Saturday Night Live recently had a skit mocking the undecided voter, portraying those of us uncommitted to a certain candidate as completely unaware. I can take a joke, and to some extent it was funny, but it does not describe me. I am certainly undecided, but certainly not unaware. So if I don’t know exactly who I’m going to vote for, then what do I know and believe? Well………
1. I think we need fiscal responsibility
2. I believe in Social Justice
3. I know the first two points are not 100% compatible
4. I believe we need a strong military but know there is a lot of fraud, waste, and abuse in the DOD
5. I believe the recession is complicated and the only way out involves much more than the funding of PBS
6. I believe PBS will do just fine without government funding, but ceasing to fund it will not make any significant difference in the federal bottom line.
7. I don’t think there is a war on Christmas, guns, or women and people who rail against these “wars” are using politics for personal power and influence.
8. I know there is a war in Afghanistan that costs a lot of money and lives but is no longer on the radar of most of the country.
9. I believe there has been a natural creep of executive branch powers that is enabled by political parties who can not bring themselves to push back against one of their own.
10. I believe Mitt Romney really wants to make America successful and believes his plan will do that.
11. I believe President Obama feels the same way.
12. I believe there are very influential people in the Republican Party that are more concerned with making money than with helping the less fortunate.
13. I believe there are influential people in the Democratic Party that are more concerned with making money than helping the economy recover.
14. I believe Social Security and Medicare will need significant changes in order to survive.
15. I believe basic health care is a right, but extensive health care is a privilege.
16. I believe military health care is essentially socialized, single payer, health care and it works pretty well (all things considered).
17. I believe even a well intended voucher system will not be able to keep pace with health care costs, mostly due to government administration issues.
19. I believe if it did keep up, we would be in the same boat we are now.
20. I believe every candidate on the ballot in all 50 states should be allowed to debate (See: Gary Johnson).
21. I believe people have different views of the need for government based on their personal life experiences.
22. I like Moderate Mitt, but dislike the extreme right wing of the party to which he had to pander.
23. I liked the idealism of Barack Obama and was disappointed that he was unable to work more with Republicans.
24. I believe his inability to work with Republicans was mutually acceptable.
25. I think that if Romney wins, the most vocal Obama critics will continue to find new and interesting conspiracy theories to support.
26. I believe the tax/debt ceiling issues that we’ve put off for so long could have been solved if not for political gamesmanship by the parties.
27. I do not believe this election will make either side more willing to compromise than before, no matter who wins.
28. I believe too many people view politics as a spectator sport. I think they root for their home team candidate in order to improve their own self esteem.
29. I believe the playing field is rigged by the parties to exclude any other legitimate challengers.
30. I believe many Americans are unwittingly being duped by their party of choice through scare tactics about the opposition.
31. I believe Congress is the most polarized institution and represents the worst part of us as a country.
32. I believe the redistricting that led to “safe” districts for parties is the primary cause of the polarization.
Here’s what I DON’T know:
1. Can Mitt Romney influence the Republican Party…or will it be the other way around?
2. If Obama wins…..can the Republicans ever work with him?
3. Is a vote for Gary Johnson worth anything more than a personal statement?
4. Does it really matter who wins the executive branch if Congress remains so dysfunctional?
I have my absentee ballot (for a swing state, no less) and will vote, but not until after the debates and probably not until the last minute. Any thoughts or comments that are respectful and intelligent are welcome. Honest debate is good and I welcome any opportunity to learn more about the candidates and issues.