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


  1. This election was really easy for me. 1) I am seriously happy with the job Obama is doing and I like him as a husband, father and human being. 2) Not happy with the social issues the other side continues to fight against that have no bearing with the way we should be running our country. Yep it was easy

    Comment by kelly Ross | October 28, 2012 | Reply

    • You’re married to Barack Obama??:) Look, lots of people feel that way on both sides; many of us are torn. Just trying to speak for them.

      Comment by janelondon | October 28, 2012 | Reply

      • 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?

        I believe you have hit the nail on the head with this statement. I feel many people are thinking that either way the candidate will make their individual experience a better one. That way no one has to really be personally responsible for anything….

        Comment by Tim Lankerd | October 28, 2012

  2. Very well written!!

    Comment by Marge Beem | October 28, 2012 | Reply

  3. Thank you for writing so eloquently what many, many of us feel.

    Comment by Paula | October 28, 2012 | Reply

  4. Speaking for me Jane! thank you. You get it.

    Comment by Penny Kidd | October 28, 2012 | Reply

  5. I respectfully disagree with the comment from Tim Lankerd. Whereas I don’t expect any politician to fix everything. Politicians do have the power to make individual experiences better or much worse. For example, had Bush not deregulated the housing market – then we may not have had the housing crisis. I am not picking sides, I am merely stating facts. Furthermore, I am a teacher and some of my students are homeless because their parents can’t find work. A president that could help spur the economy and create jobs would probably aleviate some of the homelessness. Being able to sustain employment would have a huge impact on their individual life experiences. On the other hand, many more of my students would be living in vans if not for the support of the present government. A government that didn’t provide for their welfare would have left these children with absolutely nothing. You have to imagine that would also have a very big impact on their individual life experiences.

    Comment by Jennifer Geiger | October 29, 2012 | Reply

    • Jennifer:
      I think that Tim was actually agreeing with my assertion re: politicians. I think that “the government” and “a politician” are different concepts. As I mentioned in the post, I don’t want this to turn into another endless ring around the rosy as to which candidate or party is ‘right’. Politics, like our lives, is an endless loop of unintended consequences. That’s why I made the point of saying that picking either side is always a gamble and in the end, we just have to live with whoever we, as a nation choose to lead us. Thus, Tim and I believe that it’s futile to believe that any one politician can fix our lives. They can certainly have an effect, but we never really know what that is until history unfolds.
      We shall see…

      Comment by janelondon | October 29, 2012 | Reply

  6. Thank you! My thoughts exactly! Thanks for writing that out Jane! 😉

    Comment by Kimberly | October 29, 2012 | Reply

  7. It is wonderful that there are people like you who can articulate all that I feel. Thank you Jane! :0)

    Comment by Christine | October 31, 2012 | Reply

  8. You have described me exactly!

    Comment by shellybelly12 | November 3, 2012 | Reply

  9. I think that turning the comments into another argument for either side is useful. Thanks!

    Comment by segmation | November 4, 2012 | Reply

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