My View From The Country

Political Conventions Vie For An Undecided Few

The 2012 race is truly unique in that the country's electorate remains widely divided, with a very few undecided voters in the middle.

Compared to previous national political party conventions, big bounces aren't expected as a result of the recent doings in Tampa and Charlotte. The two national campaigns are expected to emerge in essentially a statistical dead heat.

These national political conventions have two tasks, both of which seem highly antagonistic to each other. The first task is to energize the base and build enthusiasm among the party faithful. The second task is to try to lure to their side that small group of undecided voters.

The 2012 race is truly unique in that the country's electorate remains widely divided, with a very few undecided voters in the middle. Ironically, the conventions reflect the great divide, lending credence to all the talk from both sides that this race is truly a pivotal race.

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The candidates typically use the nominating conventions to moderate positions in an attempt to move to the middle. That simply hasn't occurred this year. Both sides have stuck to their guns, and laid out truly different visions for this country and where it should head. The two sides are polar opposites when it comes to the economy, the role of government, the role of individual liberty, the role of America in the world, and even in their basic beliefs about what is moral and ethically right.

Of course, the perverse thing about American politics is that while this election will fundamentally change the direction of this country for decades, the big issues are still really not being discussed. The experts on both sides still seem to be vying emotionally, content to fight this battle with 30-second sound bites, even with speeches that can last as long as an hour. Nor does the media coverage and political advertising appear that it will change.

Industry Resource Page: 2012 Elections

Perhaps the upcoming debates will crystallize the monumental differences facing this country. However, my cynical side says it will come down to one or two emotional sound bites. If you find yourself on the left side or the right side of the political spectrum, this race is as monumental as any you have ever faced. But if you're truly in the middle, this will be a difficult decision because it will fall to you to decide whether the nation continues its severe shift to the left or takes a hard correction to the right.

One thing is for certain – when we wake up the day after the election, America will be fundamentally changed. And the impacts of that change will have long lasting effects.

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

Bob Neese (not verified)
on Sep 7, 2012

If one is "truly in the middle", he is not very well read and informed or perhaps has an easy time denying reality or thinking "others can settle that".
I believe your premise is only half right. We will continue an extreme, "severe shift to the left", yes. Or we will at least slow down the shift, moderate somewhat, come to more of a "centrist" position. There is no chance of an extreme or "hard correction" to the right with Romney. It is not the GOP platform, nor Romney/Ryan that is extreme. They're only painted that way, while truly being more in line with the thinking of tax-paying, working, God-fearing Americans.
When one honestly evaluates the Democrat platform, agenda, ideology, the party's leaders, and the way Obama has governed, the title of "Statist, Marxist, Fascist, Socialist" could aptly be applied.
The mask is off. The Party that thrice says, 'NO!" to God, and then boos one insertion of His name into the platform, and the candidate that is endorsed by the Communist Party-USA, fits the definition of "uber-extremist".
I have many reasons for leaving the Democrat Party, years ago. What I can't understand is why anyone who cares about the future of this country and their children, would not leave.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 7, 2012

I, a conservative, will vote democrat because I can not support the far right positions taken by our party. Let's face it, we screwed up, got our country in a mess and now we are running to the extreme right, not good. Secondly, as a member of congress you are voted in at the will of the people, never in the history of our company have we had so many leaders take a stance to make a President fail. Therefore, americans suffered! That in my humble opinion is unforgiveable and they should be removed, it is extremely unpatriotic. They are public servants.

I can understand fighting on the issues, but vowing not to compromise, that is unamerican.

An American (bred, born and raised) (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2012

God bless you, Troy!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2012

Troy is clueless. Both parties kowtow to big business and the AARP. The Tea Party is like both: "I've got mine, you're on your own." The Republican have not been concerned about budget deficits when they controll the White House since Ford was president. If you think the current Republicans are different, I have a bridge to sell you.

So forget your big issues in this election. If you want to change direction of this country, get rid of the current Supreme Court that says that money is speech, and lets corporations, including foreign ones, buy elections. Work on a voting system that gives informed voters more say (Instant Runoff Voting), and limits the power of money, or at least requires full disclosure of donations. And get informed yourself, Troy, instead of whipping up emotions with your dire and clueless forecasts of doom.

Thomas C Howard (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2012

Elections are very important and I will vote Obama/Democrat as I always do in national elections. It isn't all important however. Our country is not lost or gone. There is no need to "take it back". We are living our portion of hundreds of years of change to and toward an enlightened interdependent, succoring nation state. Pure anything doesn't work. We have the legacy of the amazing "founding fathers" and strong moral sentiments from the entire world. With labor the labor movement, civil rights fights, the Supreme Court, politics and congresses we have zigzagged into and are blessed with: REGULATED capitalism, a SAFETY NET, CIVILIAN control of the military, REALITY oriented foreign policy, a STRONG government able to do what government does best, and remarkable freedom in the vast wilderness of PRIVATE AFFAIRS. Both sides see needs for contraction or expansion of all of these facts and trends. Generally I would like expansion and feel the prospect is good; better under Democrats but a Romney victory will only be a bump on the road. Keep your eye on the ball (progress), don't despair of the zigs and zags.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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