It’s difficult to absorb every sound bite, every minutiae of the campaign trail, every talking head. I get that. The majority of us have but a few minutes of each day to allow ourselves to be invaded by the presidential campaign. That is normal. Few of us go beyond the nightly news programs and front page of the newspaper. Preamble aside, how can you still be undecided? No, seriously.
Once again, as I believe happens every four years, we are coddled and pampered, mollified and pacified by two complete mirror-imaged candidates, two candidates (sometimes there is a third) with policies that are the anatomical equivalent of a wishbone.
We showcase your inability to decide every election cycle. It’s remarkable really, how you’re so, I don’t know, calm under pressure. You don’t crack when asked by a reporter which candidate you’re voting for. You’re smug. Do you know something I don’t? Have I hastily made up my mind with the possibility of missing something key to the campaign? I bet it takes you years to buy a refrigerator, combing the internet for reviews and prices. Asking yourself how many cubic centimeters you will need for your stash of butter-pecan ice cream with fudge tracks. Do you take over sixty seconds to order at Starbucks? You do, don’t you. You’re holding me up. No, you are. See, many years ago, I decided what I liked. This goes for various products. But it’s a good system. I waste less time and need less help from others. I’ve become independent from hagglers and salesmen. It really is a great system.
There are a few cases where it makes sense to be as undecided as you are. For this, I empathize with you. Buying a house, choosing mortgage rates, whether to name your son Zane or Briggs. Obviously, these are crucial decisions only to be made when you have all of the relevant information at your disposal. But being undecided in a presidential election? We’ve had four years to decide whether President Obama has done:  A Good Job  A Passable Job  A Complete Fuck Job. We’ve been evaluating him for years. Price-shopping the hell out of him. Going on Yelp (is he on Yelp?). You know whether or not you’re voting for him.
Of course next to him on the showroom floor is Governor Romney. Sure, it’s possible there is a good chunk of America that is not as familiar with him as people from Massachusetts are, myself included. Outside of cable news shows, you probably only knew of him as the white guy with dreamy hair and something about the Olympics (did he win a gold medal?). I can accept that it might take the average person a few months to get up to speed on Romney’s ideas, plans, policies, does he sleep on a block of ice, does he have antimatter in his veins as opposed to blood. All fair and understandable. But we’re cutting it close. Romney has been campaigning officially since June 2nd of 2011, and unofficially since March 12, 1947. We’ve had a good amount of time to figure this out. We’ve had copious stump speeches, 27 GOP debates, of which Mr. Romney participated in 23, and now two presidential debates. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts, Romney loves them. Obama will keep in place the health-care mandate, Romney hates it. Obama believes in something called climate change and favors cap and trade, Romney does not, to both. President Obama believes women’s health rights should be governed by a woman and her doctor, and supports Roe v. Wade. Governor Romney believes states should be allowed to ban abortion. And yet you’re still on my TV, being asked to raise your hand every three minutes by Frank Luntz, and answering run-on sentences by Bret Baier. Are you not tired of being exploited?
Stupidly, I turned on CNN to watch the debate and found myself unconscious within sixty seconds. Because in their “undecided voter room” were twenty or so—wait for it—undecided voters with remote controls. At first I thought, “they’re playing Sega during the debate?” but then I realized that they were measuring their real-time responses to the debate. I’ve seen this gadget before, in 2008. It was as unreliable then as it is now, because you will always get a rogue voter who seems to turn his level to 10, or “OMG, I LUFF THIS-AHHH,” and ruins the whole experiment. Shortly thereafter, the lines flat-lined, and for a moment I zoned out and thought I was re-incarnated as a TV graphic and was looking at my EKG instead of the voter’s reactions.
But there you were immediately after the debate. Strutting your undecided ass around the floor. Regurgitating talking points and scribbling a maze in crayon in your notebook. You still have some time to decide, so don’t fret. You still have a good … three weeks or so. If you’re pulling your hair and injecting espresso extract into your arm, then I would suggest writing in Coach Morris Buttermaker, because at the end of the day, at least you would have made a decision.