I promise this will be my last rant about politics for a while.
So I’ve been reading and hearing lots of incredulous remarks about undecided voters. Comments like: ‘I can’t believe that someone could still be undecided’. ‘It’s only two days before the election—you must be crazy to still be undecided’. ‘You don’t know who you’re voting for yet?!’ And so forth. I’m sure you’ve also heard them.
Now I don’t find undecided voters surprising at all. And it’s not just because I expect people to be irrational and the like. Rather, the only thing I find surprising is other people’s surprise about undecided voters. Why shouldn’t one be undecided? And how is the fact that it is only two days before the election at all relevant? If all your views happen to line up neatly with the platform of one of the campaign’s, then presumably you are not undecided. You presumably were quite decidedly decided a year ago already. But if you had a hard time a year ago deciding which of the two candidates violates fewer of your sensibilities, then presumably it is still a close call. And if it still a close call, then any little piece of evidence might sway you. And so you might quite reasonably remain undecided until the last minute, waiting for such additional pieces of evidence. It might even be the case that both candidates score exactly equally well—or badly—with respect to the things you desire in a candidate. Surely, ties are possible. In that case, why on earth should you be decided?
My take on people being surprised by the undecided? They’re merely betraying the unthinking prejudice of those who happen to find it unimaginable that they themselves would be undecided.
PS. Erin wants me to add that the only reason she is allowing me to write this post is because her strong feelings might result in unnecessarily colourful language.