Monday, October 8, 2012

But I'm a Cheerleader!

Now that we're only a month away from Election Day, the flood of sheer nuttery has burst the levees.  I've been considering blocking the Facebook feeds of several more of my friends there for the duration, especially those who have nothing much of their own to say but will pass along every meme attacking the opposition that comes their way.

Today I began wondering wondering why they do this.  Do they really think believe that these soundbytes are going to change anyone's minds?  It might be -- they're mostly clueless enough -- but a lot of the stuff they're posting, especially the Democrats, has to do with the importance of voting.  (That which isn't about Big Bird, that is; I almost forgot.  Maybe I was trying to repress the memory.)  And here I must confess, I'm generalizing from my own position.  I don't understand why so many people don't vote, though I'm aware of the voter-suppression projects that have always characterized American elections.  After you've been blocked and intimidated enough times, giving up would feel reasonable.  As an educated white male, I've never faced anything like that, and I've always voted.

So I'm not surprised by the people of color I know who are concerned to ensure that would-be voters are registered and will get to the polls and past the obstruction tactics the Republicans are making ready.  The people who baffle me are the ones like me.  They've got their photo IDs, they should have no trouble at the polls.  But they seem anxious, and I have the impression that they're afraid that they won't vote.  Is their Obama-worship secretly wide-stance?  Are they afraid that the Devil will take control in the voting booth and they'll suddenly vote straight Republican?

The reaction among liberals to their President's lackluster performance in debate with Romney last week has something to do with my feeling about this.  I suppose they entertained fantasies that Barack would "clean Romney's clock", blacken his eye and knock out a few of his teeth, or send in some Navy SEALs to gun him down.  Some whimpered that it was like The President didn't even want to winHis campaign manager "had to pep up a demoralized staff in Chicago."  You'd have thought he lost the election that night, instead of merely putting in an uninspiring performance at a largely meaningless media spectacle.  But will they abandon their President in his hour of need?  Are they going to stay home on November 6 because Obama isn't a great debater?  If so, no wonder they throw vitriol at anyone who criticizes him: they're afraid they'll lose their own will to vote.