EDITOR'S COLUMN: Undecideds likely to stay undecided

Both presidential candidates are desperately seeking support from undecided voters. Unfortunately, they’re going at it backwards. Undecideds aren’t undecided because they don’t know who is better, they’re undecided because they don’t know who is worser.

Undecideds are pessimistic people, certain that whomever they choose for president will turn out to be a disaster. That’s why they can’t make up their minds, and that’s why they envy the true believers in both parties.

How comforting it must be to know in your heart that President Bush, if given another four years, will keep cutting taxes, keep spending more on military and domestic programs, keep waging war against the evil-doers, balance the budget, eventually win the war and pave the way for the return of Jesus Christ.

On the other side, it must be comforting to know that John Kerry will bring all those good jobs back from India, tax only the rich who will gladly provide plenty of money for everything from national health care to equal education for all, and bring the world together to forge a peace in the Middle East that will pave the way for the return of Jane Fonda.

Unfortunately, undecideds have a gloomy outlook on presidents, based on experience. What president has really done anything good and lasting for personkind? They go down in history as great if they’re lucky enough to have a major war break out during their term that we manage to win, but that’s just happenstance. None has improved our lives as much as the man who invented Ziploc bags, for example. Our sandwiches stay fresher and never fall out of their bags any more, and our leftovers can quickly and tidily be frozen. Why don’t we know his name, and why isn’t he running for president?

With no Ziploc man in the race, we undecideds can only envision the worst case scenario. President Bush, unrestrained by the need to get re-elected, is responsible for Armageddon, the next Great Depression, and the return of a crummy Big League baseball team to Washington, D.C. Or President Kerry, finally able to reveal his true beliefs after winning the election, makes gay marriage mandatory, loses the war against the evil-doers and moves our capital to Mecca, then dumps Teresa Heinz Kerry so he can shack up with Jane Fonda, seeing as how marriage between men and women is no longer legal.

Is it any wonder we can’t decided when faced with such scenarios? It doesn’t matter how much the political parties spend on negative and positive TV ads, we generally stay undecided until the last possible second when, in the voter’s booth, our poker wavers back and forth over the punchcard names of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry.

Where, oh where, we ask ourselves, is Ziploc Man?

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