In Defense of the Undecided Voter

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

This election season has brought plenty of criticism and even jokes at the expense of others. We’ve seen late night talk show hosts and comedians skewer everyone involved in the campaign for the last several months.

However, no one has received more attention, analysis and ridicule than the Undecided Voter.

Undecided voters in America have been derided by pundits, presumed to be clueless by a skit on SNL and even assumed to not exist by this point in the season by some analysts. Some have even suggested that if you are still undecided at this point that you should not vote.

Regardless of how in vogue insulting undecided voters may be right now, I happily embrace the unfashionable by defending the undecided voter.

My sentiment doesn’t come out of pure sympathy or pity. It is based on many positive facets of the undecided voter that are not often brought up in conversation.

Undecided voters may still be on the fence because they see through much of the vapid campaign rhetoric and realize that when placed in the reality of running a country, complete with a contentious Congress, few promises made by any candidate can be trusted. They may also be trying to establish who the real candidate is based on past records, and not on campaign ads or stump speeches.

Many undecided voters may be analyzing the issues far closer than most pundits give them credit for. As simple as the issues may look like in a 30 second attack ad from a 527 organization, many of the issues are complicated and need to be examined in a much larger scope than presented.

Another issue that might be making the decision harder to determine for some voters is the economy. Knowing exactly what will help the economy recover is hard to establish from the theories provided. It would be easy to imagine that a voter could like one idea from one candidate, but another idea from the other candidate.

That scenario may actually be played out on many issues. A voter may like where Obama is on some social issues, but also like where Romney is on some economic issues. In that situation, it’s easy to understand someone vacillating, trying to figure out which issue is more important to them and to the future of the country.

Folks who are very clear on who they will vote for are quick to admonish undecided voters. But, what they are really doing is just criticizing people who have somehow not come to the same conclusion they did months ago.

That impatience and criticism has been surprising this election season. I personally cannot remember a time when undecided voters were so openly criticized. I frankly give those undecided voters they find to talk to after the televised debates a lot of credit for showing their faces.

But undecided voters should wear their indecision with pride. That indecision is not a sign of ignorance, or indifference. It may very well be a sign that this decision is being taken very seriously, and one that has not been swayed by vapid 30 second ads. It may be a sign that a voter is taking their decision very seriously, weighing the options and issues very carefully.

Simply put, all of us have the right to make our voting decisions whenever we wish. As much as we respect each other’s right to vote, we should have equal respect for the time it takes to make that decision. If this is indeed one of the most important decisions any of us can make, thinking it through and taking our time should be respected and even admired, not criticized or derided.

So to all of you undecided voters out there, relax, take your time and think it through. You have two weeks. Feel free to use every minute you need. Important decisions should not be rushed, even if important people like comedians and pundits want you to hurry.

I think it’ll be more fun to make them wait. It’s the least we can do.

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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