The LA Times would like you to meet the undecided voters. There are a lot of mean rumors about these undecided voters, like about they're stupid and ill-informed and dear god what world do you live in where you can't figure out if you want a hawkish old Republican or a moderate young Democrat in charge. But let's hear from an undecided voter in her own words: "I have cats, but I love dogs, and I've been thinking about it like five years already if I should adopt a dog." Ha, she lives in Florida, too!
"I have cats, but I love dogs, and I've been thinking about it like five years already if I should adopt a dog. It's a lot of responsibility and at my age I'm afraid to do it, but if I found a dog that's 10 years old so he doesn't live too much longer after me," she said. "And I want to buy another car because my car is old, but I keep thinking, if I just fix it . . ." (She did not hesitate, however, to say yes to her late husband of 50 years: "He swept me off my feet.")
"I'm waiting for one of them to shoot himself in the leg," she said, meaning the foot, which she would also like to see Democrat Obama or Republican McCain put in his mouth. "If one of them would do something that would make it so clear. . . . To tell you the truth, I feel the same about either one."
And what about Joyce Noland in Ohio?
"I'm leaning McCain, but I think Obama is like a breath of fresh air," she said, having voted twice for George W. Bush. She thinks Obama's running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, is "a blowhard." But no matter what happens, she plans to wake up happy on Wednesday.
Good for you, Joyce! Let's meet the Ohio Democrat who makes a point of saying she won't vote for Obama, not because of race, but because of something she can't put her finger on (hint: race):
Hansley is feeling the full weight of the country's problems: Her husband recently died of a terminal illness, and the medical bills are staggering. She lost her job as a respiratory therapist. Her children served in the military and she wants the troops to come home. She usually votes Democratic — which might point her to Obama, but doesn't. "It's not race, I'll tell you that," she offered after a long pause. "I'm angry and I'm tired, and I just don't feel it's right that people are losing their jobs and their homes. I don't trust either one. I really truly don't know who I will vote for."
And the Republican who dislikes McCain and thinks Obama has good ideas, what is she looking for?
So what would it take to win her vote? "If somebody would just drop the act, drop the script, have a candid moment. If I could ever see that," said Taylor, 32, sounding dubious.
You know what? You will never find it. Abstain. Vote for a third party. Write in your dentist. Write in Batman. If you can't figure out which politician, temperamentally and policy-wise, you prefer, then hey, you are just not cut out for voting! If you are unable to apply any sense of history to your decision, to figure out if you prefer Democratic or Republican presidents, what can we tell you? Maybe you are a third-party protest voter, or a non-voter, and there is actually absolutely nothing wrong with that, at all. It is a glorious thing, in our democracy, that you are allowed to not vote, if you don't feel like it. In 1912, we would've happily voted for Eugene Debs. America probably needs instant run-off voting and a parliamentary style system capable of supporting multiple parties and coalitions, but even in that glorious future these idiots would still be waiting for a candidate to personally call them and say they'll make everything better and get them a goddamn dog. We need to stop encouraging them.