It happens every election cycle. As we wind down to voting day, we hear daily, if not hourly, the press reports on the various races around the country. And as always, we learn that mere weeks (or even days) before the election, a small but important segment of the voting populace remains “undecided.”
“Undecided” they say? Who ARE these people? After months of campaigning, TV appearances, debates, and all those nauseating political ads, how is it that ANYONE is still unable to express a preference for one candidate or the other? “Undecided” voters generally fall into one of several categories.
First, there are those who pay so little attention to politics in general, that they have little or no knowledge about the candidates, let alone what their voting record or political philosophies are. Because in spite of the aforementioned avalanche of information at their disposal, they have pretty much ignored it.
So naturally, as the election draws near, they scramble to “catch up” – with the result that their vote is often influenced by whichever attack ads were the most ubiquitous or the most compelling. It is just such people that those vicious ads are actually aimed at – not the rest of us who have already made up our minds.
Then there are those who simply can’t make a decision, any decision. You probably have a friend or two like that – they agonize over which restaurant to go to for lunch, then when they get there, they can’t decide what to order (they will often ask you “what are YOU having?”).
These are the same people who, when buying a house, drive real estate agents crazy – after looking at 15, 20, or (as in one case I recall from an agent I know) 31 properties, they are no closer to making a decision than they were when they walked through the door of the first house. These people usually end up making a “flip-the-coin” decision when they can no longer put it off.
I recall a woman who admitted that, in the 1980 election, she literally made up hear mind staring at the ballot in the voting booth! I was astonished. That election offered as clear a choice as has ever been given to voters in U.S. history: Ronald Regan vs. Jimmy Carter. Yet this woman was “undecided” until she picked up the pencil and began filling in those little dots. Pathetic.
Finally, we have the people who claim that they “don’t like the Democrat” but then add that they “don’t think much of the Republican candidate either.” Their problem is that they naively think that their choice should be between “Prime Rib” and “road-kill” – big mistake. These people need to grow up – the reality of politics is that all too often we are faced with a choice between fresh “road kill” and “3-day-old road kill” – the only decision is “Which one of these is least likely to make me sick?”
Unfortunately, it is this group that is the most dangerous, because they will often either make a “protest” vote for the third party candidate, or worse, they decide not to vote at all. In either case, the result is often the same – the Democrat (whom they professed to hate the most) ends up winning by default.
Here in Minnesota, the governor’s race is just such a situation. We have a Democrat, an over-the-top, Ultra-Left trust fund baby, Mark Dayton. He wants to raise Minnesota’s already outrageously high state income tax (to make those evil “rich” people pay, in his words, “their fair share” of taxes) thereby crippling the economy and driving even more businesses out of the state.
And God only knows what Dayton will do to gun-owners. While retiring Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty was able to keep the gun control contingent at bay for the last eight years, what will happen should we have both an anti-gun DFL controlled House and Senate, and a Governor Mark Dayton who would be more than willing to sign any gun control bill that crosses his desk? Raising the cost of a Carry Permit to $500 or even a $1000? Banning lead bullets? Think it can’t happen? Think again – ALL of these and worse are already sitting in the desks of DFL legislators…just waiting.
Then we have Republican Tom Emmer, who would be far less likely to do the kind of harm to the state than Democrat Dayton is most certainly to do. But Emmer is not exactly the world’s greatest orator, nor does he possess the kind of off-the-cuff street savvy in an interview that someone like Chris Christie or Bobby Jindal have shown. But Emmer’s fiscal and economic policies are far more likely to be sensible and responsible than either of the other two candidates.
Bringing up the rear is Independent Party candidate Tom Horner, who is running as a kind of mushy, middle-of-the-road “moderate” in an attempt to capitalize on those disaffected Democrats and Republicans who don’t like either of their own party’s candidates. But Horner cannot possibly win, and the Dayton campaign has cleverly highlighted Horner’s historical connections to Republican law makers, believing (correctly) that he will likely siphon more votes from Republican Emmer than from Dayton.
So if all you “undecided” voters out there want to at least have a chance of reigning in the Democrat controlled Minnesota legislature, then man-up, hold your nose, and vote for Tom Emmer. Because Emmer is, by far, the lesser of the three evils. And like it or not, that is what politics often comes down to – choosing the candidate least likely to do harm.
Or you can throw your childish little hissy-fit by casting your “protest” vote for the Independent candidate, Horner- which is effectively a vote for Dayton – and you will only succeed in electing a socialist Democrat, thereby turning Minnesota into a Mid-West version of California, with suffocating taxes, fleeing businesses, and stratospheric deficits.
The choice, unpleasant as it may be, is yours.