Monday, October 18, 2010

Independents and Undecideds

We have an election coming up. I know this because a DNC person just called me asking for a large donation. Also there's been a bit of media coverage of the election here and there. Sporadic really. I couldn't tell you who is running in Deleware, they just don't seem to be getting any media attention.

But seriously, elections like this bring up an area that bothers me about politics. Undecided voters, who tend to be in that grand Montana-sized political space we call "independent." How is it possible to really stay undecided for so long into the political season. Let's say you are a normal person and have perhaps 5 issues that you care about: abortion, education, defense, guns and immigrants. I would bet you that whatever you feel on these issues lines up pretty closely with one of the political parties. You could be pro-choice, pro-public schools, against the war, for gun control but really dislike immigrants. And in that case I would bet you're gonna vote for the more liberal/democratic candidate. It's that easy. Or, if immigration is your absolute main concern above all else (dey tuk ur jerbs!), then you'll vote Republican.

I can understand people having evolving belief systems. You're raised in a very religious family but then give up religion in college and you find yourself voting more liberal. Or you move to a rural area and your views on guns and freedom (oh "freedom" that vague and wonderful word) changes markedly. These are possibilities and you folks aren't the problem.

But let's go back to Deleware. You have Ms. O'Donnell and Mr. Coons running for Senate. If you have even a basic opinion on any issue, it's pretty damn easy to pick one of the two sides. One is anti-masturbation and one is pro. There's pretty much no possible way that your list of issues splits 50/50 between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. When Nader made snide remarks in 2000 about Bush and Gore being the same candidate, it was pretty stupid. But you'd be a nutjob to think that both of these folks would do the same thing if they got to Washington. And even without a Palin Jr. running for every seat, the Tea Party has helped to make the chasm between one side and the other absolutely, gapingly huge.

So if you're really having trouble making up your mind in this upcoming election ... well maybe just sit this one out.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

What if you don't like either parties? I know a few people who were republicans because they liked the basic idea of what republicans actually use to stand for before they went crazy but they wouldn't consider themselves democrats. [also heard a similar stories going the other way] I just don't think politics will ever be quite as black and white as you make it.
When I recently registered to vote I debated on whether I wanted to register for a party or not. Ultimately I did but only so I could vote in the primaries if I wanted to. Other wise I wouldn't have. My beliefs and alliances are more complicated then simply who is pro-choice and who isn't. Plus at the moment both parties are pretty disappointing.