Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Really Undecided? Really?

I don't understand who are the alleged undecided voters. And I say alleged for a reason. Is anyone really undecided at this point? I don't believe it.

Especially if you have traditionally been a Democrat. If you believe in the basic Platform of the Democratic Party and you are undecided, there is something more going on with you. Maybe you just don't want to admit it to yourself.

According to an article called The Psychology of the Undecided Voter, this just may be true. Here's a portion of the article.

"Now a new study examining the psychology of the undecided voter suggests the candidates and their campaigns may be wasting their time and money.

In Thursday's issue of Science, researchers report that people who think they are undecided about an issue often have made up their mind at an unconscious level.

So while the latest national polls show that between 5% and 15% of Americans still don't know who they will be voting for in November, the percentage of voters who truly are undecided may actually be much smaller, social psychologist Bertram Gawronski, PhD, of the University of Western Ontario tells WebMD."

However feeble this post may be, this is my attempt to maybe reach some of you. Mabye only one or two. But this election is that important to me, and our country, and the world, and could be determined by so few votes. Maybe yours. Today, McCain is guaranteeing a victory. That really scares me.

David Sedaris wrote an essay called Undecided, that appears in The New Yorker today. This quote from him sums up my thoughts on the issue quite nicely.

'I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”'

The difference between the two candidates is that huge to me. Chicken or crap with glass in it. If you really are undecided, think about what's important to you. Read the websites of both candidates. Read some more. There's still time.

Now read this. An email has been circulating for the past few months. In case you haven't seen it, here it is from this website.


Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around? Think about it...

Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit? Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair with her while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.

Anali's First Amendment © 2006-2008. All rights reserved.

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J at said...

Very well said. I especially like the comparisons between McCain's weaknesses and Obama's strengths. You're right, there's no way in hell that a black man with McCain's background would win over a white man with Obama's background.

Undecidedman said...

Perhaps you have not talked with enough undecided voters to understand where we are coming from. Perhaps, just perhaps, we are thinking about things other than what schools the candidates went to when they were late teens and early twenties. And possibly (just possibly) our decisions are motivated by something other than unconscious race hatred.

You can find out what at least one undecided voter is thinking at my blog.

michelle of bleeding espresso said...

Brava. I can't imagine anyone truly being undecided at this point either--except if the choices in their heads are one of the candidates (i.e., have a preference of one over the other) or simply not voting at all. I loved Sedaris's article too.

Anonymous said...

As far as what you said here-
"This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference."
You must not have been thru many president races for this happens in every race, it's not a racism issue as many are saying...

If BO becomes president America will undergo big changes... The people who will see the biggest change will be the black man...
See being that a black man made it to president means any black man can do it so whites and blacks are equal... NAACP will not be needed any longer, nor the black college fund... With everyone equal there can be no seperation...
Everyone can equal get a job so welfare will soon go bye bye too...
This is what Martin Luther King wanted and pushed for, oh by the way he was also Republican....
Also wonder why Jesse Jackson is not supporting BO???

Nance said...

I think I'm always amazed at undecided voters. I was in 2000 and I was in 2004. The candidates and their party's platforms are miles apart. Here we are, about a week before the election, there are dozens of ways to get information on the candidates and their positions, so how the hell can anyone be undecided? It seems absolutely impossible to me. I think undecided voters must be procrastinators at heart. They have chosen to be "late-deciders", period.

Anali said...

j - Welcome and thank you!

undecidedman - Thanks for stopping by. I did stop by your blog and decided to only comment here.

I'm not saying that racial hatred is the only reason for voters to be undecided or not voting for Obama. I shared this email to show that it may be a factor and I thought that it was well written and made some very good points.

Based on what I read on your blog, it seems to me that you have "actively chosen" not to decide or share publicly who you are going to vote for. I find it very hard to believe that you are not leaning one way or another.

I do think it's a cool idea to involve your son in the process though. I'm sure he'll benefit from it for years to come.

Anali said...

michelle - I agree. There are just too many extreme differences between their policies to not have a preference of one over the other.

anonymous - Thanks for stopping by. There is still racism in this country and unfortunately there will still be on Nov. 5th if Obama wins. To think otherwise and believe that equality has been achieved is to not understanding what it is to be a person of color in the world.

And I believe that Jesse Jackson is jealous of what Obama has achieved. It's a shame. Instead, he should be proud that Obama has been able to build on Jackson's accomplishments.

nance - Exactly! It's just too late in the game. People are either not being open about their choice or they are choosing not to decide.

Anonymous said...

To think otherwise and believe that equality has been achieved is to not understanding what it is to be a person of color in the world.

I am a person of color I'm American Indian. Problem is I can't see where BO has experience to be the leader of this country.
This country is in such a financial state it's needs someone who can balance things not spend $105 million dollars in 2 weeks on his campain and over $400 million in the total campain...
I think that the Black American are only looking at the fact that BO is Black and nothing else..
They don't realize BO has no idea what it's like to be a poor black person... Don't believe me do a search on his mother Stanley Ann Durman and you will see how his parents and white grandparents had plenty of money... Everything he has said about being poor has been lies...
Enough said you probably won't listen or believe anything I say anyways

Anali said...

anonymous - You are seriously uninformed and obviously choose not to listen to reason. There's nothing else that I can say.

S said...

I've heard it said that undecided voters are attention-seekers. I think there might be something to that. I think an awful lot of them have pretty much known all along who they were really going to vote for, they just want to be courted.

I agree with those who don't understand how people can't see huge differences between the candidates. And don't even get me started on The Green Party in 2000 pushing a third candidate by arguing there was no difference between Gore and Bush, not even on the issue ostensibly most important to the Green Party.

shilpa said...

Great read!!!
This reminds me of the closing in the book,'A time to Kill',by John Grisham..It says basically the same thing,that we often allow colour to decide things for us, where we should actually be using hard facts!

amisha said...

i have been pondering the undecideds too. before i went to canvass in PA, i was thinking that they were not real- that it was something the media had made up. then i actually talked to people who were undecided and it blew my mind. i think one of the issues, that was articulated by one person, was that she was a lifelong republican who wanted to vote for obama but was freaked out by the idea of voting for a democrat. and yes, i think many folks are freaked out by voting for a black man, too, which makes me really sad.

Anali said...

s - Welcome! I do think that some of them probably enjoy the attention of being courted and everyone wondering what they are thinking. So infuriating!!

shilpa - Wow! Thank you! I'll take any comparison to John Grisham that I can get! ; )

amisha - I guess I feel like their being freaked out by voting for the other party or for a person of color isn't a valid "undecided." They know what's right. It's like they just can't admit to themselves that they might not be able to do the right thing. Oh, this gets my blood boiling!!!!!!!!

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