Selection Anxiety

Chad W. Lutz
They’re called the Undecideds. They’ve been parodied on SNL, talked about ad nausea in the media, and make up a sizable percentage of American voters. Many claim that votes cast by this group may tip the balance in the upcoming election. But with only a little over two weeks to go until voters cast their ballots for President of the United States, many of the Undecideds still have no idea who they’re going to vote for.

Like it or not, the 2012 election is between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While it would be wonderful in some utopic alternate universe to legitimately consider another candidate in the running for the Nation’s highest office, what we’ve got is Red vs Blue, Dem vs GOP; one party’s extremes desperately clinging to the notions of the old and the other racing towards something it barely understands (but hey, at least it looks shiny and cool). So, on November 6, without our discretion, we have only to look forward to realistically casting our vote for one of two parties, throwing our vote away on a candidate who won’t more than receive more than 2% of the total popular vote (if that), or simply not voting at all.

I believe Trey Parker and Matt Stone put it best in an episode of South Park; we’re voting between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich, and these are our best bets for the person who will inevitably become the ruler of the entire free world. This, along with many other sentiments, is exactly what keeps so many voters on the fence up until the very last minute. It’s not that these candidates aren’t honestly intelligent or poised, or even formidable politicians-many hold prestigious degrees and have achieved outstanding accolades in fields the majority of us will only ever be able to dream about-but, all too often, political candidates come off as caricatures of themselves, completely unrealistic and asininely unbelievable. What’s even more disgusting is the way many of these politicians act once they throw their hat into the ring for President. It’s like night and day, in many cases.

Like so many other good, little American drones, I’ve been following along the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever watched them so intently as I have these, for some odd reason or another. I’m not really a fan of either candidate at this point. Each has points that make me think, one less than the other, although I’m not at the liberty to discuss who I’ll be voting for on Election Day, but what has me bothered is the stale departure from an otherwise decent human beings I know both men can be when on the national stage. It’s been like watching wind up dolls spew out their programmed punch lines over and over and over again. And what’s worse is that as the election draws near, the desire to talk less about what change each candidate plans to make personally takes second stage to talk of how much their candidate is doing wrong, and will do wrong if elected. What about what you’re going to do?

And how about some specifics? I’m a voter, not a mind reader, and it scares me when the only two people I have to choose from can’t even be upfront and honest about what their intentions for my tax dollars and blood are. That’s like when you were a kid and your parents told you, ever-so-ambiguously, to eat your broccoli because it was “good”, but not giving reasons as to why. I’m not going to eat my broccoli (this is the only time you’ll hear/read me say that). I want answers, and you should, too.

But neither candidate seems overly concerned with talking, specifically, about their plans for the country. One candidate does seem to be focusing less on the attacks, but notice I drew attention to focusing less on the attacks. See what I did there? You can’t turn on the TV for more than 5 minutes, on any channel, without some political ad harpooning a candidate. The radio, the internet; they follow suit, too. I think it really demonstrates the state of things in America when our own President stoops to the level of those aiming to unplug him and smatters and smears with the best of them. Perhaps it gets some sort of message out, but I feel like the majority of us are just waiting to exhale. The moment of decompression: the General Election on November 6. I know I’ll be happy when it’s all over with, nothing but bulls on parade in HD Technicolor.

I’m not a proponent of anarchy, nor do I feel abandoning suffrage somehow makes the right kind of statement. But I agree with the millions of people still undecided this close to the election when, at the end of mulling over the choices and weighing the options, they still don’t have any clearer idea of who to vote for than they did before they sat down to think in the first place. When you strip away the party affiliation and personal affiliation with ideology this and ideology that, what are we looking at? These men are supposed to be assuming the most coveted and powerful position in the world, and all it seems like they know how to do is point fingers at each other like brother and sister squabbling over who has to ride in the back seat.

This may not be “news” to anyone, the idea of political candidates fighting over nothing and sensationalizing, well, everything, but this year it seems exceptionally bad. There’s a lot at stake, there’s no doubt about it. Healthcare hangs in the balance, major tax laws are set to expire in the next four years which could greatly alter the course of the American dollar and world economy, at least one, if not three justices on the supreme court are expected to step down or retire, and a slew of your everyday, grab-bag social issues continue to press the political powers at be. New ones are probably waiting right around the corner, too. What are you gonna do? Oh ya! You have to vote for either a Turd Sandwich or a Giant Douche, or not vote at all and give up the only say you have as an American citizen in politics other than to saddle up and ride out into the Battle at Bighorn yourself. Mmmmm. Makes you want to run right out and boldy vote for either of these two starlets now, doesn’t it?

I’m sure it doesn’t help settle any election anxiety by telling you to just vote for the sake of voting, nor would it inspire you as to the American political system to make an uninformed decision for the sake of making a decision. I know where you’re coming from. Giant Douche: raises one open palm. Turd Sandwich: raises the other palm face up. But, I suppose, sometimes, to enact any change at all, we have to select the lesser of two evils, more importantly because we don’t live in the ideal world many of these plastic men continuously taunt us with by saying it’s just around the corner, if only we lend them our vote. I didn’t write this to try to get you to vote, or to vote one way or another. I wrote this to get you to think, especially those who break down the polling place doors on Election Day, wide eyed and foaming at the mouth, armed with an absolute decision, and that’s that. Take a moment to look at why so many of those around you, millions of people, take so long to arrive at the decision you know before you know you know.

No sympathy for the Sake of Humanity