Listening to Talk of the Nation this morning made me want to bury my head in a hole. The topic was the republican primaries coming up and the party’s general state of diasarray and incoherence. They had a few repub. commentators on and were asking for registered republicans to call in and say who they were voting for and why. I’m fine with it so far, but when the calls started coming in I puked a little in my mouth.

There was absolutely no one voting for a candidate based on policies. It was all personal perceptions of the candidates as people, as in “Do I want this person to be my friend?” Typical responses were, “I just don’t trust him,” “He’ll do anything to get people to vote for him,” (duh) “I like that he was a war hero,” “He’s nicer to democrats than he is to republicans,” “There’s just something about him,” and the list goes depressingly on……..

To be fair this is not a republican phenomenon. It may actually be worse on the democratic side given the sex and race of the two candidates left. A few days ago Neil Conan squeezed out of a caller the fact that he didn’t care about policies, that he just couldn’t vote for a black man.

People, you are not voting on who will be your next best friend. It’s likely most americans will never see the president in person, let alone go bowling with them and sit up drinking coffee and chatting about life until the wee hours of the morning. It doesn’t matter how you “feel” about them. Look at their policies and decide if you agree with them and vote accordingly. The way they run the country while in office will have a much more lasting effect than the personal impression they leave. They are all essentially the same on the surface with minor variances. The facade they present is severely manufactured by handlers anyway. If you vote based on that you are being duped. Policies, people, policies.

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