7 1/2 weeks

Despite the teasing similarity to the Mickey Rourke/Kim Basinger movie from the 80’s, the 7 1/2 weeks I’m thinking about is the count down to election day.  Because I have answered previous phone polls about the election, I’m moving up the food chain. The other night I got a call from an actual research group I had heard of – Meyers Research – rather than “Citizens for Kicking the Bum Out” or “Us United Against Them”. It was refreshing to be asked actual, rather than leading, questions. The last question she asked was “Would you be willing to speak with someone from NBC about your opinions?”

I would be delighted.

I think the attention stems from a couple of things. First, we still have a land line so they can more easily interrupt our dinner, secondly we live in a very important swing state, and last but not least I am a registered voter who doesn’t hang up on pollsters.

I am therefore relevant. At least for the next 7 1/2 weeks.

I heard an interesting speaker at an event the other night reminding people that you’re not relevant if you only participate in the “historical election” and then sit out every other election. You have to be a citizen all the time to be relevant. Its an excellent point that I hope takes root. He was preaching to the choir a bit, but the choir needs tuning once in a while if you ask me.

In fine curmudgeon fashion I often hector people about the importance of voting in primaries. If you don’t vote in the primary, in the general election you have effectively become a toddler presented with two limited choices. Its behavior modification 101 for parents – “Should we play with the blue man who says we should all share our toys, or should we play with the red man who thinks everyone should only play with their own toys?”  While limited choices can mean limited temper tantrums, it surely has led to greater polarization locally, regionally and nationally.

I am in favor of our elected officials (and voting public) graduating from the current toddler model to middle school behavior. In middle school at least you try to act cool & smart even if there are cliques, bullies, angry outbursts and random irrational behavior by authority figures. It may be ambitious to think we can convince Americans to “Get Wonky Wit It” but its worth a try. (Will Smith sampling Bill Clinton, a new Tweet tone for your NPR news feed!) Especially since we are about to enter debate season.

So for the next 7 1/2 weeks if more fake and/or Republican pollsters call I will continue to do my patriotic duty and let them know that this African-American, Jewish, former Republican woman has converted to the compassionate liberal ticket and hates Paul Ryan who will be solely responsible for Romney’s failure to win.

If legitimate researchers or pollsters call asking lovely, chewy policy questions, I will happily give them thoughtful and truthful answers. Can’t win if you don’t play. And its all in play now.