Sunday, November 02, 2008

Undecided No More

I recently riffed about the op-ed piece in the Inky that Jonathan Valania of Phawker wrote White people shouldn't be allowed to vote (which has been picked up by that across the pond publication, the Guardian). Based upon past history, especially over the past 8 years, as well as the nuts who people Palin rallies, Valania suggested that white people have screwed things up so much that they need a time out before they should be allowed to vote again.

There may be much merit to his view; however, in my opinion, the real problem is the "undecided voter" (picture John McCain's derisive air quotes as you read this).

According to Political Pulse:

One in seven, or 14 percent, can't decide or back a candidate but might switch, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll of likely voters released Friday.
NPR puts the number of undecideds at 6.4%. See Who Are The Undecided Voters?. See also the stats on undecideds at The Undecideds.

As David Sedaris notes in the New Yorker, Undecided:
I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”
As have many other papers and magazines, the NYTimes has a feature article discussing the profile of a few undecideds, The Undecided - Sheepish, Proud or Set to Flip Coin.

It seems like everyone is pandering to this illusive undecided voter, trying to sway him (or her). They comprised the focus groups for each of the debates and frankly, get way too much time and attention. How about the political junkies who read (and watch) every movement during the duration of the long, ardurious campaign -- even going so far as to discern the policy positions of each of the candidates on the important issues of the day? How about us??

Jonathan Valania described them best during the primary:
Their vote is like throwing stones in a pond on a moonless night. You hear the splash but you don’t know where it went in. Anybody who tells a pollster on the eve of an election that they are still — STILL, after endless debates, 24-7 media coverage and non-stop dueling campaign ads on TV — undecided is either stupid or lying, and probably both. After being reminded that a LOT of people died to ensure their right to vote and the very LEAST you could do is make up your fucking mind, these people should be slapped across the forehead with a wet mackerel until they leave the polling place.
I believe the "Undecideds" are just a bunch of dumb, attention seeking, namby-pamby losers who don't deserve the effort given to them. Based upon a survey by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Gawker notes America's Hookers Smarter Than Undecided Voters.

And, as it turns out, they may not matter anyway. Wonkette observes, in Undecided Voters Not That Important After All:
Well HA now you don’t have to feel so bad about actually watching the news and having opinions about who the president should be! You, the “decided voter,” are actually just as important as the undecideds. This mythical group of undecided dunderheads with a mystical power to sway elections through the force of their procrastinatory ignorance is actually not that important, because they do not tend to break overwhelmingly toward one candidate or the other. Or if they do, there aren’t enough of them to really change the picture.

* * * *
If by some amazing quirk of fate undecideds end up breaking, say, 2:1 for McCain, it still won’t matter, because at this point John McCain actually needs committed Obama voters to switch over his side if he’s going to win. This will, of course, be difficult, given the cultish devotion Obamatards exhibit toward their love-object.
Even if that's not the case, I say, that we should help them out. Put them out of their misery. They should not be allowed to vote. After all, it's obviously too difficult to fathom what -- or how -- to vote anyway. As Daniel Gugliotta of OpEdNews notes, Undecided Voters, say what?:
Maybe these people shouldn't vote. Will they throw a dart at a board or consult a psychic? These undecideds have sat through probably the longest presidential campaign in history. Yahoo now comes out with a poll that one in seven voters is still persuadable. These people are truly looking for the second coming or at least some rhetoric that sends a thrill up their leg.

I would love to meet an undecided voter and ask them 'what's up with that?' These people must be the same ones that I run into at the supermarket who stand there for ten minutes to decide which toilet paper they want, or the same people in the checkout line that don't take out their check or credit card until all the groceries are packed and then shuffle around with their purses or wallets while many of the decided folk are patiently waiting in line. (Hey Sarah how's that for a run on sentence?)
I agree with the advice of Alaska Politics, who says, Undecided Voters: Let me guide you:
Here's my advice to you, Undecided Voter Person: Don't vote.

Just as you probably dither and fret over what to wear to work each Monday (inevitably opting for the same outfit you've worn every Monday since you bought one of every color at that big sale at Fred Meyer in 2002), your choice will probably be wrong.

If you are Undecided with only a couple days to go, I'm guessing that you are not 'Pro-choice'. That's because choices confuse you.
And if they really, really want to vote, I guess we can let them vote on November 5th.


To help with the image of "undecided voters," (or "Dick Fingers," as Jon Stewart calls them), is the Daily Show's take on McCain "air quotes":

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