Present Tense

Stuck In the Middle…..

A lot is being made about ‘undecided’ voters.  I would describe myself as an ‘uneasy’ voter.  I did it, I made my choice, but it was a ‘hold your nose’ kind of election for me.  I’m sure that many of you know exactly what I mean.

My theory on the ‘undecideds’ is that by and large, you are torn between two philosophies:  You know the federal government is inefficient and that it spends too much money on too many frivolous things.  You know in your gut that our current spending levels, borrowing levels, taxing levels are unsustainable.  We can quibble about WHAT to spend the money on or how it should be allocated, but there is an unease about the fiscal health of the nation.  On the other hand, you are more liberal or less strident about the so-called ‘social issues’.  You believe that gays should be allowed to marry or join in a civil union; you lean toward the pro-choice side of the abortion issue.  You don’t like the huge influence that corporations and religion have on our government and our lives.

That describes me.  So, who is my candidate?  Who represents that point of view?  Nobody.  Thus, we have ‘undecided’ and ‘uneasy’ voters.

We’re the ones sort of standing on the sidelines, watching the true believers on the right and left eviscerate each other with insults, lies, talking points, polls, statistics, blah, blah, blah.  We know that neither candidate can deliver on the issues that are important to us, because there is very little overlap between ‘fiscal conservative’ and ‘social liberal’ in this election.  What has saddened me about this election cycle is the insulting and hateful rhetoric, not from the candidates or their surrogates, but from you; from us.  Americans who are taking their political affiliation a little too seriously.  One doesn’t need to hate, insult or lie about the other guy, in order to support your choice.  I thought we were morphing into a tolerant, diverse society?

We are more divided on MORE teams than I’ve ever seen and I’m OLD!  Men vs. women, gay vs. straight, Dem vs GOP, white vs black/hispanic/anything, conservative vs liberal, religious vs not/not enough, old vs young.  It’s never ending and yet we act as if it’s sports or a game.  My team can kick your team’s ass!!!!!!  Folks, at our core, we’re all on the same team.  Not USA, USA, USA, but the human team.

Look in the mirror or better yet, into your soul; be honest about what you REALLY seek in life.  Can a politician who is promising to fix everything really fix your life?  And how sad is it that some of us rely on them to meet expectations that no one human can fulfill?

So, we’re left to weigh the options and try to figure what the candidates will REALLY do once they’re in office.  A lot of that depends on the make-up of the Congress and as we learn again and again, there are events, both domestic and geo-political that can derail the best laid plans.

Quite honestly, it’s a gamble either way and I think that the majority of us have similar worries as we cast our vote.  I’m not here to sway you; how could I? I’m stuck in the middle with many of you.

And do me a favor: don’t turn the comments into another argument for either side. There is nothing left to say and none of us care.  Thanks.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | Musings | 12 Comments


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