Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
This could very well be one of the worst written news stories of the year. How the writer and editor could print this with a straight face only demonstrates how liberal the media truly is.
The headline reads:
Political experts say McCain in trouble
And just who are the so-called, “experts”? A panel of media people.
When you read who was on the panel, it’s no surprise they’ve already buried John McCain.
THIS IS PART TWO OF A TWO-PART BLOG
Yesterday, I blogged about undecided voters, a topic I raised on WISN a few weeks ago while filling in for Mark Belling. My blog touched on many of the same points I discussed on my program. One of my listeners that day was Tom Mott. I thank him for offering a thoughtful response. Here's Part Two:
First off, I know I am an outlier in this whole "undecided" class. Almost all people who pay as much attention as I do to social and political matters definitely cast a vote for one of the 2 parties' candidates in all significant elections. My friends pronounce me goofy when I tell them I have some kind of "minimum threshold" for casting a vote. Like: a candidate I vote for needs to be about a 4.5 on a 7 point scale in terms of how enthusiastic I am about the prospect of them getting the nod. If the two candidates don't reach that level, I just take a pass, usually by casting my ballot for some non-candidate that I admire (not Pat Paulsen, either). Everyone I know says "don't waste your vote, pick the lesser of two evils", and maybe I should; who am I to impose some arbitrary minimum standard? It's a quirk, I guess, and I doubt I'll change.
So starting with the alleged 18% undecided, I suppose something like 1/1000th of 1% would be in my little subset. That leaves 17 and 999/1000th percent to "explain". Or more!
Here is where I think we'd find others of the 18%.
Group A. Let's call them the "mix and matchers". I suppose you and many others are rather staunch in your party affiliation. I think there are some who really don't think like either of the two major parties up and down the line. That is, on the overall philosophy level they may be toward the "right" on foreign policy, and toward the "left" on some domestic issues -- or vice versa. Or they may hold views on important issues to them that cross the traditional party boundaries. They may think we should tell the UN to pound sand, but at the same time they might be very into eliminating poverty here at home. They may be staunchly "pro-choice" and yet feel that we need to cut back on entitlement legislation and the associated costs. They may think that corporate power is too great, and yearn for more effective regulation and less laissez faire capitalism, and yet they may be very "tough" on illegal immigration. (Actually, I have a dear friend who talks exactly like that, and those are among the most burning issues for him.)
Group A people vacillate back and forth between two candidates because neither of them fits that person's view of the world particularly well.
Group B. I'd call them the "In Transitioners". Some people make personal transitions in their way of thinking about the world as they go through life. They may be moderately liberal for any number of years, and then they start to gravitate toward more conservative views. This doesn't always happen in a "Eureka" kind of way. Sometimes it is a gradual transition and a tentative one, kind of like "feeling one's way through" and not necessarily even knowing exactly what (what new circumstances, what outside influences, what psychological shifts) is causing them to "waver". William Bridges, with whom I collaborated as an "alliance partner" to the consulting firm I worked at, writes brilliantly (I think) about this subject of personal transitions, and what goes emotionally on during them. Confusion is the prevailing attitude when one is going through transition, whether it is because of a change that is imposed, or whether it is more internally driven.
Group B people may be in the midst of such a transition (Bridges calls that the "neutral zone") at the time of a major election, and feel pulled back toward their past affiliations (more familiar, more secure, more comfortable, more like what their friends or family think) but at the same time also feel they SHOULD make a break and go in a different direction.
Group C. Maybe these would be the "Process Objectors". I'm not sure I can explain this one very well. And yet, I may fall into it, partially. Some people are just "put off" by not having more choices. In life it is unusual, I think, to have just two options on important things. We are used to having numerous alternatives to react to and weigh. Examples: buying a house, choosing a college, buying a car, declaring one's preferred style of dress and grooming, picking a breed of dog, and on and on. Primary elections offer this same kind of range of choices, generally. And then, for lots of us, the voters in states like Iowa and New Hampshire and wherever else basically narrow it down to a choice between two --- not a choice among several. I NEVER have a problem picking a candidate in a primary election, and sometimes I even get enthused over one or more of them. And then .... they're gone, almost all of them.
Group C people have an issue with the process, more than anything. They kind of resent the choices they are handed, over which they've had no real input, and are inclined to either say "screw it, then", or they might say, "I don't know ... I'll decide later between these two choices, neither of which are very attractive to me, so go away and don't bother me." When they get in their car on the way to the poll they just finally think seriously about it, still perturbed, and punch one name or the other without much conviction.
Group D. Which I will label the "Closed Mouth Crowd". These folks don't like being put on the spot. They may have already made up their mind, but they don't want to be asked about why they have decided as they have. Maybe they are insecure or just very "private". So the way to avoid justifying their choice to a questioner, and avoid dealing with whatever follow-up questions they assume will follow --- is to say "I've not decided".
Group D people, in other words, are not REALLY undecided. They just don't want to open up about it and/or about their rationale.
Group E. This is the "Non Thinker" Group. In this group are people who may not even get around to voting. And if they do, on the day of the election they will ask someone, "Who do you think I should vote for --- I haven't been paying much attention". And someone will tell them, "well, I'm voting for Harvey Smith", and so they do too.
Group E is the crowd that you have labeled as stupid, and they might very well be. But I think lots of them are just tuned into other things and don't give a rip about politics --- not enough to spend any time educating themselves anyway.
Group F is "The Waiters". In addition, I think there are some people who simply believe that it is unnecessary to make a "final decision" before it is required, which is actually on Election Day. They may feel that as soon as they "declare" they will essentially be closing their minds to new information that may surface before the election. On a practical level, they may already have pretty much made up their mind, but they don't want to "lock in" just yet.
Here are a few clues.
It's a male.
He's seen on TV.
He's seen on TV a lot.
He's been around for a long time.
He has a very common first name.
You'd never guess...
More mockery of traditional marriage.
Last month, a couple wanted to get married in California. Because California marriage licenses had the terms, “Party A” and “Party B” on the papers, the couple wrote next to those words, “bride” and “groom." They wanted to be recognized as husband and wife.
Their marriage license was denied and their pastor, Doug Bird of Abundant Life Fellowship in Roseville was ticked:
"What's next? Will the State of California force [ministers] to use the terms "Party A" and "Party B" in the ceremony itself?"
In a 4-3 decision, California's Supreme Court declared that legal definitions of marriage as a union between a man and a woman were unconstitutional. Since the ruling, the generic designations of “Party A” and “Party B” have been inserted into legal documents.
Proposition 8 is on the California ballot in November. The measure would ban same-sex marriages in the state.
Some sanity is back as the California Department of Public Health has just announced that by popular demand, the words “bride” and “groom” will return on marriage license forms. County clerks will be required to start using the amended forms November 17, 2008. There will be blank spaces for applicants' names and personal information next to the words "First Person Data" and "Second Person Data" and optional boxes for checking "bride" or "groom."