human nature politics

“undecided” voters

“It’s a bit odd that we give the Undecided Voter such a privileged place in American elections. Because from a civic standpoint, few creatures are as contemptible. This election has dominated every form of American news media for the better part of two years. Newspapers, magazines, networks, cable, radio, blogs, people on street corners with signs — it’s really been rather hard to miss. Further, it pits two extremely different candidates against each other. Whether your metric is age, ideology, temperament, race, funding sources, healthcare plans or Iraq strategies, it would be hard to imagine two men presenting a starker contrast.

But despite this, the Undecided Voter wakes up each morning and says, in effect, “I dunno.” And the political system panders to him. Undecided voters are believed to be the decisive slice of the American electorate, so they get the debates and the ads and the focus groups (assuming, that is, that they live in a battleground state).” -Ezra Kelin, L.A. Times

I would go so far as to say that, despite the efforts of the “get out the vote” groups, people who aren’t familiar with the issues and people who don’t quite understand the differences between Obama and McCain and their positions simply should not vote. To leave important political and policy decisions to people who, in effect, wake up on Election Day and decide “hmm…I dunno…I guess I’ll vote for X” is absurd beyond belief.

Yes, it is your civic duty to vote. But even more important is your civic duty to vote responsibly. If you know of any “undecided” voters who couldn’t or wouldn’t learn enough about the issues and candidates to cast an informed vote, please do your civic duty and encourage them not to vote!

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