Call me un-American, call me unpatriotic, call me a self-absorbed jerk, but I just don't get into politics. I vote, but I don't follow politics closely as, say, everyone else in America seems to be right now. Which makes me kind of a social outcast at the moment. Because when someone asks me "What did you think of the presidential debate last night?" and I say "Oh, I was watching a rerun of Project Runway that I recorded on my DVR," they find someone more political to talk to, while I sit there wondering for the umpteenth time what on earth possessed Suede to make a suit jacket with flared sleeves.
It was easier when I was younger and still lived at home, because my dad and sister follow politics very closely, and so at dinner, they'd be discussing the candidates' stances on various issues, and I could just say "Oh, well that sounds pretty good, I'll vote for that guy." (For the record, and this is important to know so that you don't think my dad is a lunatic after you read further in this post, my dad is a genius. We're talking MENSA material. Seriously. He has a PhD in biology, writes history books in his spare time, and taught himself to play piano and guitar.) But now I have to actually watch the news or read political articles online if I want to know where people stand on things. And that cuts into my valuable blogging/watching Project Runway reruns time. The other nice thing about living at home was the way my dad edited the voter's guide (this is true) - he would look through the voter's guide that came with the newspaper the week before election day, and he would decide who to vote for; then, he would go back through the voting guide with a marker, and draw mustaches, horns, goatees, etc on the faces of the candidates he wasn't going to vote for. Then, I could just look through the guide, find the people without horns or ridiculous facial hair, and those were the people to vote for. It was a much simpler time.
Anyway, I know embarrassingly little about where the candidates stand on major issues, other than what I've gleaned from those ads that both candidates are now running where they try to convince you that voting for the other candidate is a sure-fire way to end up homeless and/or dead. You know the ones I'm talking about, they're the ones that go, "John McCain doesn't care about you or your family at all. In fact, just yesterday, he told the insurance companies that he hopes you get really, really sick, and then he's going to point and laugh at you while you writhe around in agony, because he specifically told the insurance companies not to cover any illnesses that you might have, just because he's an evil person with seven houses who hopes you die" and "Barack Obama is so dumb that he plans to put the country 40 bajillion dollars into debt, just for the heck of it, and that's because his only political experience was when he was third-grade class president. And also, his best friend is a terrorist who is planning to kill your mom."
You can blame my lack of knowledge of the candidates on sheer laziness, but also a little bit on the fact that apparently I misunderstood how the political process works in America. Because, correct me if I'm wrong, I thought that I remembered from seventh grade civics class (which I got an A in... or maybe a B) that the United States government operates with a system of checks and balances involving other key players like Congress, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and NBC news. So, while it's all well and good for the presidential candidates to say things like "when I become president, I'll make free healthcare for all! And lower taxes by 75%! And Tuesday will be free ice cream day across the land!" the president doesn't actually write any laws, or levy or collect any taxes, Congress does all of that. The president just signs legislation written by congress into law, or vetoes it, and even if he vetoes it, Congress can override his decision. So, forgive me for my naivete, but shouldn't we be focusing just as hard on who's running for Congress as we are on the presidential election, since those are the people who actually write laws governing taxes 'n such? (For the record, I'm not following who's running for Congress, either.)
Anyway, I guess the whole point of this is that I'm issuing a plea to anyone reading this - if you could provide me with a voter's guide of the candidates which includes mustaches and/or horns on unsuitable candidates so that I know who to vote for, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.