I voted this morning


Just voted. Voting early is a delicious extravangance. The mobile unit is sitting in the parking lot of my gym. So run, situps, pump a little iron, then vote. It's been a good morning.

And yes, I confess, my research on the judges was about 2/3rds complete. A few of my votes were less like responsible civil participation and more like casting runes. I'm duly ashamed.

Thus endeth, for me, anyway, the most compelling presidential election race of my lifetime. I turn my attention away from it never having been more fascinated nor more horrified. The latter has mostly to do with what passes for critical thinking, meaningful debate, and wondering when we agreed that simply making stuff up -- pulling things out of your ear or whatever your preferred body part -- was a perfectly fine way to run for office and that blithely printing/reporting it was a working definition of "journalism." When did talking to the voting populace like they were stupid become something to which that populace responded by clapping?

Of course, the question I'm dodging, putting off at all costs, avoiding at every turn is: Are we, collectively, not very bright? Vis critical thinking, are we past the point of no return? I mean, the first lesson of public speaking is "Know your audience." Do they know? Is that why I'm awash in 3rd Grade pedagogy? Is that why presidential campaign speeches strike me as a slightly more sophisticated version of the late Fred Rogers explaining to me why I'm special and we'll always be friends?

Want to warn you -- what I'm gonna say next is not a joke, though it's fine if you need to chuckle. After you read it and giggle, however, your two choices are pretty much gonna be agree with me and join me in being really creeped out, or decide that I'm whacked and stop taking me seriously ever. Ready? ...

John Stewart (The Daily Show) and the writers of Saturday Night Live routinely provoke and inform more critical thinking in me about political issues than does listening to presidential debates or reading op-ed pieces in pretty much any newspaper or magazine.

"Wow" hardly gets it done. Who'da thunk. Sarah Palin and Barak Obama are more phenomena than candidates. John McCain and Joe Biden have joined the audience beholding the FEEnoms.

Personal opinion: I think John McCain gave this election away in a very unMcCainish way. No way does Eight-years-ago John McCain behave like this. Eight years ago no one on the planet could have mistaken John McCain for George Bush, Jr. Which is why, eight years ago, I was ready to quit my job and stump for him.

More than happy to eat these words if, come next week, John wins.