The choices: tough and tougher

Here’s what I’lI be doing this weekend: Trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do when I finally have my ballot in front of me.

I’m an honest to God “undecided” right now. On one hand there’s the aged jet jockey who alarmingly approaches governance with the same swooping, crazy, seat-of-the-pants style that served him well as a fighter pilot, right up until the moment a missile took him down. On the other hand there’s the untested greenhorn whose single greatest accomplishment in this campaign has been to promise both tax cuts and hundreds of billions in more spending — and not be laughed off the stage. Standing in the wings are a cranky conservative-turned-libertarian, and a once-respected consumer activist who’s turned himself into a joke candidate by having his name on various ballots in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 — thus making a serious run at Harold Stassen’s record of futility.

I have voted in every presidential election since 1972. This is the first time I’ve ever been stumped by the choices before me. I suddenly understand why some people simply sit out the election, and let others make the call. I won’t do that, because I want to preserve my right to second-guess the next president on a daily basis, and I need to vote in order to have the moral authority to do so. But every choice feels wrong, for different reasons. I don’t lean toward anyone — only away.

I envy those of you who are convinced of the absolute rightness of your chosen candidate. I think you’re deluded, not to mention willfully blind to his undeniable (and scary) shortcomings — but at least you’re doing something fun this weekend.

17 Responses to “The choices: tough and tougher”

  1. mikey Says:

    Vote McCain-Palin and every other Republican that you can identify on your ballot. They are a known commodity and by far the lesser of two evils.

  2. Music Lover Says:

    I hear you Gearino. My vote is also somewhat up in the air as we enter the final weekend before The Most Important Presidential Election of Our Lifetime.

    Me being not quite as cerebral as you, I don’t struggle so much with my choice. My thought process has been shifted into “Neutral” effective this morning. That’s where it’s gonna stay until Tuesday. It rarely makes it past “Second” anyway. I gotta tell you, this intellectual coasting stuff feels damned good. I’m ready for some football.

    I’m leaving my choice to the fickle hand of fate. I can always hope that one of the candidates will stumble spectacularly.

    Perhaps McCain will finally utter his pet phrase “my friends” one time too many and it triggers some kind of mental tick that renders him incompetent right there in the middle of his stump speech.

    Maybe right-leaning bloggers will uncover a speech Obama’s wife made that makes Farakhan look like Uncle Ben by comparison. That could alienate even the most Barack-enthralled among the electorate. Maybe Oprah will get pissed at Barack and urge her desciples to vote McCain. Does anyone doubt their blind obedience?

    That’s hoping for something bad to happen - which can’t be good for my karma. I think I’ll wait for a sign, an omen instead.

    Maybe the Idaho potato sittin’ in my window sill will suddenly morph into the likeness of Obama or McCain. Maybe my cat Mitz will scrawl either a “J” or “B” initial in her cat litter when she buries her business. Maybe Doug or Uncle Frank will tell me who to vote for.

    It’s out of my hands. And I fear the Gators will spank the Bulldogs tomorrow. I already got my omen for that. My cat again.

  3. Dee Says:

    Oh, for a touch of “absolute rightness!” I’ve already held my nose and voted this year.
    I too was undecided until the VP candidates were chosen. I’ve always thought that was a good indication of the candidates mettle.
    Now we just hope that the best man wins and that he’s able to work with the Congress to turn things around.

  4. Uncle Frank Says:

    Maybe this helps the undecided:

    http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12516666&source=features_box2

  5. Brunette Says:

    Undecided? In the immortal words of David Sedaris:

    “I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? 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.”

  6. Doug Says:

    Since Music Lover is awaiting my input on the election here it is. Vote McCain. Divided government is our best hope right now. There is absolutely no indication in Obama’s career that he will stand up to the worst instincts of the Pelosi’s, Reids, Rangels or Barney Franks (or the Wright’s, Phlegers, Farrakan’s or Ayer’s of the world either) if there isn’t an election to be won.

    I will vote for as much stalemate as possible.

  7. G.D. Gearino Says:

    Uncle Frank: Thanks for the link.

    Brunette: I hope you understand that I prefer my political advice come from a source more profound than a humorist and one-time Santaland elf.

  8. Debrah Says:

    LOL!!!
    LOL!!!

    ROTFLM-T’s-O !!!

  9. Debrah Says:

    Well, perhaps knowing that we will be treated to more SNL skits like this one using the old Ashford & Simpson tune, “Solid as a Rock” might just sway your opinion.

    Maya does makes a better Michelle than the real one.

    http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/obama-address/787181/

  10. Debrah Says:

    I voted yesterday afternoon and was amazed to see the crowds who are voting early.

    I chose to balance out my ticket by voting all over the map.

    Allowing either the Republicans or the Democrats to have control of the presidency and the Congress is a scary thought.

    AND…….I was especially kind to those candidates who did not annoy the hell out of me for months with their incessant robo-calls.

  11. Barb Says:

    Well, “convinced of the absolute rightness” is a stretch. There are a lot of reasons I’m voting for Obama, but I won’t bore you with all of them. Just one: Our country is a mess right now and I’m hoping by seriously shaking things up we can come out stronger. It may take several years, but I’m confident that choosing someone so far away from our current administration is the only way (and I won’t waste my vote on Barr). Obama’s right-on with his CHANGE campaign, I just hope he means it.

  12. Barb Says:

    Oh, and don’t be so down on Santaland elfs! They offer a whole new view of the holidays than most of us see!

  13. Sheila Says:

    My advice to you would be to look at the issues that matter most to you and vote for the candidate whose philosophy is closest to yours. It is a pretty stark choice between the two major party candidates so it’s really not that difficult. Also, how do you want the Supreme Court to lean? It’s really a pretty simple decision if you look at it from those perspectives- unless you are undecided about your opinion on those things. Or go the throw-away route and vote for a candidate who has no chance. The only truly important thing is to actually vote.

  14. Brunette Says:

    Oh DAN! LOW BLOW!

    Now you’ve done it.

  15. Jim Says:

    Music Lover - I was going to write “Sarah Palin IS an omen” but Dee beat me too it. Ignore Doug.

    Uncle Frank - nice link.

    Brunette - nice quote.

    Dan - I’m with Brunette on this one. I think the former elf is just as right as all the talking heads who think themselves “profound.” After all, if anyone was more profound, wouldn’t you already have all the political advice you’d need to have made up your mind? Go with the elf.

    Sheila - I should vote for president based on how I want the Supreme Court to lean. Seriously?

    I just hope you who haven’t voted don’t have a frustrating Tuesday.

    Oh, and Happy Halloween.

  16. Debrah Says:

    For those still deciding how you will vote on Tuesday, let me urge you to cast a vote for AG Roy Cooper.

    He stood up for truth and justice amid the maddening and extortionist crowds when it counted most.

    He used the word “innocent” because it was glaringly obvious this was the case.

    Now the ever-present and parasitic race hounds are urging their followers not to vote this time around for Cooper because he didn’t break the law in the name of race-hustling.

    But look who they are voting for instead. LOL!!!

    A man who wants to go after their own “voting fraud baby”–ACORN.

    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2008/10/least-surprising-endorsement.html

    Oh, the humanity.

  17. Sheila Says:

    Jim- yeah, seriously.