I'm planning to vote at the Democratic caucus in Boulder on Tuesday night, because I think it's generally important to vote, because there are so many critical issues the next president needs to address, and because I'm quite curious about how the caucus process works. My general thought on the caucus itself is that it seems somewhat non-inclusive that the only votes that count are from people who can be available from 6:15-8:45pm this Tuesday. Regardless, my fascination with organizational behavior forces me to attend.
The trouble I'm having is that I'm just not sure who should get my vote. There are some specific differences between the candidates that are notable but generally not given too much note - e.g specifics in health care plans, clarity of the timing regarding withdraw from Iraq - but in the end, more than any election I've been of voting age for, it really does seem like it comes down to a gut feel, a sense of who you think is the right person for the job - largely because of personal qualities, a sense of what attributes are most important in a president, and a sense of who is best matched to the unique challenges we are presently facing. Somehow this analysis is so much harder than evaluating health plans, views on education, etc.
In some ways, the fact that I don't find the choice totally clear cut bothers me - I envy the people who seem to be connected to one of the candidates with an almost religious fervor. It isn't that I don't like both of the candidates - I actually like them both quite a bit. It's just that neither one completely checks all of the boxes of what I'd like to see in a president. Of course, Ryan reasonably pointed out that it's not as if there is anything that could fully qualify someone for the job of president, but still I'd like to feel a more complete devotion to one of the candidates, more certainty that they were unequivocally the best person for the job.
In most elections in the past, I've found myself annoyed with the "Get out the vote" campaigns, because I've always felt so strongly that the first mission needed to be "Inform the vote", followed by getting out the informed vote. In some ways, this election is different because although I've been making a reasonable effort to inform my own vote, it hasn't gotten me any closer to clarity on who I'm going to raise my hand for (or however this caucus thing works.) I can read debate transcripts and find pros and cons for each of the candidates, I can read position papers and largely agree with both of them.
I find the second-guessing of who is more equipped to compete in the general election simply presumptuous (I don't really think that many people are qualified as political crystal ball readers). And frankly, I want to vote for who I actually want to win, not play a part in some grand game of political chess. My problem is, I'm just not sure who that person is.
I've got a little less than 48 hours to figure it out, and I really have no idea what I'm going to decide.