"So, wait. Animals have rights, but not gays? I'm glad I got that clarified by the idiots in this state." ~fergus8
and to all you undecideds and or non-voters a piece from Mark Morford:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/10/22/notes102208.DTLUndecided? Really?
Who the hell are you? Are you evil? Are you Jesus?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate ColumnistM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm told it is sometimes helpful to project outside yourself, to mess with your own ideological boundaries, to attempt, however exasperatingly and however much it makes you want to hose yourself down with the cool fire of intellectual clarity afterwards, to enter the minds of your enemies, or those with whom you merely disagree, or -- perhaps most challenging of all -- with those whose mental gyrations you simply cannot fathom in the slightest.
Behold, the Undecideds. Have you heard of this bizarre, nefarious group? The millions of faceless, slow-blinking, mentally unattached Americans who are, right this minute, with mere days to go before the most historic election in our lifetime and when faced with what seems to be the most glaringly obvious divisions of attitude and perspective you could possibly imagine, still "on the fence" about Obama or McCain, love or hate, country or disco, Paris or Fresno, oil or water, Porsche or Pinto?
Do you know anyone from this group? Those who have the uncanny ability to stare straight at the biggest issues and most momentous decisions of their very lives, and shrug?
Odds are very good you do. Because they are, apparently, legion. And pivotal. And they are, it must be said, one of the most baffling groups in world history. Impenetrable. Unnerving. As such, it is perhaps a worthy experiment to try to enter the Undecided mind, to examine what might be going on -- or, as the case may be, not going on.
What we risk: instant madness, increased frustration, screaming. What we stand to gain: perspective, empathy, more screaming. Shall we?
Firstly, some quick assumptions. I hereby assume the Undecideds are not the Classic American Zombie. They are not the socially and politically ignorant, the millions of culturally apathetic, uneducated Americans you often read about who live way off the intellectual grid, who don't read, don't vote, don't eat with utensils, don't care, don't know how to care and have never really evolved their own intellectual curiosity much beyond the walk-upright-and-don't-drool stage. In other words, the Undecideds still pay attention. Sort of.
This, perhaps, is the first major snag: From what I can glean, it seems the Undecideds pay just enough attention. They care a little, maybe just enough to vote, to take part in a political tracking polls and interviews, to latch onto irrelevant effluvia, to nod with brow-furrowed interest when their more attuned friends speak passionately about a given issue. But that's about as far as it goes.
For an Undecided, then, everything is received wisdom. Everything is a mishmash of external sources, a haphazard blur of everyone else's ideas, headlines, tidbits of disconnected thought and rumor, and the thing they believe most is merely the last thing they heard that "sounded about right."
Upshot: no original thought. No sifting and sorting and careful deliberation, resulting in a calm statement of self-determined purpose. There is only, perhaps, fear of taking a stand, of having an opinion, of believing in something, anything, lest you be proven ignorant or pitiable or Britney Spears. Psychology experts, start your engines.
If this definition holds true, if there's such a large and powerful group that, given its lethargic inability to make distinctions, requires all sorts of trickery and flash to hold their fleeting attention, well, it makes the Undecideds a rather hugely dangerous lot indeed. And sort of pathetic. And really lousy in bed.
Or maybe not. Maybe I have it exactly backwards. Maybe the Undecideds are the most evolved among us, more aware and conscious than the rest of us desperate plebes who are far too eager to plant our flags in the treacherous soil of definitive thought. Possible?
Could it be that the Undecideds have developed an enlightened, Zen-like meta-perspective, wherein they see all social melodramas and political extremes as essentially the same, all part of the Grand Cosmic Circus? And therefore deciding something as piffling as Obama versus McCain -- that is, whether to kick human experiment forward with intelligence and thoughtfulness, or lock it into conservative Tupperware and shove it in the back freezer for another 30 years -- is pointless and unnecessary, merely part of the same cosmic joke?
Hell, I've oft championed the necessity of keeping your mind juicy and spirit fluxive, of never letting dogma bog you down and clog your karmic drain. Have the Undecideds mastered this rare skill? Let me just hedge a tentative answer right here: not a chance. After all, there's a profound difference between lucid energetic fluidity and, well, mealy mental dithering.
One more possibility: The Undecideds might be largely made up of the politically disenchanted, the remnants of the ideological fringe, libertarians and the Independents and the Ron Paul/Nader fanatics who, since their dreamy marginal candidate has been relegated back to footnote status, are trained to merely see the other options as equally worthless, cogs in the same corporate machine.
I'm not buying it. For one thing, most of those activists have a clearly demonstrated -- if a bit wonky -- ability to choose. And let'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. They're just ... I'm not sure what. Confused? Simple? Overmedicated?
The days are dwindling. The choice is nigh. And the strange news is, somewhere between 10 to 15 percent of the voting nation is still undecided, still unsure, still apparently waiting, after countless debates and speeches, thousands of articles and profiles and policy wonkings, biographies, autobiographies, detailed lists of everything from the type of foods the candidates like to sports teams they root for to the kind of car they drive, for some impossible fog to clear.
The good news is, this election probably won't hinge quite so dramatically on the Undecideds' final decision, whatever the hell it might be. The bad news is, these infuriating creatures of tepid doom show no signs of going extinct anytime soon.