Thursday, October 14, 2004

Political: Debate, Part The Third

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-RING!!

Whatever.

And no, you really are NOT still undecided. You're just indecisive. On CNN, those who were still undecided said, "Well, I still haven't heard enough about job outsourcing...blah blah." Okay, Americans. It's called a representative democracy. That means that we elect others to govern for us because we're busy being baristas and lawyers and researchers and nurses and bloggers. It does NOT mean that we have no responsibilities! There is a thing called "the internet(s)", depending on which candidate you ask. If you type in JohnKerry.com or GeorgeWBush.com or, even better, google.com and search for either, you will find an entire area of the world wide web devoted to telling you exactly what you need to know to make a decision. There are also many other sites you can visit that are not controlled by the campaigns:

www.opensecrets.org

www.factcheck.org

www.vote-smart.org

www.thebeehive.org


You can always come to The Haggis, but I'm as partisan as it gets, FYI. :)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least you admit your partisanship and don't pretend to be "fair and balanced"!!

Anonymous said...

...and speaking of "fair and balanced", let us thank Fox for providing the ONLY action on TV last night with the Sox vs. Yankees game. I will admit to toggling between the two since I am a now-neglected "decided voter". Is it just me, or is it a reassuring sight to spy Tim Russert's trusty whiteboard?

Miko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miko said...

Amen, sister. I've been preaching against the so-called 'undecided voter' for months now -- so much so that I got my arse raked over the coals (by a good friend no less) for suggesting that it was time for Americans to learn a little bit more about how this government works, and do the very small amount of soul-searching and simple research that will help them determine which of these two VERY DIFFERENT candidates better embodies their vision of America. And none of that "Lesser of two evils" stuff, please -- these guys have vastly different world views and would make wildly contrasting decisions if given presidential power. Yeesh, folks -- this stuff is pretty simple. Turn to any 5th grade history textbook. The page with the "Checks and Balances" schematic is a fine place to start. Might I also recommend the Bill of Rights? Or how about a light, refreshing splash of the Electoral System?

Yes, I actually got tarred and feathered for advocating more voter education. The friend said I was 'elitist' to imagine that the unwashed rabble could take part in the democratic process at an evaluative level. He also thought that I was 'denigrating the vote' of people who didn't research their choice (whatever that means - I don't know how a vote can be 'denigrated'. It's inanimate, for one thing, and it's always worth just as much as any other vote).

Another person in the room piped in with 'gee, the poor l'il average American has so much on their plate that they don't have time to research the issues!' Gimme a break. Americans seem to have time to fill out credit-card applications by the mailbox full (much more complicated than a voter registration form!, call in to 'American Idol', follow 4-hour NASCAR races (and seem to know who they'd like to win), and go out at 4 in the morning to line up for this year's hot Christmas toy. Don't tell me these folks can't carve a few minutes out of their lives to participate in a representative government that actually does give a flying ...Wallenda what they think, thanks to those who came before us and laid their lives on the line to keep it that way. We've become as soft, unhealthy and lazy with our democratic responsibilities as we have with our diet and exercise regimes. If we can't be bothered to make an election decision, maybe our participatory government will go the way of our outsourced customer-service and tech jobs -- that is, somewhere where people can use appreciate them, since apparently we don't.

Deep inside, I wonder if there isn't some dark corner in the heart of the 'undecided voter' that just enjoys playing hard-to-get. It must feel nice knowing the fate of the free world rides on your changing whims. It must be fun to coyly say 'I haven't made up my mind yet...Kerry has that strong chin, but then Bush has those twinkly eyes..." Keep 'em hanging on, baby! I can't wait to wake up November 3rd and find out who the Undecided Voter decided we're all going to go steady with.

Whew! /Rant. Sorry. I get a little excited about this stuff.

E said...

Miko,
Preach the word! I love the way your write! You nailed it: we have time to vote for American Idol or to TiVo "Survivor: Silicone Island," but not take 20 minutes to make a choice about our democracy. If it is elitist to care about voting and about the future of our country, then I'll gladly cop to that charge. People who say that don't realize that they are buying into the essential Hamiltonian argument that "the rabble" ought not to have had a say in the government. What the founding fathers brought together, let us not put asunder.