Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Tomorrow...And I Can't Wait Until It's Over

To be quite honest, I can't wait until the election is over tomorrow night. Not because I want to see the results that badly (although I am interested to see them), but because it will mean the end of election coverage.

This will be the first major election where I am politically engaged on a daily basis. In the past, I paid attention to the headlines and read a handful of articles on politics each week (usually at the national level), but I was hardly focused on politics (especially state and local) every day as I have been since starting this blog.

In the past, my interest was at its peak on election day.

Lately, though, I've found my interest in election coverage waning. It's the same each day, particularly in these last few weeks. Few ideas are being discussed unless their part of some attack.

And the ads, don't even get me started on the ads. I've seen more than I can count, and I don't even watch that much TV.

What's worse, when I saw these ads in the past, I figured they were mostly B.S., but I didn't know enough of the details (at least in local races) to explain how or why. Now I know they're B.S., and I can recite exactly how and why for each, which is much worse than before.

When I just figured the whole spot was B.S., I only had to cringe once. But, now, I find myself cringing at every line that's either a lie or blatant mischaracterization.

In terms of tolerating campaign ads, knowledge sure doesn't feel like power.

I also don't like what the election has done to my blogging. When I started this blog in January, I wanted it to be a place to analyze policy. And, for the most part, it was that way for much of the first six or seven months.

But, over the summer, I noticed my writing beginning to change after the state legislative session ended and the election came onto the horizon. And it wasn't just the topics I wrote about that changed, it was also the way in which I wrote that took a turn.

Policy is (or should be) about nuance. So when I wrote about policy, my writing -- and any discussions that might ensue in the comments section -- had nuance. That's the way I like it.

Elections, on the other hand, are about choices. You don't get to devote a certain percentage of your vote to one candidate and the rest to another. At the polls, you get to pick one person per race, and that's it.

So when I've written about the elections, my writing, similarly, has been aimed at the choices I think are best, which has involved little, if any, nuance. That's not the way I like it.

Even when I'm writing about the issues of the campaign, I've felt philosophically trapped by the positions of the candidates I support (and there's no candidate out there who I agree with 100 percent). If I advocate a position outside of what my chosen candidate has gone on the record as supporting -- say, for example, universal health care -- the point almost seems moot in the context of the election because what I want to discuss is simply not one of the choices on election day.

Over the last few days, I've noticed myself pouring over the newspaper to find articles that deal with politics but not the elections. Needless to say, I haven't read much the past few days. It seems I'm pulling away from the election just as others are opening their eyes to it.

Things will get better with the post-election analysis. There seems to be at least some nuance there, particularly when discussing election strategy.

But I truly can't wait for the next legislative session to begin, at least in terms of my blogging. A little grey will be nice after all of the black and white.

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No blogging tomorrow. I’ll be busy getting out the vote to preserve a fair Wisconsin.

I’ve never felt compelled to actively donate my time to a political cause until this civil unions and marriage amendment vote came up. This one’s worth it.

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