Hey Undecideds: Pick a Side
Let’s get something straight this campaign season. There are no "un-decideds." Or at least there shouldn’t be.
If there are, they should be banned from voting. As Dean Wormer said in Animal House, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."
And if you’re truly undecided, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
So for those wannabes who think it’s desirable and politically correct to seem overly "deliberative" during a poll, do us all a favor: pick a side.
The choices have never been clearer.
The role of a columnist is not to endorse candidates; that’s best left to the editorial pages.
However, it bears asking how people could actually vote for some of the candidates running this fall — assuming those voters acknowledge that the country is in an extremely perilous position.
That in mind, it defies common sense to support people who are, for the most part, the very ones responsible for the current economic calamity. It’s akin to rewarding the man who just burglarized your house.
While the Democrats are in power, and therefore will suffer the greatest losses next Tuesday, Republicans are by no means immune.
-Soon-to-be former Congressman Mike Castle lost his bid for U.S. Senate against the controversial Christine O’Donnell.
Was he better suited to win the general election? The universal answer is yes, but Delawarians were at their wits end with Castle, who had been a fixture in elected office for nearly half-a-century. The mentality was simple: despite O’Donnell’s baggage, she had fresh ideas and wasn’t part of the Establishment that gave us this severe recession. And while Chris Coons many not be the answer, voters may give him the benefit of the doubt that he too will be a fresh face in Washington.
-Philadelphia Republican State Representative John Perzel finds himself in the race of his life, despite the massive GOP wave sweeping America. Sure, the fact that he’s been indicted in Attorney General Tom Corbett’s Bonusgate legislative corruption probe doesn’t help matters, but Perzel’s problems are much more basic. He was Speaker of the House for years, and, despite the immense power of that position, Pennsylvania continued its downward trajectory. Perzel is the epitome of a career politician who amasses power for the sake of power — issues and good policy be damned. He typifies Business As Usual, and that just isn’t enough anymore.
-In California’s gubernatorial race, the candidates are day and night, which, in a normal state, would ensure a victory for Republican Meg Whitman, former CEO of e-Bay. But since the Golden State redefines "eccentric," nothing is what it should be.
In what can only be described as mind-blowing, Democrat Jerry Brown holds a slight lead over Whitman. And yes, that Jerry Brown. The one who was California Secretary of State 40 years ago, and governor in 1974. Yes, 1974! And the one who later ran for U.S. Senate, President and Mayor of Oakland. And who is now state Attorney General.
How is it even remotely possible that someone who served four decades ago can be the Democratic nominee in 2010? Looking at it another way, in what is by far the most populous state in the nation, is Jerry Brown really the best the Democrats have to offer?
California is, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt. It has a $19 billion budget deficit, and owes an incomprehensible $535 billion to its public employees retirement plan. Anyone who thinks Brown, a career politician and then some, is better equipped to deal with California’s problems than an immensely successful businesswoman, needs to chat with Dean Wormer. Should Californians be that dense as to reject Whitman and her business acumen, they’ll get exactly what they deserve.
-Perhaps nowhere is there a more stark difference between candidates than Nevada, where Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to outlast Sharron Angle.
If voters see this contest as a referendum on Reid, he loses. Period. And the reason is simple.
Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in America, with no solution in sight. Given that Reid has been steering the Obama ship in the Senate, and his state has hit the iceberg dead-on, he has nowhere to hide.
Outside of the President, there is no more powerful office than Senate Majority Leader. So if you can’t get the job done at that level, you never will.
Reid’s attempt at offering solutions to the problems he helped create is simply falling on deaf ears. It’s like when George H. W. Bush infamously broke his "Read My Lips, No New Taxes" pledge, and then ran a campaign theme of "You Can’t Trust Bill Clinton." It just doesn’t work.
America is in uncharted waters, with rising unemployment, a $14 trillion debt, a declining dollar and unaffordable pension obligations. It is safe to say that never before has an election been so important, with the consequences so severe if the wrong choices are made on November 2.
They say don’t take politics personally. They would be wrong.
It’s time Americans take this election to heart, pulling the lever in the most personal of ways —voting as if their very existence may be riding on the outcome.
Because more than ever before, it does.
On November 2, the choice will be made. We either swim — or sink.
America, choose wisely.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com
Readers of his column, "Freindly Fire," hail from six continents, thirty countries and all fifty states. His work has been referenced in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, foreign newspapers, and in Dick Morris’ recent bestseller "Catastrophe."
Freind, whose column appears nationally in Newsmax, also serves as a guest commentator on Philadelphia-area talk radio shows, and makes numerous other television and radio appearances, most notably on FOX. He can be reached at [email protected]