WTMA commentary broadcast 11/4/08:

This year there are many pundits and blowhards, including myself, who have tried to sway voters to support one candidate or another for one reason or another. Those who give their opinions for a living cannot afford to keep them private, however today, this election will be decided by the overwhelming majority of Americans who tend to keep their political opinions and their votes to themselves.

For president we have Republican John McCain, who some voters believe represents Armageddon, verses Democrat Barack Obama, who some believe represents Armageddon. Throughout this campaign, I have often been mistaken as an Obama supporter simply because I agree with Rush Limbaugh’s earlier contention that McCain would completely destroy the Republican Party, if not the conservative movement, and that Obama would be no worse than any other Democratic or Republican president, especially George W. Bush. I have found not being filled with hatred for either McCain or Obama has made me the target of hatred by both camps. Supporters of both are often irate that I would dare vote third party, instead of supporting their candidate. When I argue that in supporting Republican or Democrat versions of the same candidate, they are essentially throwing their vote away, they even get angrier.

I, for one, am ready for the anger to subside. When you walk into the voting booth today, forget about what the pundits have to say about anything – all of them. From Sean Hannity to Keith Olberman, FOX News to MSNBC, Jack Hunter to Richard Todd, each of us have agendas in supporting certain candidates, which are in part patriotic and in part personal, to varying degrees.

Hannity’s cheerleading for McCain has as much to do with his occupation as who he honestly believes would make a better president, as does Olberman’s bending over backwards for Obama. FOX News has a vested interested in electing a Republican president as MSNBC has in electing a Democrat. As a lifelong movement conservative, I have long-term philosophical reasons in opposing both major candidates that might have zero impact on the average person in the immediate sense. I cannot speak for Richard.

But you should speak for yourselves at the ballot box. Your own personal self interest is as important, if not more important, than the ideological sloganeering of any talking head, and the small businessman who votes for McCain is as sensible as the military mother who votes for Obama. The small businessman might be able to bring home the bacon slightly better under McCain, and the military mother might be able to bring her baby home from Iraq slightly better under Obama. The “slightly better” qualification is what makes it impossible for me to support either candidate – but once again, I’m a radio loudmouth, not a small businessman or a military mother. I can only walk in my own shoes, not theirs.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re stupid, unpatriotic or wrong for voting McCain, Obama, third party or no party. It’s your vote, and no one has the right to judge how you spend your political currency anymore than how you spend actual currency. Imagine if your neighbor spent entirely too much money on some clunker of a car. What decent person would constantly harass him for his poor judgment? It would be considered inappropriate and rude. The same should be true of politics. Like political signs in one’s front yard, everyone has a voice, but where one yard ends, the neighbor’s begins. Poet Robert Frost once said “Good fences make good neighbors.” On this election day and any election day, the same philosophy will always make for good voters.

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