Jeff Greenfield's plea to the undecided: Stay home!
The candidates have been at this for years; both President Obama and Mitt Romney began running for the presidency six years ago. They’ve made speeches, answered (or evaded) questions and raised billions to convince you of their worth—or the other guy’s worthlessness.
The media have been covering their every move and word, even when the candidates thought they weren’t. (Can you say, “Cling to their religion and guns”? “47 percent”?) The coverage has been slanted, scrupulously fair, superficial, in-depth, misleading, dead-on. With the flip of a page or the click of a mouse, you have been able to find out every conceivable piece of information you might want on their backgrounds, families, values, experience, positions taken, positions abandoned, promises made, promises broken, and the music on their iPods.
And after all this time, you’re still trying to make up your minds. The overwhelmingly likely reason is this: You have the reasoning power of a baked potato.
Men and women in my lifetime have died fighting for the right to vote: people like James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered while registering black voters in Mississippi in 1964, and Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1965 during the Selma march for voting rights. In these days of early voting, we’ve seen people waiting in line for hours to exercise the franchise. Countless others, who have never had to fight for it, have spent real time either trying to decide how to cast their vote or donating their time to persuading others.
So if you’re one of those folks who have stayed utterly disengaged through all of this, do the honorable thing: Honor those for whom the vote really matters by staying home.