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Can we just vote already?

Really, I can’t listen to it anymore.  I can’t bring myself to muster much more ire over the latest Romney gaffe.  I’m not motivated to leap to the defense against the latest outlandish Obama theory.  This poll says Romney’s winning, this one says Obama’s winning, and everybody is freaking out in each direction.  One debate has apparently decided everything, Obama apparently was in on the embassy attack in Libya, Romney wants to eat your children, Soylent Green is people, and on and on and on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to vote.  I’m not trying to downplay the importance of this election.  There’s a very real chance we could elect a president that supports a platform that would treat a lot of people I care about like second-class citizens, and if that happens, I want my conscience clean.  But the desperate need of the 24-hour news cycle to cover every last utterance has so clouded the pool that it’s all just become noise.  Every day is a leap from one talking point, one possible gaffe to the next, with no time for depth.  It’s all about keeping eyeballs on the screen. They’re less concerned with an accurate story, or an informative story, and more concerned with an exciting story. And two guys talking about the issues isn’t going to keep us from turning to the baseball playoffs.

I’m all for an informed electorate, but the news channels aren’t really interested in informing.  And most people don’t seem interested in being informed.  They just want confirmation that their guy’s the good guy and the other guy’s the bad guy.  It’s not about education, it’s about validation, about having some talking head in a nice suit tell us, “You’ve made the right choice.”  Because it seems like most everybody has made their minds up already.  I don’t think that debate made anybody switch sides.  If you’re an undecided voter at this stage in the game, you probably shouldn’t be trusted to decide what color socks to wear in the morning.  Anyone with a sliver of an attention span knows the differences between the two by now.  So get the hell of the fence already.

But we’re 26 days away from the election, and the noise is only going to get more intense, and the shouting more fervent.  It won’t be any more relevant or informative, but it’ll be a hell of a show.  At least that’s what the networks hope.

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