As is the normal routine, I met the girls at the bus, got them a snack and let them watch a little TV once homework was done. It's a challenge to flip through the channels while attempting to steer clear of shows with silly ideas about living the dual life of a rock star / student, or notions of saving the world by shooting magic love rainbows out one's belly button, but I'm up to the task. As I'm clicking and screening, Allie announces her choice for president. "I'm voting for Joooooohn McCain!"

The first question a parent might ask is, "What made you say that, Sugar Blossom?" But Allie's prone to such randomness, and I've long since learned to skip such formalities.

"Why the hell would you do that?" I asked, pondering the merits of a constitutional amendment allowing first-graders the right to vote. God knows they are smarter than some people I've come into contact with over the election.

Allie, turned her head to the side, "Because." She didn't realize how much her comment detracted from the efforts of those working so hard as part of the first-grade voter lobby. One day she may realize the sacrifices made by 6 year olds who had struggled before her so that she might be a part of a brighter America, but sitting here in front of Nick Toons wouldn't be that moment.

"Because? Because! You have to give a reason - a real one - for why you're voting for someone," I explained. "You can vote for anyone you want but you have to know why you're picking them, Allie." Maybe my explanation to her seems a tad harsh, but poor Allie is the quintessential independent voter (after that amendment is passed anyway), having been at the center of a vicious campaign waged by an ultra-right wing aunt and her so-liberal-I'm-from-France mother.

Both sides have been shoving so many arguments into Allie's head, the poor kid is literally traumatized. A few weeks ago I had to explain to her that Sen. Obama's abortion policy did not mean he hated babies. Apparently, Aunt Republican boiled the issue down for Allie into terms only a child could understand. "Obama is going to kill babies," I believe is how it was presented in true conservative fashion. It took me several hours to debunk this notion for Allie who somehow got the idea (and I'm not kidding) that upon taking oath as the Commander in Chief, Sen. Obama's first edict would be to have all newborns killed during his term in office. Finding this out, answered allot for me as I'd watch Allie run to her room and clutch a baby doll every time Obama's name was mentioned.

Equally, disturbing was the discovery of how effective Mommy Democrat (Mommy Commie might be better) had become in pounding the evils of big corporations into little Allie's brain. Last weekend the subject of buying Halloween costumes was casually discussed in front of the girls forcing Allie into hysterics (again, I'm not kidding here). Through uncontrollable sobs she coughed out, "We can't go to WalMart! They exploit their workers!" If you were to ask her what "exploit" means, she will rightfully explain that WalMart refuses to pay for health benefits for their workers. Jebus on a Ritz Cracker! I thought to myself, What did they do to this kid!

You can readily see the hell, poor independent Allie, has been going through the past several months. I mean with family like this, who needs pundits? This is why I wanted to press upon her the need to think for herself. "So, can you tell me why you're picking John McCain, Allie?" I was still flipping through the channels knowing that what she said next would be the difference in Allie becoming the next Gloria Steinem or a mother of 8, living in an east Texas trailer park.

When I looked back in her direction, Allie's brow was furrowed in concentration. However, what she was concentrated on was her finger moving back and forth as it touched the pointer and index fingers of her other hand. As she did this she mouthed, eeiny, meeiny, miney, moe. Then her finger stopped and she paused before looking up at me. "Obama. Ya, this time Obama."

What I just wrote is 98% true - hardly any embellishment at all. If this is what a kid is going through then I have to imagine for many independents making a real decision still is difficult based on all the rhetoric out there. However, there are a few that don't see the choice as being that hard.

Two nights ago, my wife and I went to see David Sedaris read here in Houston, and one of his pieces was from the New Yorker commenting on Independent voters. As he was reading, I turned to my wife and told her I wanted to find that essay from the New Yorker and post it in the InBox. Apparently a certain big name blogger (oh, what's her name? rhymes with goose, or moose, loose, truce, excuse, obtuse, caboose, Jimmy Choo's - oh, to hell with it, I'll remember after I fall asleep) heard Mr Sedaris read the same essay two nights earlier and had the same idea. As such, David Sedaris is a now a household name and so popular God can't get through to request and signed copy of the author's latest release. I have to say this lest anyone think me a copy cat in sharing this essay today (I mean no disrespect, uh, you. Big. Blogger. Person, you It's no one's fault his tour slated Salt Lake ahead of Houston).

- David Sadaris

I don’t know that it was always this way, but, for as long as I can remember, just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign the focus shifts to the undecided voters. “Who are they?” the news anchors ask. “And how might they determine the outcome of this election?”

Then you’ll see this man or woman— someone, I always think, who looks very happy to be on TV. “Well, Charlie,” they say, “I’ve gone back and forth on the issues and whatnot, but I just can’t seem to make up my mind!” Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?

When doubting that anyone could not know whom they’re voting for, I inevitably think back to November, 1968. Hubert Humphrey was running against Richard Nixon, and when my mother couldn’t choose between them she had me do it for her. It was crazy. One minute I was eating potato chips in front of the TV, and the next I was at the fire station, waiting with people whose kids I went to school with. When it was our turn, we were led by a woman wearing a sash to one of a half-dozen booths, the curtain of which closed after we entered.
Read the entire essay...

Still can't decide - then maybe this will help. I was surprised at some of what McCain brought to the table here. You might be too.

Unbelievable McCain Vs. Obama Dance-Off - Watch more free videos

When someone like me, with a blog like this, gets an email with this in it, you know I have to post it.

Find more political action figures here at ImageGate.

And finally...

I've been reading Blogger Dad almost since he started over four months ago. Blogger Dad is a writer, cartoonist and new dad who I'm lucky enough to have an occasional discussion concerning comic book characters and not get laughed at. For being relatively new to blogging, Blogger Dad, aka David, has quickly created a quality site that draws in a number of readers. A large part of this is due to his writing style which is a combination of a down-to-earth tone, intelligence, and simple honesty, making David likable both as a blogger and as a person. Read Blogger Dad over the weekend and you'll see what I mean.

Have a good weekend! We're taking the girls to an intervention!

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