Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

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On the subject of Undecideds:
[L]et's just say it outright: Even if you can't tell much difference between Obama's and McCain's tax policies or approaches to Pakistan or whatnot, the difference in intuitive energies, in sheer vibrational attitude, between the calm, deeply intelligent Harvard-trained senator and the curmudgeonly war hawk with a nasty temper are so profound as to keep entire nations awake at night. It's a bit like choosing between a glass of wine and a beer bong full of turpentine and carpet tacks. Sure you can ingest them both, but come on.

Do not misunderestimate. I do not mean to suggest that it's mandatory that everyone take some sort of extreme black/white position every time. It is not about grabbing a mulish, uninformed stance and never budging. Moderate, reflective positioning is fine. But that's still a position. Undecideds aren't moderates. They do not seem to be clear on what they value, exactly.


In my opinion, undecided voters who honestly think there's no candidate worth choosing? Have no business voting, period. If you truly can't make up your mind, don't halfheartedly contribute to a decision that might turn out to be your country's worst nightmare yet (yes, that can be taken to mean in either direction, even though you all know where I stand).

ETA: When I say undecided, I don't precisely mean what Morford seems to mean. If you plan on writing in your candidates? In my mind, you are decided. I'm talking about people who say they can't in good conscience choose anybody, but will go into the voting booth and make a spur-of-the-moment decision with no real conviction behind it (again, because they can - because voting is a right). That kind of action is taking the right to vote entirely for granted.

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I agree with that completely. There are also a lot of other people who really shouldn't be voting. I think it was 60 Minutes or some other show, (I missed the show and heard about it on the radio the next morning)but they walked around on a college campus and asked random students some basic questions about America. One guy thought there were 52 states in the union. None of them even knew what the Bill of Rights even was/is! They're even worse than the Undecideds, if you ask me. These are the people that I want to tell: do your civic duty and DON'T vote!

I admit I'm making this post at least in part because there are some undecided voters in my immediate and extended family. I hope this is not something they'll take offense to, because frankly, if you really don't like any of the options? It only stands to reason that you shouldn't vote just because you can. I'm more likely to respect someone who chooses not to vote because they can't in good conscience make the decision than someone who insists they can't decide because neither candidate is perfect, yet insist they're still planning on voting because they feel it's their civic duty!

I have a friend who is a genuine undecided (he's fiscally conservative and usually votes Republican for that reason, but really doesn't want to vote for McCain/Palin because he's lost respect for McCain and never had any for Palin) - he's probably not going to vote at all.

It would be nice if people could manage to take that much responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. I'm in the same boat as you are with this: I would have more respect for someone who didn't vote because they couldn't make a good, firm decision between the candidates. However, people will be people and a lot of folks will just toss their vote away because it doesn't mean the same as it used to. Our votes used to really count for something, but now we're just "the popular vote" and our voices don't even decide the election anymore. But I think we already went over that? xD

David Sedaris on undecided voters: I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

That man is one of only a few writers whose voice-tracks grace my playlist. He's so delightfully snarky!

I was just about to comment with this quotation. I'm glad you did! :)

I'm a decided voter who honestly thinks there's no candidate worth choosing, at least not among the two dominant parties.

And the reason for choosing that you've quoted here is one of the worst I've heard and seems to be the basis for an unfortunate amount of Obama support. It's the celebrity popularity contest approach to elections. The quote even opens with a dismissal of policy concerns. You might as well be voting for Dr. House because of his awesome one liners, or voting against Brad Pitt because he treated Jennifer Anniston just awful.

I've read enough of your posts to know this isn't your approach.

But being "intelligent" and "calm" or angry and a "war hawk" are relevant criteria, surely?

"War hawk" is a matter of policy, and with Obama's statements about Pakistan he's not significantly stronger on that front than the other guy who won't get my vote.

The first two are so subject to the narrative that the media choose to advance, and so easily faked through careful scripting and performance, as to be useless. Especially "calm."

I don't think it's entirely possible to separate personality/character and policy/future ability to govern, nor do I think it's wrong or frivolous to consider the personality of a candidate when deciding on who to vote for. And I don't think that the candidates personalities are only visible through the bias of the media by what the media is showing us. But I'm British and therefore don't have a vote anyway so my opinion is irrelevant. It kind of boggles my mind that people can be undecided voters in the US, but then over here there really *isn't* anyone worth voting for. I'd kill for anyone with any actual opinions at this point.

In many ways, the coverage abroad carries far less bullshit with it than the coverage at home.

I posted Morford's column mostly because it's the first/only one I've come across that addresses the issue of undecided voters this close to the election. I posted my own opinion on the matter afterward because I don't think it necessarily has anything directly to do with Morford's stance. My point is that it's an issue worth looking at this close to the election, and maybe more of us should be addressing it.

And no, what you describe isn't my approach - because as far as I'm concerned, it has nothing to do with my particular view here. Sorry if I didn't make the juxtaposition of the column and my comments more explicit.

I have NO IDEA how to wrap my brain around "undecided" voters. A lot of the time I simply choose to believe they have decided and don't want to say. Which is their right, of course. And it induces less GIBBERING LOVECRAFTIAN MADNESS IN THE FACE OF THE VOID.

*shrugs* I mean, people who have plans to write in somebody? I'm fine with that. That, at least, is a choice. I assume undecideds to mean people who are saying they can't settle on anybody, not just on the two major-party candidates. Yeah, it's mind-boggling.

I personally love how everyone one moment is all like "RAR EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE, EVERY VOTE COUNTS" then suddenly if you can't honestly pick democrat or republican, "WELL PPTH, THEY MIGHT AS WELL NOT VOTE AT ALL THEN, ESPECIALLY BY SAYING INDIRECTLY NOT FOR THE GUY I DON'T WANT IN OFFICE WITHOUT OUT STATING DIRECTLY."

I will admit that now a days the right person for president is probably washed over by the people who can make the most money and have the most popular stance even if it could be totally within or utterly outside of there reach, but they are still going to say it will happen either way.

A even half properly educated undecided who at least looked at each party even on a base line for the raw points and felt that neither party really seems to be pushing in the direction or even part of the direction that would have been wanted.

all I'm saying is that I see a coin, a round coin, even if you lat it flat on the table and even if you rotate it, there is clearly a left and a right side, then there is the overly large middle, filled with both the undecided and the uneducated. A vote from this is what will tip the scales in one direction or another, It will be them in future elections where it won't matter if you are Dem or Rep, all that matters is grabbing as many people from the center pool and even for an instance get them to support you on that day of voting, swayed by family, friends, the media, the facts, the fiction, or anything else that is possible. That is what voting has become and will remain for as long as only two party's hold these reins.

By my choice of following the election information in my way, by reading up on both parties and even if I chose not to share my views with others of if others ask what my choice is, that is for me to chose to release so I can keep my vote as my vote. But for the sake of my point I'll gladly share my vote with anyone now that asks.

I'll be writing in my vote for both president and vice president. Even if they are listed on the ballot or not listed. for even for my vote, I do not fear the outcome of this election or those who are undecided, but rather fear for those who are not educated on the subjects and truly only vote by persuaded views threw others.

Welcome to a real American election, I really don't think I'll ever see a president in my life time or even if the next generations life time that will honestly feel like the right vote 100%.

I wish you weren't so right

You misunderstand me, cousin: I'm not talking about people who can't choose Democrat or Republican. I'm talking about people who can't even decide on someone to write in. If you have names in mind that you're writing in? Fantastic. You know who you'd like to vote for, and you'll be doing it.

I'm talking about people who can't decide at all, period, and then go in there and make a TOTALLY RANDOM CHOICE without any conviction behind it. That, I have no respect for.

Honestly, as someone who has never voted for a candidate I actually supported wholeheartedly, I still think people should vote. Voting is one of the MOST important right any citizen has, and I really dislike it when people don't vote. I have voted for third party candidates in the past because I was not willing to give my vote to either major Presidential candidate. I firmly believe that people SHOULD vote, even if they don't vote for one of the big two. I would hope they would vote for a third party option or even write in a name (a serious name), because it's important that there be some recognition of the fact that there is a group of people out there who still can't find a candidate in whom to trust.

I agree with you that it's one of the most important rights that we have as citizens. And yes, I agree that people should vote, even if it means they write in their candidates. When I say undecided, I mean people who can't even decide on that and then go in there at the last minute and make a split-second, no-conviction decision. There are people who vote on such whims, and I find it, frankly, taking the right for granted. It's why I feel that, if somebody's going to end up doing that, that they should probably just stay home.

Yes, I can see your point. Sadly, people will do it, just as people who have no idea about any of the issues will vote. It's all part of our great system of democracy. :)

"Obama wants to socialize medicine, McCain wants to buy your house. McCain wants nuclear power, Obama just wants to keep it safe! Tax cuts for seniors, tax cuts for the middle class! One uses a sharpie, one uses a ball point pen! One's black, one's white! One's young, one's old! God! They're totally different! What don't you understand about that? Why can't you decide?!"

Oh, Daily Show. How I love thee.

(And yeah, I'm frankly surprised that there are so many people on the fence at this point. It's been twenty months. But hey, YMMV, I guess.)

The line about differences so profound as to keep entire nations awake at night is quite perceptive. I certainly haven't slept well since September. And if Obama does not win, I will probably not sleep well for at least another four years.

I probably will become a raving insomniac loon, wandering the streets in search of vengeance. Or something like that.

I'll just be curled up in the basement with canned carrots and and an old radio, waiting for the Russians.

Or some such shit, I don't really know how far I'll snap. Can't say I really want to, either.

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