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Ballot to the head

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Voters! Who put those people in charge? We’re talking about a group that tends to make up its mind quickly, based on whoever’s slogan or half-truth jibes with their already-held beliefs, then seal away all sense of reason in a hardened bunker. I mean, when the R-J recently noted that “one in 10” GOP voters were still undecided about the Senate primary, didn’t that number seem high?

Yes, it’s easy to be cynical about voters—fun, too—and often warranted, especially in Nevada, where enough of us were beguiled by “no new taxes” to make an obvious mediocrity like Jim Gibbons governor. But, with the primary election this week, perhaps it’s time to show The Voter a little sympathy, too. It’s hard out there for a citizen. Who among us is really equipped to parse whether “no new taxes” is a workable strategy, brainless ideology, pure calculation or lack of imagination—all while still conducting our actual lives? The same R-J story also noted that candidate Danny Tarkanian “went door-to-door in Summerlin with his wife, who pushed a baby carriage ...” Jesus, who wants to be baby-carriaged at in the name of politics? And now the LA Times tells us that Sen. John Ensign is ramping up a re-election effort, his way of saying, Sure, I’m a sanctimonious hypocrite, but these voters won’t care! And pundits predict a low turnout? You don’t say. As R.E.M. reminds us, “Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.”

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