I Don’t Want to Vote On Tuesday

The commercials have never been creepier, the candidates never less inspiring. But the decent and honest among us still need to do the right thing

Election Day is next Tuesday, and we should all go out and vote. You know why.

It’s our duty.

It’s what keeps our democracy working. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.

Know it. Got it. Will do.

But this election, and I suspect I’m not alone, I’ll be going to the polls with about as much enthusiasm as I have for viewing another replay of Ryan Howard standing lifeless at the plate as that third strike cruises by and crushes our dreams. [SIGNUP]

Politicians, as a rule, have never been the most inspiring earthlings, but with each cycle the choices seem to get less conscionable, the candidates more lackluster, and this time around we’re looking at a veritable bonanza of hall of fame pithless boobs.

Tuesday, like a lot of you, I’ll pull the lever for Sestak the Passionless, mostly because Toomey is a Santorum acolyte, which means he’s somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, replete with all the alarming credentials—pro life, an “A” rating from the NRA, past president of the Club for Growth, current treasurer of Skinheads for Palin.

Okay, maybe scratch that last one.

What’s true, though, is that if we get Toomey, best believe he’ll pay more attention to towns and hamlets like Allentown and Reading and Jim Thorpe and Altoona, where people actually pull the lever for guys like him in serious numbers, than he will Philadelphia, where he may, if he’s lucky, pick up stray votes in forlorn precincts in the Northeast.

Money for Philadelphia? Go fish.

Sestak, granted, is no charmer. Given the choice between root canal and tossing back a few brews with the dude, you just might chose the former. But at least he doesn’t look capable of biting into your neck, teeth digging deep, which was always the case with the guy he beat—Arlen Specter, the master blaster of congressional meanies, whose obituary, if there’s any justice in the world, will lead with the horrific cross examination he conducted of Anita Hill.

As for the two extremely Caucasian gentlemen running for governor, if you can tell one from the other, bless you. You get to spend an all-expenses-paid three-day weekend in the luxurious Wonkadelphia Hotel. Scary and hip shooting as Big Ed could be sometimes, it’s going to be a whole lot scarier for us when he’s no longer scooting down the turnpike from Harrisburg to his East Falls domicile.

All this sounding a little edgy, kind of Tea Partyish with a Bizarro World twist?

Sure, okay, I admit it: I’m angry.

You aren’t?

Political dialogue in these days of economic anomie has become as civil as a party in a Charlie Sheen hotel room.

Instead of solutions to the hard scrabble life the unemployed and near unemployed weather every day, we’re held hostage, forced to listen and endure yet another long limp season of political desolation filled with creepy TV commercials riddled with half-truths and twisted spins on reality.

Parse the truth. Do the polling. Don’t stand up.

Yesterday, a Roll Call analysis of Senate financial disclosure forms filed in 2010 showed more than half the chamber’s membership, 54 lawmakers, reporting a minimum net worth of more than $1 million. Another four Senators fell short of that mark by less than $100,000.

Breathe deep. Release.

The good news: We’re not one of them.

We represent ourselves. We persevere. Keep one foot in front of the other. Try to do right. And through it all, not always, but remarkably often, we smile through the gathering clouds.

See you Tuesday at the polls.

Tim Whitaker (twhitaker@mightywriters.org), a writer and editor, is the executive director of Mighty Writers.