An Independent Voter’s Anguished Cry

Blog posts seeds come from interesting places. To wit:

I am sitting in an Atlanta suburb cafe. At least thirty button-downed men and a dozen sweater-clad women surround me as they have a go at Southern-fried things. A waitress arrives with my burger and I stretch my neck across the room to inquire whether I can borrow a woman’s ketchup bottle – yes, I am that guy. While waiting for the ketchup, this blog landed upon the gray matter.

Back in the 1970’s, Heinz ran a campaign to sell their ketchup. Some excited woman stood with a ketchup bottle tipped upside down while Carly Simon crooned “Anticipation” over the airwaves and you got the sense that something great was about to happen. When the sultry red condiment finally climaxed at that ketchup bottle lip, viewers were bordering on ecstasy. Forty years later, I’m still waiting for that fucking ketchup.

Ever get the feeling you are unwanted, like you’re some Dickensian child with a toothy smile and a vote, waiting for someone to say come on in and clip that hanging chad onto our floor so we can start setting up your future? I am that child now. Unwanted, waiting, anticipating.

The Republican party has hoisted a successful business man whose ego is larger than his considerable gut, whose vocabulary is smaller than his paltry palms, and whose knowledge of the global community would make an eleventh grade history teacher cringe. He speaks and recants, blathers and boasts, and then settles back into a frumpy glare that would dominate the conversation if it weren’t for all the head scratching he compels. Aside from the fact that he is outside the political system and in spite of the current need for someone with a financial background to resolve the 20 trillion dollar debt, he is nearly impossible to like. Then again, he may be the better choice. The Democrats have hoisted a thirty-year veteran of the political world who’s flipped and fabricated and fucked over so many people she needs a case of Alzheimers just to get through the day. Her trust factor hovers around 11%, which is slightly less than the percentage of people who believe in Bigfoot. Still, she is clearly more knowledgeable about world affairs and America’s place on the international stage.

With neither candidate presenting an attraction though, one might turn to the ideologies of their respective parties to find solace and comradeship. Here too, there are problems. On many social issues, the Republicans remain too conservative. With issues like abortion and equal pay and gay marriage still lingering in the political ether, and with the suggestion that heritage or skin color might have something to do with one’s criminal mindset, the party is at best unattractive and frequently offensive.

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Conversely, the Democrats have a bigger problem. In their marketing campaigns, you are either with them or categorized as “deplorable” and “racist” and “stupid.” With a hint of disagreement about tax policy or developing a sustainable economic model that doesn’t leave the nation with crushing debt, or fiscal responsibility so the middle class isn’t falling behind at a million dollar per minute rate, they label you “an idiot” and “heartless.” Clearly, they don’t want me. For a party which promotes tolerance and inclusion, there is, simply, none.

All of this leads me back to the ketchup. I am sitting here now, after the nice lady handed over her Heinz bottle, waiting for the ketchup, salivating for what is to come, hoping it will present me with something tasteful and satisfying and Yelpable. The point though, is I’m still fucking waiting.

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By ccxander

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