Tuesday, November 6

Election Day 2012

It's here.  At last.  Election Day.  Soon the irritating election signs will be additional detritus for someone to clean up, though certainly those eager beaver electioneers aren't quite as eager to collect their signs as they are to post them everywhere there is a scrap of open space.

Just the other night I read two interesting pieces.  One an opinion piece titled "My plea to the undecided: Stay home!".  Mr. Greenfield is rude, condescending, and alarmingly close to being an idiot, in my personal opinion.

Another piece is titled "Why 40% of Americans Won't Vote for President," which is an interesting and informative little ditty worth reading.  I'm intrigued by the observation that people don't vote because it is inconvenient.  No, let me restate.  I'm appalled by the observation that people don't vote because it is inconvenient or that we might somehow suffer from too many opportunities to vote.

I don't think people are undecided so much as they are overinformed, but many of us recognize that we aren't really overinformed because there isn't a single candidate who tells the truth.  They shade the truth or skirt the truth because they have way too many messages for way too many groups, and they alert to and wary of when and how the media might pounce.

I'm smart enough to know that I'm not only overinformed, but underinformed. . . and because of the truth shading and truth skirting and the negative ads and all of the other bullshit that comes along with electioneering.

I also recognize my hypocrisy.  I didn't vote this year because, quite frankly, I didn't want to.  I'm not undecided.  I just don't know enough about any of these candidates to make an informed decision.  I wish electioneering hadn't become a sport in this country.  I wish that politicians and the media hadn't turned such a remarkable right and opportunity into what seems like a guessing game for voters and a game of "gotcha" for political campaign groups and the media.

I hope you did go out and vote.  I hope you exercised what is and should be a sacred right.  I hope that as part of your right to vote, as part of that freedom to express your opinion, you also gave pause to think about the implications of your vote as well as about how we have allowed our political system to become a game of sorts to far too many people.

People like to blame the media for all sorts of things, and often rightly so.  But we have given them that power by being interested in the salacious.  The media claims to give the people what it wants and we seem to want to be a mean-spirited, trash-talking, tattle-telling, bullying, and petulant society.

Think about that as you think about the direction of this country and the people who might best be able to pull us from our tailspin of incivility.

Oh, and try to be nice to each other today.  As a friend of mine said the other day, "Being nice matters."

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