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Election time blues
Oct 01, 2012 | 1034 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By MARK GRAY

Not everyone enjoys election years, but I do. I view political campaigns as a cat-and-mouse game, with politicians using polls and focus groups and emotionally-based messaging to cross the finish line first. It’s spectator sports at its finest.

My wife finds this appalling. The future of the country, she believes, is too important to view an election as a chess match, especially when many of the moves involve capricious hedging and, at times, outright lying.  

She cannot understand why I’m glued to the television set when the national news anchor reports that Romney is edging out Pres. Obama in Colorado, but the President is increasing his lead in “must win” Ohio.

My enjoyment of the political season (although I’m not always enthused by the final results) is my curiosity about human nature.  

For instance, a recent CNN poll of likely voters gave Pres. Obama the lead over Mitt Romney in almost every category (leadership on taxes, health care, foreign policy, caring about the middle class citizens, etc.); the only category in which Gov. Romney scored higher was on his ability to attack the deficit.  Yet despite this broad trust of Pres. Obama among likely voters, the presidential race is still quite close.

As a person involved in information and marketing, I find that result fascinating, just as I’m intrigued by how each candidate will most effectively spend their money on get-out-the-vote programs in swing states.  

I am also amazed at Bill Clinton’s likability.  The once-disgraced Clinton had the majority of viewers mesmerized in his recent convention speech, showing we love the “aw shucks” nature of our politicians more than the button-up business-like approach.

Like it or not, politics is a game played out on a giant 50-state board (although only pockets of the country count) and infused with more than a billion dollars of funding. How humans respond to the game-playing affects my pocketbook and yours; the end result impacts our quality of life and the future of our families.

So how can I not be interested in the shifting political reports? Just hurry and hand me the remote. 

 

by DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY

There is a great movement afoot, a search of epic proportion.  The object of the search is as elusive as the rarest creature, its very existence as mythical as the Loch Ness Monster.  It is the search for the “undecided voter” and I’m tired of having to listen to the political posturing being used to capture its vote.  

If you know of anyone who, after being bombarded by ads and both parties’ conventions, is still undecided I want to meet them.  My mind, and probably yours, has been made up for oh, about four years! I am tired of the endless analysis. I’m tired of mud-slinging. And most of all, I’m tired of “friends” who tell me if I just read this book and watched that movie, I would see the light and the error of my ways.  Social media has made it worse. Just check out Facebook. 

My parents always believed that it was bad manners to discuss politics and religion.  Most of us wouldn’t go that far. Some of the most pleasant dinner conversations circle around what people believe and why they believe it.  But political bashing is not conversation. It can border on bullying.

If someone’s choice in the voting booth can be swayed by the silly ads currently airing, maybe they shouldn’t vote.  I never have thought that choosing a candidate was rocket science. Figure out what you believe and find the candidate who best represents those beliefs.  Then vote for them!

Most of us have to take part in silly workplace politics. The last thing that interests me after work is watching our nation’s concerns reduced to the same level.  Likewise, unless I ask for an opinion, I’m not an ignorant savage that needs saving Р don’t preach your politics to me.

Many evenings I attend a yoga class.  Nothing can ruin the happiness achieved by an hour of stretching and positive intentions than to walk into pundits quarreling on CNN.  So until the election of 2012 is over, Mr. Gray can control the remote and I’ll settle in with a great book.

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