Super Tuesday = Super Tense

It’s Primary time, and no matter what side of the political fence you stand on (perhaps even straddling it?) that means it’s time to start getting serious about voting for our nation’s next President.

Oh, and the choices are just so overwhelmingly underwhelming this go ’round, aren’t they? Aside from a few very passionate folks, most average, every day Jane and John Q. Publics I know are in the same boat: Ugh. I don’t like any of them. Not really.

So, we’re all left to plow through the rhetoric, suffer through the painful (and ridiculous) debates, attempt to make sense of the senseless garbage and somehow make a reasonably intelligent choice. Ha!

The funniest part to me was discovering all these sites with some form of “pick your candidate” test or quiz. They’ve always existed, but c’mon, even USA Today and the Washington Post are getting in on this act. As if distilling your choice down to stance on a few key issues is really sufficient? Is it?

You can go here, and play the 14-question “select a candidate” quiz. Or how about this “candidate match game” from USA Today? This fun little gem allows you to assign points to your favorite (and least favorite) issues. Select Smart has yet another version of this fun game (you can even go back in time and see if you voted for the right candidate in previous elections!) ABC News has the charmingly named Match-o-Matic. And the Washington Post breaks it down into Republican and Democrat editions.

I’m sure there are several others I’ve missed, but the point remains the same.

Somehow, we’ve taken thinking out of the equation. From the proliferation of these ostensibly informative little quizzes, it seems we’re supposed to stop educating ourselves, stop thinking for ourselves, stop making informed choices based on personal conviction, and instead answer a few simple questions that touch on the biggest political hot potatoes, and from there, our “ideal match” is displayed in percentage points.

It’s like a bad dating service or something.

Here, you answered “yes” to these questions, and “no” to these, and our sophisticated computers have spat out your ideal mate, all in a matter of seconds. No sense in getting to know each other. Don’t bother asking any probing questions, or for more details, just schedule the chapel, you’re getting married.

What’s worse, for those like me, who truly do straddle the fence (not due to indecision, but because I simply fall into the conservative camp on some issues, the liberal camp on others, and neither on still others) these little tests are about as useless as… well, yeah. I’m sure you know that one.

Basically, depending on which issues the quiz is weighted for, my results turn out quite differently on each one.

Huh. Go figure.

Guess I’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way. I’m actually going to have to spend some time studying the issues, and the candidates, and then make my mind up based on that. What a shocker.