Dear Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter,
What the hell is your problem?! Do you realize that the presidential campaign has now been going on for almost two years?
Wait, let me guess: you’ve been standing in the cereal aisle at your local supermarket since several weeks before the Iowa Caucus, trying to decide what to eat for breakfast, evaluating the health and nutrition claims printed on the boxes of Fruit Loops and All-Bran. (They both make some interesting points, I know.)
Sorry. Forgive me. You may have detected a bit of sarcasm in my tone, Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter, as perceptive as you are. It’s just that I sometimes wonder what’s going on in those heads of yours. Everybody I know has pretty much made up their minds about who to support at this point, what with the endless reams of information about the parties, the candidates, the parties thrown by the candidates. (All of it is available, incidentally, in newspapers and magazines and on the radio and the television and the Internet, nonstop and around the clock).
And yet, not only have you not made up your mind, but the entire election is going to hinge on people like you—by definition, some of the most ignorant citizens of this nation! Ha! Ha! How hilarious is that? Only in America, right?
Who would’ve thought that just by virtue of living in a particularly contested state and being totally disengaged in the political process (or, maybe, just being a really, really careful shopper), you’d be in a position to decide the outcome of the election, and therefore, the path this country takes at one of the most crucial junctures in our entire history? Certainly not you!
You may not even be aware of what state you live in! Check your cable bill. Those two letters that come after your town—they’re short for the name of your state! You can also check the license plates of your cars, when you decide on your cereal and leave the supermarket!
You know, Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter, in many ways I envy you. I really do. For almost two years now, I’ve been following this campaign religiously. At this point, I’m utterly sick to my stomach: the lies, the pageantry, the misdirection, the rhetoric, the endless manipulation and, of course, the irony—because none of it is directed at me! Funny, huh?!
I understand the substance of what both John McCain and Barack Obama actually propose to do on issues like the war in Iraq, the economy, health care, and education, and so I’ve made up my mind. All this information, all these commercials and speeches and interviews, they’re all directed at you. And you’re not even listening! Ha! Ha! Ha! You’ve GOTTA love it! In fact, you’re not even reading this right now!!!
So, thanks for such discerning taste. Breakfast and America just wouldn’t be the same without you.
Adam Mansbach is the author of the novels Angry Black White Boy and The End of the Jews.