Really now, what image comes to your mind when you think of an undecided voter? A nervous, fidgety Edith Bunker who's afraid of making the wrong decision? A neurotic individual who weighs every factor in excruciating detail to such an extent that making a rational decision has become an impossibility?But today I'm here to defend the undecided voter in this year's election, and here's why: I respect the fact that they still want to vote even though many of them say they don't like either candidate. You gotta love someone who's intent in doing their civic duty despite the nausea it produces.
Back when it became clear that Obama and McCain would be the major parties' candidates, I recall reading a blog response from someone who had this to say about undecided voters: "Are you kidding me?? How can anyone be undecided between these two guys??" But the commenter completely misunderstood many undecideds. They know the obvious ideological differences between Obama and McCain. That's not their problem. Their problem is that they're wondering how they can be good citizens and not lose their dinner before they even leave the polling booth.
Sure, there are lots of Edith Bunkers and neurotic undecideds out there. But critics of those undecideds who are civic-minded, thoughtful and conscientious fail to hear the question these voters keep asking this year: "Is this really the best our country has to offer?"
Like them or not, many undecideds take the responsibility of voting seriously. They just wish they had better options. Many decideds wish the same.
* That's the one you're reading now. Just so you know.