In 18 days, it’ll be over -- Gazette.Net


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Can hardly wait for Election Day 2012.

No more incessant phone calls from candidates, the Democratic and Republican parties, Super Pac endorsers, interest group advocates, celebrities and pollsters. No more blaring TV, radio and Internet commercials from all of the above. No more lies. Oh well, that was wishful thinking.

How bad is it that even the fact checkers are accused of lying? That is the point of the take-no-prisoners approach to campaigning that weíre all enduring: Take everyone down. Who knows what the truth is anymore?

No more major dilemma over who will be the best president of the United States for the next four years. After all, on Nov. 6 the people of America will decide. Whether or not we like the final outcome, it will be done. But over the next two weeks, the bombarding of our minds will intensify.

I was asked recently if I thought anyone in America will truly be happy with the outcome of the election. My response was that the great majority will be relieved that the ordeal is over. Many also will be relieved that the person they supported prevailed.

As in every election, the general public views the process with skepticism and often talks of choosing from the ďlesser of two evils.Ē Few voters get to know their candidates and support them for their judgment in decision-making.

If this presidential election is decided by past practice, however, the vast majority of voters will choose a candidate based on name recognition and who looks like the winner. Right now, name recognition is high for both candidates. Just about every voter in the U.S. knows the names Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. However, at the moment, there is no clear winner.

That circumstance most assuredly guarantees that the lobbying of the public will become louder, harsher and more relentless. Weíll be seeing a great increase in the amount of political mail we receive and more interruptions to our use of the TV, radio and Internet. It also means that more of us will be turned off by the process. Will that mean more of us will choose not to vote? This election is too important.

It is time for a collective break from the barrage. Eighteen days is not a long time. Readjust viewing and listening habits to filter out the political. Who knows, you might discover new outlets of enjoyment while searching for the politics-free avenues.

Take a vacation. It doesnít mean you have to go out of town. Just choose other activities that keep you away from technology for this short time: Read a good book or magazines; get outside and canoe, play tennis, stroll in the park; watch sports teams; go to the theater, or catch a good movie. ďArgoĒ is really great.

But wait a minute — hold my horses — this town is full of political junkies. Am I talking to the wrong crowd? Do you all love the invasion that has taken place around the presidential election?

Iím a political junkie and Iíve had enough. Iím going to watch the last debate, and Iím going to vote. But Iím not listening to the deluge of lobbying between now and Election Day. It is too late to change my decision. Message to all the lobbyists, ďDonít waste your money on me.Ē

With all the referendums on the Maryland ballot, Iím hopeful that weíll have a good turnout on Election Day. The question is, with the onslaught of lobbying that will take place over the next 18 days, will massive numbers of voters here and nationally choose to sit it out?

We need America to vote, despite how difficult it has been to weather the 2012 election campaigns. Our country will do best if the next president is elected by a decisive number of voters and the outcome is decisive.

Thankfully, itís not long until the day after Election Day, when we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the ordeal will finally be over.

Gail Ewing of Potomac is a retired at-large Montgomery County Council member. Her email address is gewing73@comcast.net.