Early on in his recent book, The Tyranny of Cliches, Jonah Goldberg riffed on one of his pet peeves, the “vital” role that “centrist” undecided voters play in presidential elections — or at least how they’re invariably portrayed as such by talking heads of the MSM:
The self-appointed guardians of this notion that the center is also the high ground can mostly be found in the press corps, because it validates their own self-conception. They honestly believe they are neither left nor right, and so they value the politicians and voters who share this political ambivalence.
More critical, this nonsense survives because our politics are arranged so as to ensure it. When a country is evenly divided ideologically, it’s unavoidable that those who split the differences will get outsized power, because they are the ones who will ultimately decide elections. That’s why every general election that begins with “securing the base” ends with the presidential candidates begging for support from centrists, independents, moderates, and the folks who really put the asses in masses: the Undecideds. Every four years after each presidential debate we are forced to listen to interviews with undecided voters who not only can’t see major differences between the political candidates (which, by that point in the campaign, means they’ve not been paying attention), but who also think the reason we have presidential debates is to give tutorials on policy minutiae: “I didn’t hear enough about what they would do about education.” “I wanted more specifics about what [So-and-so] would do for someone like me.” Meanwhile, back in their election headquarters the anchors nod along as if this reaction is damning of the candidates’ performances.
After an eighteen-month campaignand ideologically consistent voters have already made up their minds. All that’s left are the undecided centrists, who actually think they have the more sophisticated and serious position; their indecision comes, actually, by virtue of the fact they’ve either not paid much attention until way too late in the game, or more simply, they’re a** holes who think they must be at the center of the universe.
Now, hold on, I mean that in a fairly literal way. Let me explain.
Jonah goes on to describe where the early Catholic Church portrayed the position of the earth in relationship to the universe. (No really.) Though dropping the a-word also brings to mind Time-Warner-CNN-HBO spokesman Bill Maher — whom for once, agrees with Jonah Goldberg, perhaps a first:
On his Friday “Real Time” HBO program, at the end of the“New Rules” segment, host Bill Maher took aim at undecided voters and lamented their importance in the upcoming presidential election.
“New rule —if you’re one of the 5 percent of American voters who are still undecided on who to vote for, it’s ok to admit you just don’t give a shit,” Maher said. “Really, if at this point you still can’t figure out who you like more, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama — stay home, because you probably couldn’t find your polling place anyway. I mean, what more information does someone need to make this choice? Obama has been president for nearly four years, and Mitt Romney has been running for president since 1971, when his space egg incubated, and he burst out of an astronaut’s chest.”
“And they’re really not that much alike. If you can’t tell this man, from this man, you’re not a swing voter. You’re a lesbian. It’s ok that there’s a tiny fraction of uncommitted voters in a few swing states who will decide this election, but can we all please stop treating them like they’re somehow more noble and discerning than the rest of us?”
I’m not sure why Maher’s impugning lesbians here, but perhaps it’s progress of a sort that his legendary misogyny has moved beyond its traditional heteronormative standards to encompass alternative lifestyles as well. Or perhaps given his status as million dollar Obama donor, it’s simply part and parcel of the administration’s now legendary War on Women.
Incidentally, if you’re wondering why the relentless cheerleading for Obama, the media blackout on poor economic and GWOT news, combined with endless assaults on Romney recently from the MSM, remember which voter demographic they’re currently carpet bombing — those remaining few undecided voters, whom not coincidentally, get the majority of their “news” from the TV at 6:00 and 11:00 PM.