Undecided Uninformed Voters

Yeah that’s right. Its okay if you are undecided and know the facts, but really…

I just saw someone on CNN, two actually who said that the only thing that kept them from swinging to Kerry was the fact that he hadn’t said that he wouldn’t raise taxes.

But Kerry has plainly stated that he will raise taxes for those that earn over 200,000 only. He has stated it MANY TIMES! Whether or not they can trust him, but don’t say that you don’t know. The information is out there. WATCH THE DEBATES!

From the second debate…

Why the hell does the most important election of our fucking lifetime have to be decided by unimformed dolts like these?
Not that I am worried. It is generally thought that people like this break to the contender. For instance, for her to vote for Kerry all she needed to know was that he wouldn’t raise taxes, and to vote for Bush she needed a whole litany of consolations.

But please…

Not that I don’t blame Paula Zahn for not correcting her on her obvious mistake. She would look like she is trying to win votes for JFK. Anyway, does anyone else out there find this disturbing?

It’s hard to blame people for being uninformed.

I mean, folks are working, raising kids… finding an hour and a half to catch the debate isn’t realistic for everyone’s schedule.

And the media’s no help. Just recently, I noticed a 3" story regarding new information on risk of birth defects due to pesticides on page 7 of a major metro paper. Included on page one, complete with color graphics… the lead-in to a multi-page story concerning which cartoon characters are selling the most breakfast cereal. I shit thee not.

And the mainstream media’s record on politics is even worse than it is on health. See Spinsanity.com, FactCheck.org, and (for a less objective perspective) The Daily Howler for a plethora of examples of how today’s media has utterly abdicated its responsibility to call bullshit when it’s fed a blatant lie.

The campaigns don’t help much, either. Both sides are slinging lies, exaggerations, and distortions fast and furious, and omitting much that’s truly significant.

Of course, in a consumer culture, you run into a chicken-and-egg problem. If folks demanded the truth, and punished liars, we’d have a different situation. But we don’t, by and large.

Still, I have to say, in today’s climate, I can completely understand why millions of folks would be uninformed.

What’s even sadder is that so many of those that are afraid of Kerry’s repeal of the Bush tax bonanza for the wealthy are those that make much less than $200K. I know more than one person making less than $50K that is deathly afraid of a democratic administration because of possible tax increases. And these are the people that gained the least from Bush and should fear the least from Kerry.

Let’s see: In order to leave the current contestants out of it:

Bush the first: “Read my lips. No new taxes.” But there were.
Clinton: “I did not have sex with that woman.” But he did.

What does it matter if a politician looks you in the eye and says something? Most likely it will not be the truth, it’ll simply be what he thinks you want to hear.

Better to examine a pol’s past actions that any statements he might make.

Mmmmmmmm… taaaxes…

And of course, I don’t agree that raising taxes on those who make over $200K per year is such a hot idea anyway.

The benefits of raising taxes on those who make over $200K are debatable, but at least you know that that is what Kerry said he would so.

What is worrisome is when people have no idea what Kerry even claims he is going to do. And I actually think such lack of knowledge is MORE common this election, because there is so much more misinformation out there to clog up people’s brains.

Maybe not. But in any case, the “promise” was to “roll back the tax cuts” rather than raise them above pre-Bush-plan levels. Whether there’s a substantive difference there is up to you to decide. (Whether it’s real and workable I can’t say, but I suspect it’s not.)

It’s interesting to note that, now that it’s down to the wire, the Bush campaign has returned to the “Kerry voted over 350 times to raise taxes” lie (which they had abandoned shortly after introducing it), apparently figuring the “98 times” lie that Bush used throughout the debates just wasn’t working.

What disturbs me is that I’m getting a very uneasy feeling that a GOP strategy is developing at the national level (and it’s disturbing b/c I’m a Republican, for local reason) to use Clinton-Gingrich-type brinksmanship on the tax issue. The strategy seems to be, cut taxes no matter what and let the Democrats raise them when they’re in power.

Recent events may shed some light on where to put much of the blame for misinformation. As Walt Kelly famously wrote, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

Bush, in a rare moment of candor, admitted some time ago that the “war on terror” cannot be definitively won. This is true. But he was attacked for saying it. So he reversed himself. Kerry did something similar, and now Bush is having deja-vu all over again after his “up in the air” remark.

In a climate where politicians are punished for telling the truth, what do we expect?

No one dares say, hey, taxes sometimes have to go up. No one dares say that terrorists, like the the poor, will always be with us. After all, even though we did manage to win the seemingly unwinnable war on piracy back in the day, piracy was never eradicated, although it is no longer the scourge of the world or a fundamental threat to our way of life.

I told my step-father this weekend that being an undecided voter is like John Wayne waking up in the morning and not being able to decide whether to wear jeans or a dress.

Haha, no shit. If you are undecided at this point, you are either stupid or you simply do not have strong opinions about anything political.

Or without Internet access. They do exist, and ghod only knows where they’re getting their information.

Really, one hour and Internet access would tell people what they need to know. It’s people who POST on message boards like this one saying they’re undecided that really get my goat. Don’t post, read!

What if you’ve decided that neither candidate, nor political party, is qualified enough to run a super-power?

Then you check off that extremely popular option “I’d rather have the Oval Office competely empty for the next 4 years” on your ballot.

Oh wait, there isn’t such an option. Make up your fucking mind, hold your nose, and get your ass in the voting booth.

I fully intend to vote, just like I did in the last election, where I voted for a 3rd party candidate as a (extraordinarily) minor means of protest against the principal party candidates. Voted libertarian last time…don’t know where I’ll go with this year’s vote (anyone know if there is a libertarian candidate on the NYS ballot this year?). I do know that neither Bush nor Kerry will get my vote.

I will also vote against Charles Schumer, even though he is essentially unopposed for his Senate seat. First, he is far to liberal for me. I like moderate politicians of either party, not the ends of the spectrum. Second, I would much rather the parties of the Senator’s from NY be split.