I take voting very seriously and try to prepare myself for that daunting task every time an election comes round. In this national election coming up in November, I want to be informed and cast my vote for the candidates most likely to lead this country out of the predicament we’re currently in. Whether I’m voting for the president or a congressman, I want an effective, principled man. I use that word man loosely, of course, because in the English language, man still can refer to both sexes. Certainly I’ll vote for a woman if I determine her to be the best man for the job. I’ve encountered a bit of a problem determining how exactly to prepare to vote in this year’s election though.
I can turn on the news tonight or any other night for that matter and check the polls about the race for the presidency. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows President Obama attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns 45% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided. That’s just one poll though. FOX News has Romney ahead by one. The Associated Press shows Obama ahead by one. How accurate are these polls? Well, I wouldn’t stake my life on them, but I guess they’re about as accurate as the weather forecasts. How then do I use them to educate myself from day to day? I confess that I don’t. I refuse to look at or listen to polls, and if anybody out there can explain to me how polls are beneficial, please call me.
I can’t bear to listen to debates either because the best way to tell if a candidate is lying is by whether or not his mouth is open. If it’s closed, I’m pretty sure he’s not lying. Now if we could have a debate in which truth serum were administered to all debaters beforehand, I’d tune in and stay for the fireworks. Else, I’d just as soon mop my floor or paint my toenails. Any thing else would be more productive.
And I must also consider the lunatic fringe hanging on both parties. This week’s Top Lunatic for the Republican Party Award must go to Rep. Todd Akin. On August 19, he broadcast his ignorance to the world when he said that rape victims can usually avoid pregnancy because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This gentlemen, who apparently has never had even a basic biology class, is the Republican nominee for the Senate in Missouri and refuses to step down, even at the request of his own party. Even Mitt Romney denounced his remarks and asked him to step down, but Akin insists that he can win. He’s staying. Can he win? I don’t know. You might want to check the polls.
Not only the Republicans have a lunatic fringe. Vice President Joe Biden stuffed the Democratic feet into his big mouth on August 14 and claimed that dubious honor. While speaking Tuesday morning in Danville, he said to an audience with a clear population of minorities that Romney and the Republicans want to put “y’all back in chains.” Whether he intended a racial slur or not, his words certainly came across that way. In all actuality, he probably didn’t because it would be political suicide. No, his error was probably in not engaging his brain before opening his mouth. But then, what’s unusual about that?
I try to consider the platform of each candidate, but I refuse to listen to all the mud slinging, so frequently I have to kill the broadcast in the middle. I don’t trust either Romney or Obama. If I had a guarantee that either of them would do exactly what he promised on the campaign trail once he moved into the oval office, I’d have my candidate. In all the years I’ve voted, I’ve learned to be a cynic about politicians. They have proved themselves to me, and the proof isn’t very pretty.
So I continue to keep my ears open and my eyes. November’s not that far away. Don’t call me with advice on who to vote for though. My answering machine’s already overloaded with recorded political messages.