for how he got and gets away with anything that the other candidate(s) would be crucified for up until now. It will be the opposite in a month, and McCain’s campaign will crush him- if the Republicans and the media and Murdoch get their way. So the only way to avoid that (meaning the country falling for a totally bogus/hyperbolic smear campaign, not necessarily McCain winning) is for the undecideds to yes, look up the issues and become UN-undecideds- in other words, make a decision.

    On a personal tangent, I think Obama was a moron in picking Biden as VP. As I said, I believe the office of VP is going to shrink this time around, so he’s completely wasting all of Biden’s foreign policy experience. Biden should have been Secretary of State. If it weren’t for the affair, Edwards would have been a good VP (or even better, Attorney General)(since we all know, no matter how much she deserved it, Hillary would never get the VP nomination, if only because the country wouldn’t be able to handle two firsts on one ticket). This is another thing I could go on and on about, too, but I’ll shut up now.

    Me? Yes, I would have preferred Hillary, but that does not mean I’ll vote for McCain out of spite for Obama and because he happened to pick a woman as his running-mate, which is what his camp is banking on. I’ll vote for Obama because his policies are the ones I agree with the closest and the ones I feel are best not just for me and/or my family personally, but for the rest of the country in general, and, to some extent, the rest of the world (given the global power and influence the U.S. has).

    Belinkie: Superman II??????? As in a sequel to “Superman Returns”?????


  8. Dan Alt #

    Knowing Belinkie, I’m guessing “Superman II” as in “Kneel before Zod, son of Kal-el!”


  9. wrather #

    Oh yeah. There was a great deal of primary research on Zod done at the OTI weekend retreat.


  10. Carlos #

    This doesn’t undermine my aforementioned complaint.

    I think the undecided problem enunciated by Mr. Belinkie can be somewhat explained by a decision (conscious or not) to base said vote on the personal characteristics of the candidates, rather than on the party machinery that underlies their candidacies.

    Were I to have the right to vote for president, and assuming that Sen. McCain were the most incredibly competent person ever to run for the office, and also assuming that Sen. Obama were the most underwhelming candidate ever to run for said office, I would vote for Obama. Why? Because he is a Democrat.

    Party machineries ultimately control what kind of politics are advanced during any administration. As much as Pres. McCain would like to play the maverick, he will appoint solidly conservative judges, he will veto liberal bills, and he will be a Republican, because he needs to keep his party and base happy.

    If you think that a president can ignore the overwhelming thrust of his/her political party’s ideology, you should go back to college. Therefore, if you are still an undecided, I would strongly recommend evaluating the historical trajectories of both parties before deciding for which candidate to vote.


  11. Gab #

    I disagree with you, Carlos, but only slightly. See, if you look at their platforms, the candidates’ policies are ones that fit the general staples of their respective parties. Party politics will indeed always come into play during a presidency, but they also always have a certian spin on them unique to the person in office. So I still think looking at the individuals’ ideas is a good way to get to know them. I understand the “I’ll vote for Soandso because they are this party” mindset, and I do somewhat follow it, but I still try to get to know what a candidate I’m about to vote for would attempt to accomplish, if only to know precisely what to expect and what to hold them accountable for.


  12. Crazy Loco #

    I must thank all of you for your opinions. It has helped me greatly, but I apologize that I did not more clearly state my point. The reason I was upset Hillary did not get the nomination was that her husband has 2 terms of experience. Complimented by her own experience as Senator, I feel that this would have been the right choice for the age we live in. Washington and the other founding fathers did not and could not imagine the world we are currently living in. Schools aren’t safe, malls aren’t safe, even the skies aren’t safe. One lone person who is awakened at whatever hour with the news of such an attack, what person is prepared for this squarely on their shoulders alone? It is now a 24/7 world. Laws have changed to reflect this(the patriot act), I think its time government reflected this as well.
    As for Obama, I love his speeches as well as the next person, even though I believe appearing on SNL for a quick laugh cheapened the office he is running for, but I just don’t know about his policies. Where is he going to find all this money for the social programs he is proposing? Does he not watch the news? I’m not saying he shouldn’t be upbeat about better things ahead, but isn’t massive ignorance about the Country’s state the problem most people have with the current president?
    Please help me with these issues.


  13. Carlos #

    Obama’s plan will provide tax relief to 95% of the population, reduce the number of uninsired in the US by half in 5 years, and raise the public debt 35% in 10 years. McCain’s plan barely puts a dent in the number of uninsured, provides most of his tax relief to the already-wealthy, and manages to increase the debt by 50% in 10 years.

    If you have any more questions, start on Wikipedia and work your way to the primary sources.

    Also check out the partisan blogs. Daily Kos is good for the Democrats. RedState and Free Republic are good for the Republicans.

    Also, Crazy Loco is a redundant name. But you knew that.


  14. Carlos #

    You think the office of your president can be cheapened any more than the clown currently in it has already done?


  15. Crazy Loco #

    Thank you all. I suppose I was offended that Hillary didn’t get the nomination more than I realized. But its not Obama’s fault that he was selected for the nomination over her. My concern was during the campaign Clinton(Bill) stated that a young democrat with out tested experience is likely to be a republican on the inside. It was in reference to a tax policy, or maybe something else. The image of someone whose loyalties haven’t been tested weighed on me. Maybe that’s why I hope Palin is a Democrat on the inside.
    All I know from politics I learned from the West Wing, and in that last year, I would have voted for Alan Alda. But, yes, Jimmy Smits is hot.
    Thank you all for your advice. If I cannot make up my mind about Obama, I just might stay at home.


  16. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    Crazy Loco –

    I don’t know much in this crazy, crazy world, but I do know one thing:

    Sarah Palin is NOT a Democrat on the inside.

    She’s far more right wing than McCain. And you know what? I like Sarah Palin. I think she’s a remarkable woman. But that doesn’t mean I have to vote for her. I can like her, and still feel like she’s dead wrong on pretty much everything.

    I understand your impulse to just stay home, because you can’t get thrilled about either candidate. But allow me to quote from the great Trey Parker: “Every election is a choice between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich.” The fact is, you don’t become a successful politician without making some weaselly speeches and groan-inducing compromises.

    But they are our two choices this year. Two very different men, who I believe genuinely want to make America a better place. And one of them WILL be President.

    It’s not a perfect system, but it’s all we have.

    – Matt


  17. Gab #

    Crazy Loco: Well, it sort of *is* Obama’s “fault” that Hillary didn’t get nominated, but “fault” isn’t really the word I would use. If he didn’t want the nomination for himself, he wouldn’t have been in the running. The whole point of the primaries is for all of the people that want to be on the tickets of the major parties to compete with each other for that opportunity. He full-well wanted to beat her, and she him, and everybody else wanted to beat each other, etc. Of course, I think the media had a lot more to do with her particular defeat than that of any other candidate, Democrat OR Republican; but it isn’t like Obama (or any other candidate, for that matter) was ever going to try to level the playing field by pointing the media bias out. After all, had the media not been so cut-throat against her, she probably would have taken the nomination with hardly any effort. But I’ve rambled before and probably enough for everybody about all of that crap, so doo bee doo bee doo, again.

    I would like to encourage you to vote anyway. We live in a democratic republic, and the only way for it to function is for its citizens to participate as much as possible on the levels they are able to. Voting is the minimum level without running for office or volunteering to sit on councils or something like that*. If you want your government to do for you, you have to do for it. You may not be totally hot for either candidate, but choosing the lesser of two evils will at least put a vote in the box for the candidate that will steer the country closer to how you want it to be.

    *Yes, I also realize this gives citizens the right to NOT participate, but not participating does nothing to change things in either a positive or negative direction. No, I wouldn’t want someone to always put a write-in vote of Snoopy or something like that and call it “participation,” but I’d rather have someone sincerely vote differently from me than not vote at all. That’s what democracy is about- participation. So yes, I am one of those jerks with the mindset that if you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain about the people in office and what’s going on. And I also get perturbed when people say, “He’s not MY president, I didn’t vote for him.” No, he IS your president (even if the vote count is contested or whatever… whole different can of worms). He came out victorious in the process, so accept that and now go ahead and criticize and then you may try to vote him and any others like him out next time. Otherwise, either move to Canada or just SFTU.


  18. Gab #


    (Haha, and my code word thingies are “must comply”- I’m loving it.)


  19. Crazy Loco #

    Yes, I was going to exercise my right to abstain, but I guess I will vote. For all those voting for Obama, doesn’t it worry you that any social program he forms could have a great fallout such as the sub prime mess? Remember Clinton, and his belief that all should own a house? Didn’t work so well, did it? This is just my concern. Republicans won’t spend it. The top ten percent will stay rich, but then the country won’t be bleeding money. That must sound very good now to those who are loosing their homes. And before you ask, no I don’t have stocks. I invest in food and shelter. And I still have my shelter, for now.


  20. Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff #

    Here’s one of the things that worries me about McCain’s tax policy. Take a look at this pretty chart:

    As you’ll see, McCain plans to cut taxes so that the government is getting something like 3 TRILLION dollars less than before.

    But what’s he going to cut? If he cut every single congressional earmark, that wouldn’t get him nearly there.

    Unless he plans to run huge deficits, he’s going to have to cut a ton of stuff. He has been vague as to what. This worries me.

    I’m not saying every single detail of Obama’s plan is clear, but at least the guy is basically keeping tax revenue the same.


  21. Gab #

    Yeah, coming from a family in the “bottom three groups [that] amount to 60% of taxpayers,” there’s no way I’d vote for McCain if based on this alone.

    There were all sorts of things Bill Clinton did wrong, but I’d take him over any of the candidates that were involved in the primaries, Hillary included. She’d be my second choice, obviously, but I do miss Slick Willy marvelous much.

    Slight tangent, though: I’ve heard right-wingers try to blame things that this Administration has done on his. For example, Extraordinary Rendition (which in itself is questionable, yes) was started on his watch, but the number of prisoners held under these conditions rose exponentially with the Bush Administration. I can’t remember who, but I saw some warhawk say, “Well, Bill CLINTON started it, so who REALLY is to blame?” or something like that when it was brought up on a show I was watching (maybe Bill Maher? Yeah, I have a memory like Reagan on a good day sometimes). Or when Bin Laden gets brought up, they say, “Well, why didn’t BILL get him, eh? EH!?” I mean, am I the only one that sees this kind of BS? Am I the only one that thinks there is an inherent bias against the Clintons IN GENERAL out there?

    (Hah, one of my words *this* time is “rambling.” Is that irony or coincidence?)


  22. mlawski OTI Staff #

    Can I go off topic again and point out that I love the term “extraordinary rendition.” It sounds like something a dragon or a wizard would do.

    (P.S. I’m pretty sure we also can’t all agree that Congressional earmarks are necessarily bad. Will McCain cut earmarks that promise aid money to foreign nations like Israel? Or money set aside for military families?

    Plus, as much as we hate bridges to nowhere, not all money set aside for bridges is bad. Infrastructure is kind of important, so I would be kind of unhappy to see McCain putting his mavericky foot down on “wasteful spending” earmarked to fix bridges that are in danger of falling down.

    Have a source:

    By the way, I understand the irony of continuing to reference the WaPo to support our liberal agendas.)


  23. Rob #

    With all due respect, Crazy Loco, it is false to say that Republicans don’t spend money. Spending grew inordinately from 2001 to 2006, when the Republicans had both the White House and the Congress. Reagan spent ridiculous amounts of our money on missile defense systems that didn’t even work. In fact, there’s only one reason Saint Ronald Reagan didn’t *completely* ruin our economy the way Bush did, and that reason is that there was a Democratic Congress to keep him in check.
    The difference between Democratic spending and Republican spending is that Republicans spend taxpayer money on stupid things like wars in Iraq and bridges to nowhere. Democrats spend money on things that create jobs here and help our economy, like fixing our infrastructure and building more schools and hiring more policemen and funding innovative research.

    McCain is a party-line Republican. He wants to spend on more wars and more pork for the defense industry. Furthermore, McCain’s best friends and closest advisors are personally responsible for our current financial collapse.
    A bit of background: after a rash of bank failures in early 1933, Democrats in Congress wrote and passed a law that prevented a single company from operating a deposit bank and an investment bank. As you might imagine, bad things happen when a bank’s investment arm can just reach over and take its depositors’ cash for its risky bets. The law that kept these functions separate, the Glass-Steagall Act, remained in effect from 1933 till 1999, and our financial system prospered during that time. But Phil Gramm, who is John McCain’s top economic adviser, wrote a bill that repealed Glass-Steagall and allowed banks to do pretty much whatever they want. McCain, Gramm, and the Republicans all voted to dismantle our banks’ safety net; and under Bush, this deregulation has only accelerated, leaving us in the current economic shitpile.

    Anyway, Crazy Loco, thanks for listening – if we can’t convince you that McCain’s too dangerous, then perhaps you should listen to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are urging everyone to vote for Barack Obama.


  24. Gab #

    Ay-(wo)men to both of you, Mlwaski and Rob.

    Don’t get me started on Israel.

    The economic thing comes from that free-market mentality of Friedman/University of Chicago. Ironically enough, it’s rather hypocritical in that it says the government must intervene as little as possible when companies are making decisions- but for some reason, it has to do everything it can to save their sorry asses if they make mistakes. No regulation but all sorts of safety nets. I find it extremely bothersome. If the government’s tax monies are meant to bail it out, then by golly the government should be able to have some say in what goes on to keep those bail-outs from occurring! Maybe if the Republicans stopped bailing out huge, “retarded” corporations with no stipulations, and instead let that money go to stuff like Medicaid, the TRULY retarded kids in the classroom I work in could get their wheelchairs.


  25. Crazy Loco #

    Maybe I’ll vote for Bob Dole! He was technically president, and he wants to save the planet! Maybe he’ll run independently, and fix the voting machines so that they all point to him! A fixed election you say? Say it ain’t so!


  26. Peace #

    First and foremost, if the big media gave fair coverage of ALL the top people running for the presidency, and not just the Democrat and the Republican, then they’d probably be a bit more of a reliable source of information. But when I dig and dig for info about Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr and Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin, it takes a bit more time than simply watching tv. I mean, the only time I’ve even heard Cynthia McKinney’s name mentioned on tv was by a call-in viewer on C-Span.

    I’ve considered riding the Obama bandwagon because I think he would be EXCELLENT P.R. for the U.S. and I admire his seemingly diplomatic approach when it comes to foreign affairs. I’ve also considered taking a ride on the McCain Straight-Talk Train because of his history of stubbornly reading through bills before voting on them to make sure there’s no pork and because of his platform for economic frugality, a true Republican value. I was also pleased that he was one of the only two Republicans who were initially willing to participate in the CNN YouTube debate.

    On the other hand, Obama just flat out lies about not accepting lobbyist contributions. He accepted thousands from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lobbyists. Also, I haven’t seen any proof that Obama will do anything good for the economy. He wants to start all these new programs, but he’s not being specific about what he will cut (or raise **coughcoughtaxescough**) in order to fund them. He kind of clawed his way into people’s hearts by saying he wanted a withdrawal from Iraq, but he really wants to take people from Iraq and send them everywhere else in the Middle East. He talks about Osama and Pakistan, but Benazir Bhutto said it herself that Osama Bin Laden was allready killed.

    My most gigantic problem with McCain is his complete lack of tact and diplomacy when it comes to foreign affairs. Singing “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”, defending his refusal to talk to our so-called enemies by saying that all he can see in Putin’s eyes is KGB, trying to be condescending to Obama because he wasn’t completely against talking to Iran without preconditions….. this man is ridiculous and he will make EVERYONE want to bomb America!!!

    NOW HERE’S THE KICKER: My decision to not vote for either one of these two clowns came when I watched them both vote YES for that Bailout Bill, pork and all, on October 1st, 2008! They are NOT for the people!

    I have been researching available candidates since the summer of 2007, when I became aware of my options for the primary elections. I’m an indpendent voter and I think it is absolutely ridiculous to vote for someone just because of their party, or to decide NOT to vote for someone just because of their party. I am completely against voting for the lesser of two evils. If I felt that Bush was the lesser of two evils in the 2000 election, then I would have had the burden on my shoulders of all those Americans who died in Iraq (not to mention the innocent Iraqis). I want to make sure I’m campaigning and voting for someone who is actually good for America and doesn’t have money up their asses, controlling their every move. I want a president who doesn’t think the Constitution is just silly sheet of paper. You can’t just make a decision like this based on hearsay or the tv.

    I am currently most partial to Chuck Baldwin and Ralph Nader. I don’t know enough about Nader yet to vote for him and I’m put off by Baldwin’s inexperience with politics.

    “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
    -John Quincy Adams


  27. Gab #

    As much as I love the Adams family (not the creepy and cooky ones, folks), the fact remains that our system evolved into a two-party system wherein the person with the largest portion of votes wins, even if that is not a majority. No, it is not written out to be that way, but because of the lack of restraints and stipulations the founding fathers put on elections due to their fears of big government, it became (and very quickly became) a system where the winner takes all and which only has room for two main factions or parties. Even when JQ’s dad was elected, there were two parties; but we have not yet opened our eyes and tried to be more like Europe, Australia, etc. and written into our election laws things like Instant Runoff Voting or proportional representation.

    As sad as it is to admit, there is no room in the current system of elections for a third party candidate when the office being selected is that of the President. While Gore and Kerry both ran very shoddy campaigns that helped them lose their elections (and of course there are myriad other things- whole different rant), Nader being on the ticket both times was another contributing factor to those losses. “A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush,” while on the surface may sound cynical, is actually quite tongue in cheek. This time, since he’s running again, it’s, “A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain.” And the same can be said about any other candidate that isn’t on a major ticket.

    So then you get into a sort of moral conundrum. Is it better to vote for the person you would really want to see there, even though there is absolutely no way in hell they’d win- and thus risk having the person you dislike the most take it? Or should you vote for someone you aren’t AS pleased with, but that would be better than that other guy; and should that vote count at all, since it isn’t your most preferred candidate in the first place? Or should you even bother voting period?

    That’s why IRV is, in my HUMBLE opinion (ahem, ahem), so much more representative of the peoples’ preferences. In that kind of system, you rank every candidate from first to last choice, and the person with the most positive ratings gets the office, and it goes down from there with respect to “second place” and “third place” etc. So while your TOP choice may not win, it’s more likely that your LAST choice will not.

    Personally, since our system is cracked, I’d prefer to vote for the lesser of two evils. I’d rather support the candidate closest to my own ideals while having a shot than basically throwing my vote away and making it easier for the candidate furthest from those ideals to win. I know that goes against the concept of democracy, but we don’t live in a democracy, it’s a republic- and besides, the “winner take all” aspect of our system sort of makes any claims about modern “democracy” a little shaky. There is this unstated definition of it that it’s supposed to reflect what the people really want. Well, if 49% of the people voted for the other guy and he’s absolutely invisible, does that really reflect the peoples’ wishes? No.

    So I’m voting for Obama. This election is critical. Two Supreme Court Justices are going to be chosen by this next president. Thus, if McCain wins, Roe v. Wade and a bunch of other really important cases will be at least picked away at, if not completely thrown out the door. That in itself is enough to make me vote for the lesser of two evils. But there are a plethora of aspects about McCaine’s platform that I would NEVER want to see in action (inaction) (VISUAL WORD PUNS FOR THE WIN). So yes, I may sort of be voting against McCain instead of for Obama, but I would be more satisfied with the outcome if my vote does indeed assist Obama in winning than if I voted for a third party and McCaine wound up victorious.


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