Last night after watching the second presidential debate, I started to ask myself some questions. Questions like, why did I just spend two hours of my life watching that? Why do I allow myself to be subjected to countless smear ads from countless people, none of whom are better than any others? Do I think that little of myself? Do I believe that I have so many "extra" minutes in my life that I can toss them away watching other people in a sanctioned pissing contest?
I had some trouble with the answers.
Don't get me wrong--I love to be politically aware. And my decision to turn myself away from the ObamaPalinMcCain menage is not an attempt to stick my head in the sand (sorry, I'm still puking cliches from last night's debate) or to ignore the issues. Rather, I'm simply done. I'm done devoting my time to the embarrassment that is Sarah Palin, who thinks that she needs to talk like she came out of a back woods trailer to show me she "gets me". I'm done watching John McCain try to say he'll do things "differently" without citing one single specific example of how he might do that. I'm done hearing Barack Obama say he "understands what the middle class is going through" in his suit that cost more than my last year's teacher's salary, while he's running a campaign that costs more than I'll ever see in my lifetime if I work three jobs until I drop dead on the showroom floor at age 100.
I'm done with Norm Coleman and Al Franken, too, with their "he said rape!" "how could he say he said rape!" "He's a pervert!" "He's got anger issues!" "His wife's an alcoholic!" "He's a big liar!" Lose track of who said what? Exactly. Does it matter? Are either of them saying anything?
And I'm done with the jokes, too. With the flow charts and the SNLs and the youtube videos and the emails and the forwards and the blogs. This isn't funny, people. This is choosing the person who gets to talk to other leaders who could bomb us into oblivion. This is choosing the person who has one of the final says on the economy, health care, and education in this country. This is choosing the person who, God forbid a tragedy like the Challenger, like Columbine, like Oklahoma City, like 9/11, should happen will be speaking to our nation to call us to action and make us believe we should not be afraid. This is choosing a very, very important person. And when we're all out there sending our email forwards and giving the SNL Tina Fey/Sarah Palin youtube video its one millionth hit, maybe we should think about how funny it's going to be when it's real. When it isn't a joke. When McCain is elected and then has a heart attack or a relapse of his malignant melanoma and he dies and our country is thrust into its darkest hour since the Kennedy assassination and the person there to lead us is Sarah "hockey mom joe six-pack gosh darn it you betcha" Palin.
So I'm turning off my tv until November 7th. Because they can continue to do all the ads they want, the whole lot of them, but they're not wasting any more hours, minutes, or even seconds of my life. I'll be casting my vote on November 4th--I exercise that right. And hopefully things won't end up quite like they did the last election when all the dems said "Bush won't win again!"
Won't (s)he? We'll see.