In Which I Contemplate Why Something That Should Excite Me Depresses Me Instead

336 days. That's how long we have to wait until the Iowa caucuses meet to cast the first meaningful votes in the 2008 Presidential primaries.

The early start to the political season should be invigorating for me. I've been a confirmed political junkie since my mother explained the difference between electoral and popular votes to me in 1968 as we listened to the results of the Nixon-Humphrey-Wallace election on the radio. Of course in those days, they didn't tell you who won before the vote happened, so you had to actually wait for the numbers. I noticed she was only writing down certain parts of the reported numbers, asked her why, and that's how I learned the difference. I was six years old.

But frankly, the upcoming political campaigns do not fill me with the accustomed zeal for battle, appreciation of clever tactics and ads, or desire to get involved. I am utterly unimpressed with the leading candidates for both parties. If my primary election choice comes down to voting for a man who believes Jesus and the Devil are brothers or a man who is pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, and pro-gun control, how do I vote? If my general election vote is between a shrewish power-hungry Senator who would bring the most corrupt President in history back to the White House with her and a somewhat deranged war hero who trashes the Constitution in the name of reform and routinely sells out his political party to grab a few favorable headlines, what am I to do?

I am not given to protest votes for meaningless third party candidates. My operating philosphy is always to vote for the smaller bug (the lesser of two weevils, you see) even if he (or she) doesn't really line up with my view perfectly. And I guess if push comes to shove, I can find something better about the opponent compared to a candidate of color--that color being the completely green, inexperienced, untested and unready Senator from Illinois--to vote for.

But I have no enthusiasm for the prospect. Somebody wake me up when it's over.


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