The second 2012 Presidential Debate is tonight and social media campaigns abound from the Left and Right aimed at undecided voters. To paraphrase their message, the opponent is the Devil incarnate while their candidate is the Messiah's messenger on Earth. (And that's from the non- denominational groups.) But it's online facts, as a Google study on today's media savvy swing voter that gets their attention. And that is, well, confusing the hell out of both parties.
Facts evidently have little to do with Presidential elections any more being used only as a last resort. Most registered party voters profess to routinely vote across party lines, though I tend to believe otherwise. Is it to convince themselves and those in earshot of the water cooler that their vote was based upon a well thought out decision rather than on dogma? Maybe they voted for the Dog Catcher because they attend the same religious service or coach little league with them? Or maybe they just have an insatiable taste for Kool-Aid? The Undecided prefer water. Clear, odorless, and sensible choice.
But you can't just blame the parties. Social media campaigning is everywhere. Just look at your Facebook wall or Twitter roll and you'll see it littered with political rants. It's dirty politics at its worst as little is censored. "But that's what social media is for," you say? "A soap box for everyone to publicly rant." I suppose I can filter them out or just not read them, but the posts don't anger or insult me. I find them perplexing. Regardless of the point of view, I always ask "Who does this social media onslaught intend to sway anyway?"
The Undecided, contrary to perception, are not indecisive when it comes to politics. They are decisively unimpressed, uninfluenced, and unmoved by rhetorical fear-based politics. They believe decisions should be based upon facts rather than made by committee. And the more that facts are spun, the less credible anything they say will be perceived. In short, if you want to sway the swayers, provide more solutions with detailed plans and substantiated facts, and less Devils serving Kool-Aid.
Political doctrine has been replaced by conjecture and many truly believe this Presidential election is tantamount to Rapture. To those ensconced in the middle or the parties on the fringes, it's a football game wherein the same two teams buy their way into the Superbowl each year. A word to the wise: if someone's not wearing a red jersey of a blue jersey it doesn't mean they haven't picked a team to root for, it means they are not team players. So cheer if you must, online pundits. Spar with your opponents and make it down and dirty if it makes you happy. It's your privilege and responsibility as Americans. But please, while you're out rallying the fans, let the Undecided swing voters study the players, process the facts, and select the winner.
Article first published as Swing Voters and Their Damned Facts on Technorati.