Two months away from the election, I should probably pick a candidate. After all, this is the MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER as everybody keeps reminding me. (Let me tell you, there’s nothing I love more than when the democratic process meets WrestleMania hyperbole.) So what are my choices? I like Jeb Bartlett’s integrity, but he’s a little too leftist for me. I used to like Andrew Palmer, but the whole murder/cover-up this season was a bit… excuse me? You say it’s completely irresponsible and naïve to vote for fictional characters (the Presidents on West Wing and 24, respectively)? In the words of Michael Corleone, “Oh. Who’s being naïve, Kay?”
This is the first presidential election I’ll be casting a vote in (I barely missed the cutoff in 2000), and I couldn’t be less thrilled about my choices. One’s a walking caricature. The other’s criminally indecisive. Fictional characters? Hell, they’re sitcom gold. (First episode: Kerry takes hours to decide what kind of pizza he wants, claiming he was misled into picking pepperoni and he really wanted mushrooms all along. When the delivery man gets there, Bush has him put on a watch-list for forgetting the cheesy-bread. Hijinks ensue.)
When I tell people my political leanings—which, I’ll admit at the cost of crippling my chances of getting laid this year, are Republican—the second question they ask me is “So, you’re voting for Bush this year?” (The first is usually, “Oh, did you just get back from a fun afternoon of clubbing baby seals and lighting immigrants on fire?”)
The answer to both questions is “Uh, no.” Yes, I supported the war in Iraq, and I still do. No, I don’t think Bush is pure evil. I lean to the right, but I don’t embrace it at all costs. Having spent serious time on the Jersey Turnpike, I know that environmental protection is important. Also, it’s ridiculous that with so many other important issues on the table Bush is most concerned about the ominous threat of gay marriage. Last time I checked, the Constitution was about protection of rights for all citizens, not just straight ones (or as I like to refer to us, the “poorly-dressed”).
So do I vote Kerry? Nope. Not going to vote for a guy who’s going to slam me with taxes just as I’m about to set out on my own. His foreign policy sounds suspiciously like appeasement, which hasn’t exactly been stellar for us in the past. Most importantly, I don’t trust a guy who can’t make up his mind about policy. “Flip-flopping” is not entirely the problem, either. A leader who will change his views when he has been proven wrong is a good leader. But a “leader” who changes views whenever it’s politically convenient—and I have a very strong feeling this is the case with born politician John F. Kerry—is a mercenary.
Fact is, they’re both born politicians. Anybody else think it’s spooky that the two candidates, according to the by-laws, have to greet each other with a Skull and Bones Secret Handshake? And where does that leave us poor undecideds? For guidance, I turn to the strong. The courageous. The Nader voters of 2000. Huh? Nader is even less likely to get my vote this year than Bush or Kerry. In fact, I have a sneaky hunch Nader spends non-election years in a spaceship orbiting Venus. But Naderites, I salute you: Crazy as I think you are, you had the conviction to vote for the man who most closely shared your beliefs, in spite of Bush-haters telling you that you “blew the election.”
Voters, believe me: your only responsibility in this election, no matter what the political machines might tell you, is to vote your beliefs. Me? I think I’m going to take the road less traveled and write-in McCain/Giuliani: The two guys I trust most. I have no delusions that someone other than Bush or Kerry will be our next president, but hopefully, I’ll send a small message that McCain and Giuliani are the right guys for the job in 2008. Take a stand, undecideds: If you can’t get behind the Big Two, don’t vote for a character. (Unless it’s the Thundercats. They get an exemption.)
Matt DeTura is a Trinity senior.
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