Choosing Between Lemons In November

Someone yesterday on Twitter said that anyone who is undecided about who to vote for this late in the election cycle is stupid. They just did not understand how someone could still have not made a choice.

I didn’t bother to reply to him, as he obviously thinks I’m stupid. But had I the inclination and the time to spell it out for him, I would have first started by saying, it’s not really indecision. It’s more along the lines of aggravation. I’m annoyed that I am in a position where I have to choose who I least want to be our president, rather than vote for someone I want in the White House. There are days I even think about not voting at all, though that’s merely just my disdain coming through. Of course I will vote. I’m just not sure which lever I will pull as I simultaneously give the voting machine the finger, as if to say: Don’t mistake my vote for you as meaning I like you.

Let’s think about this metaphorically, as beating metaphors to death is what I do best.

The lease is up on my car. I hate this car. I liked it well enough when I first signed the lease, but it’s since proved itself to be a lemon. I can’t wait to get rid of it. So I go to the dealership and tell the salesman I’m ready for a new car. He smiles and takes me to the showroom, where he says “We have two different models to show you. Unfortunately, they are the only two models we have and you have to pick one of them.” At that point, a person would just turn over the piece of crap car and go to another dealer. But that would ruin my metaphor, so we’ll stay with this smiling salesman.

In the showroom are a 1978 AMC Pacer and a 1970 AMC Gremlin (sorry AMC, you made some ugly cars). I balk. I tell the salesman there’s no way in hell I would want either of those cars. But this is some level of Hell Dante forgot to write about it, and I’m stuck in this showroom, having to choose between two of the ugliest cars ever made.

I kick the tires on each, pop the hood, examine the engine, ask some questions. I tell the salesman I’ll think about it, and go home to do some research. I see a lot of articles telling me why I shouldn’t buy either car, but very few giving me any compelling reasons to purchase either one. I’m now forced to choose; not so much between the lesser of two evils, but between the greater of two

What do I do? The clock is ticking, my lease is up at midnight and I have to have a car. I go back and forth, wondering which car I will hate the least, which car will least disappoint me, which piece of crap will be any different from the one I’m giving up.

I’m disheartened, to say the least. I had dreams of a shiny, new car. One that would make me beam with pride, one that would restore my joy of driving and make me feel safe, comfortable and secure behind the wheel. I know neither of these cars will do that and there’s a four year lease on one of them looming ahead of me.

I think in their heart of hearts, every “undecided” voter at this point knows who they are going to vote for. It’s ambivalence rather than indecision. It’s disappointment about having to choose which candidate they are not going to vote for, rather than having the chance to be gung-ho about either one.

So come Election Day, I’ll go into my polling place, as I would go into that metaphorical dealership, knowing that I’m choosing a clunker no matter what I do.

Well, at least neither of them are a ’73 Pinto.

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