I’m not undecided — I’m unhappy

I’m not undecided — I’m unhappy

: I have a commenter yelling at me that I’m not a real Kerry voter, based on what I wrote after the debate. I’m not pure.

That’s the mistake my lifelong party is making: pushing orthodoxy over inclusion. That’s no way to win elections, folks.

You see, I want to vote for Kerry.

Last night, like many voters (on both sides), I wanted to hear something to affirm my decision. And I wanted to know that I was voting responsibly — that is, voting my conscience on issues that matter.

I was fine with Kerry voting for the war (unlike many of his supporters). I was fine with him complaining that the execution of the aftermath has been a mess (unlike many of Bush’s supporters).

But then I wanted to hear him first affirm the need and obligation to win in Iraq to support democracy in that nation and in the Middle East and to support the rights of the Iraqi people, to whom we are now responsible. I didn’t hear that.

And then I wanted to hear a clear plan for succeeding in Iraq. Instead, I heard the “world test.” And, as I said last night, I find the Kumbaya gambit not just lacking but scary.

So I’m troubled.

Come the domestic debate, I have little doubt that I’ll be much happier with Kerry and much more troubled by Bush.

But then I have to weigh the importance of these issues.

I am not callling myself undecided because I think the alleged undecideds are a pain in the ass, waffling to get attention from morning shows and pollsters. I’m still a likely Kerry voter.

But instead of yelling at me because I’m not, politically, correct, the Democrats would be wise to argue in favor of Kerry. They’ve become too used to arguing against Bush.

In the debate aftermath, Kerry will keep complaining about the war and pushing involvement from an unnamed coalition to get us off the hook. Bush will, I’m sure, harp on the notion that Kerry will go try to past a “world test” before taking decisive action.

The real bottom line: Neither candidate is good enough. I’m not undecided. I’m unhappy.

: See Fred Wilson’s contrary reaction.

: From over the border, Joe Katzman agrees:

My American friends may not take this very well, but… your candidates suck! Canadian politics is also renowned for its suckiness, but at least when we suck, we don’t take the whole world with us.

: Noted: The Wall Street Journal (free link) summarizes not only big media reaction to the debate but also bloggers’.