It’s election day, 2008, the day we pick our new president. Record numbers of voters have registered for this historic race and as usual the campaigns have been spirited, passionate and sometimes kind of mean. None of which means squat at this point since the choice is in the hands of the American people. All but the really dumb ones have a very good idea of what each man stands for and how he is likely to lead the country. Our presidential campaigns are long, transparent affairs that leave little doubt as to the character and policies of the candidates. At this point we even know what they like to eat for breakfast, among a whole lot of other irrelevant information.

But we don’t make our living dissecting the lives of presidential candidates. We just sort of listen to what they have to say and make up our minds on who’s the best guy for the job. TV political commentators, on the other hand, can’t get enough of the minutia of the candidates’ lives, acting like gossip and entertainment reporters half the time. And they know the window of our attention is rapidly closing so they’ll be going into overdrive this week telling us their version of what happened, as if what goes on in America is conducted in a foreign language or some secret code only they can decipher. Which leads one to ask: From this they make a living?

In fact, these people make a very lucrative living misinterpreting the obvious and insisting the sky is green. And they seem to be a very overwrought bunch, too, getting all puffed up with indignation at the drop of a hat. Some of them are downright angry all the time about anything that crosses their peevish little minds so it’s kind of hard to figure what, if anything, is important to them other than their anger. Which makes you glad they don’t live on your block. Neighbors like that are just irritating. Couple that with the fact that these people are constantly assuming that they know so much more than everybody else even though the same information is available to everyone, well, some of us are glad the campaign is over.

The end of the campaign won’t stop these clowns from mouthing off, though. They will all outline their own agenda for the new president to follow, as if they were somehow elected to something themselves. Unfortunately for them, few of us will be watching them now, satisfied that election is over and the new guy is making his plans for running the country without the benefit of the wisdom of these armchair quarterbacks. We’ll find out soon enough if the new guy knows what he’s doing or not. Meanwhile we’ll get on with our lives and celebrate the holidays and watch our football games and take the kids apple picking and sleigh riding and the like.

Let the TV clowns obsess and fume about things they can do nothing about and about which they know even less. No longer will it be important what the president-elect has for breakfast or where he buys his suits. If their guy wins, they’ll be insufferable, taking personal credit for the victory and acting like their little pet peeves will now be enacted into law. If their guy loses, they will pout and wail and pound their desks and tell us that life as we know it is over. Either way, these people will continue their delusional and self-important broadcasts, never stopping to think that the very existence of their jobs is only due to the 24 hour news cable shows needing to fill up air time and not by any great public outcry for their dubious wisdom. 

Life and elections went on just fine before CNN, CNBC and Fox Cable News existed. Americans listened to the candidates, weighed the issues and picked the guy they preferred without the benefit of all the strident whiners on cable TV and it worked out okay. It’s not like these people bring anything new to the table other that their presence. They all talk about the same things at the same time and come up with approximately zero exciting or interesting ideas. Cable news producers created these monster, let them listen to their blather. 

So today we vote our consciences, each to their own light, and none of us but the feeble-minded will cast their vote a certain way because a cable news host told them to. They’ve had their say and made their tedious points. They talk. That’s what they do. Now it’s our turn. We’ve thought it over and now everybody’s got to listen to us. The vote is the final word, and we get to speak it. We vote because we can, and we vote for who we think is the best man for the job. So let’s vote today and have our say.

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