Saturday, September 22, 2012

Decide Dammit!

OK quick!  What's the most frustrating thing in the world?  Now for those fence-sitters out there running through the extensive list in your tiny little minds, let me help you out just a bit.  It's You!  And don't try and kid yourself that we haven't noticed who you are while we're standing behind you in the line at McDonalds (not that you'll find me hanging out at 'The Golden Arches' these days), waiting for you to decipher the intricacies of a menu that hasn't seen significant alteration in this millennium.

Don't get me wrong here, I know that there are sometimes tough choices that need to be made out there.  Yoga pants or pajama jeans, the shortest route or the quickest one on your GPS system, and chunky or smooth peanut butter are but a few of the earth shattering determinations that apparently can only be made after lengthy deliberation by someone with your Solomon-like judgment skills.  Of course there are those looking on from the sidelines who would like to see such resolution proceed at a less glacial pace, but certainly we can wait until you've completed proper contemplation on how much foam they should put on your latte (though the restraint required to keep our hands from your throat is almost crippling).

The problem now however, is that 2012 is a presidential election year; and that brings up even more indecision.  The mainstream media cannot decide how far in the tank it's willing to go for Democrats.  Fox News hasn't decided how far it's willing to go to counter the impact of its competitors on Republicans.  Largely irrelevant daily newspapers can't decide, based on their own past bias and increasing loss of credibility, if endorsing a particular candidate will do them more harm than good. 

Around the world, our traditional allies can't decide if more of what they've gotten for the last 3-1/2 years would be worse than what they might get from four years of the new guy.  Inimical governments and terrorist organizations can't decide if taking advantage of the apparent foreign policy weaknesses of the current White House occupant (especially this close to an election) can be used to their own political advantage, or will simply facilitate the election of someone who might be another game-changer for them, like Reagan was after Carter.

Of course all of this indecision inside the media and outside the nation, is because we are once more being told that this year's electoral process will be decided by ... you guessed it .... 'the Undecideds'.  This apparent group of vacuous voters will, according to pundits and other so-called experts, be swayed in the coming weeks by any public (or private) misstep of the candidates, by who makes a better showing in the three presidential debates (or how badly 'Jokin' Joe Biden performs in his one), and by who can raise the most money and run the most TV ads running up to the election.  (And people complained about how the BCS Championship decided the winner of College Football.)

Ostensibly the fate of the electoral process weighs on a group of people who, after over two years of campaigning, cannot now decide on their national leader.  After a campaign whose length seemingly rivaled that of the 100 Years War, they are still unable to commit to a candidate.  Apparently the fate of the nation will ultimately be decided by those who stand in the check out line at the grocery store, incapable of producing a decisive answer to,  "Paper or plastic?"  

Which of course leads me to my own 2012 dilemmas.  I can't decide if I simply pity those who, with all the information out there cannot apparently complete the deliberative process; or if I just hate their guts.  I'm undecided over whether perhaps if a few more people took more interest in learning about the people they vote for than about the lives and back stories of performers on 'American Idol' or on 'Dancing With The Stars', we wouldn't have Congressional gridlock (another form of indecision) and a $16 trillion national deficit.  I am unable to reach a conclusion over whether perhaps there wasn't a two-party stranglehold on the national election process, there wouldn't be so much indecision in the first place.  I am completely flummoxed over whether, if the education process in this nation spent a little more time teaching critical thinking and little less on fostering self-esteem, we'd have less people incapable of decisions on anything more important than whether they'll super-size their fries.

What I do know however is that there is a real pandemic of 'cranial / rectal inversion' occurring in this country; and it's far past time that people started pulling their aggregated heads out of their collective asses and Decide Dammit!


Roland Hansen said...

Sheesh! I'm sorry, I'm sorry! You know me, I am always so undecided and really lacking in the opinion category. I need a strong person to lead me, to tell me what to do. Meanwhile, I will just continue to bellyache and complain about everyone and everything -- after all, that has become The American Way!

Timothy W Higgins said...


You make me a greener person, making me recycle even my quotes. Thinking of you as undecided and needing someone to lead you requires, as Hilary Clinton once said, "a willing suspension of disbelief".

As for bellyaching and complaining, I can't decide ....