Is it over yet? Presidential show lingers

Published 10:39 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thank goodness for the beginning of the end.

Tuesday marked an important day in my book as a few over-eager Louisiana residents headed to their local courthouse to cast a vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Louisiana, unlike Mississippi, allows any registered voter who so desires to go to the polls weeks before the election and simply get it over with.

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I wish I could.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not particularly jazzed by either option on the ballot or maybe I’m feeling un-American, but this political season has seemingly been going and going and going.

Where it’s going, I’m not sure, though I’ve felt all along that the outcome is likely pre-determined.

The close of Monday night’s final presidential debate marked another small victory in my anti-political book — the end of the formally televised charades.

Watching grown men bicker and grin, grin and bicker and continually repeat themselves did little to clear the waters for me. I can’t imagine how anyone who still claims to be undecided could make up their mind from the verbal boxing matches.

Sure, I favor a candidate, but I didn’t necessarily believe everything he said during the debates, nor did I believe the other guy. It was reality TV — scripted and sometimes fake — without the commercial breaks, and I never knew how important commercials were.

As Louisiana voters join those from other states in finally getting this show on the road, we’ll all have to wait two weeks for the end of Nov. 6 and pray there are no hanging chads to stretch it out further.

After that night, no matter who wins, maybe our country can start moving again. Maybe both sides can work together, talk it out and stop performing.

Maybe then we’ll be going somewhere.

We can always hope, right?

Politics gets in the way of progress every four years in our great nation. Yet, our system is still better than any other in the world.

Clearly, man is not perfect.

Adams County will lean toward President Obama. Concordia Parish will support Romney.

Louisiana and Mississippi will both be red states.

In other words, no one in these parts matters much in this election.

Yet, come Nov. 6, turnout at the polls will most likely be higher than it was when Natchez and Vidalia elected mayors and aldermen in recent years and races were decided by sometimes less than 100 votes.

That prediction, if proven true, makes a strong point.

Voters care more about the political game, the public spectacle and the man 1,000 miles away than they do the leader just down the street whose moves will directly impact their tomorrow much sooner.

And that explains why presidential candidates — not just these two — behave the way they do.

They are just giving the American people what they want — a good show.

It may be difficult, come Nov. 6, to vote for a leader, not an actor.


Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or