Monday, September 08, 2008


Somebody who I thought knew me pretty well, actually asked me where I stood on the political spectrum. They knew I was originally from Texas and assumed that would automagically put me in a certain "camp". My emphatic response - NO - I'm a hardcore liberal, can't you tell?

I thought it would be obvious that I've decided. What about the undecided? I keep hearing that this election will be decided by the undecided. How does that work? Why would anyone be undecided? What is the undecided voter looking for? Is it fact, substance, personality, experience, values, positions? What for that matter am I looking for? Am I blindly following the democratic party out of habit? How do you get beyond the rhetoric?

It seems there should be a few interesting ways to pierce the rhetoric these days:

what are they actually saying?
you know with out all the glitz, hype and adrenaline

- The Words They Used, New York Times, September 4
- i love wordles

who's been to their party?
to me, this seems really telling
- the democrats actually collect their stats and this was their most diverse party yet (including slightly more women than men and 24.5% African-Americans)
- the republicans may collect their stats, but they don't release them, according to this npr report (the lowest number of African-Americans in 40 years, 1.5%, and a 2-to-1 ratio of men-to-women)

what's their agenda?
I thought this would be pretty easy to figure out, just look up a comparison of Republican and Democratic National Platforms, right? I didn't have much luck. There are lots of individual stories about differences, but I could not find a comprehensive comparison. What's up press? It was also tricky just finding the platforms themselves:
- I could only find drafts of the Democratic Platform and then it looks like the high points morphed into this site.
- I found the Republican Platform here. What's strange is that when I tried to find the high points on the gop site - I kept finding President Bush's agenda, not McCain's?

So, after this little research project, I'm starting to understand why someone might still be undecided. Why decide when real content is lacking and indecision gets you more attention anyway?

p.s. I'm still so decided - the democratic party is not perfect and I worry that we may be putting Obama on a high, thin pedestal, but the party and Obama best represent my hopes and dreams for the country and beyond.

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