Meet Jim Peterman, of Findlay, Ohio, a man who embodies every single thing that is wrong with American politics and is, surprisingly, willing to be quoted at length by The Washington Post.
See, Peterman is one of those "undecided" voters we're always hearing about. At the beginning of election season he was "leaning Democratic," but then people on his all-white block kept saying things about Barack Obama, like how he's probably a Muslim and also gay and also born in Africa and maybe even a cyborg sent from the future to destroy America.
Oh, if only there were some way to learn the truth!
"Does he choose to trust a TV commercial in which Obama talks about his "love of country"? Or his neighbor of 40 years, Don LeMaster, a Navy veteran who heard from a friend in Toledo that Obama refuses to wear an American-flag pin?
Does he trust a local newspaper article that details Obama's Christian faith? Or his friend Leroy Pollard, a devoted family man so convinced Obama is a radical Muslim that he threatened to stop talking to his daughter when he heard she might vote for him?"
Whatever will Jim Peterman do? If only there were some neutral, fact-based source of information he could turn to. Blargh!
"I'll admit that I probably don't follow all of the election news like maybe I should," Peterman said. "I haven't read his books or studied up more than a little bit. But it's hard to ignore what you hear when everybody you know is saying it. These are good people, smart people, so can they really all be wrong?"
One such smart person is his buddy Leroy Pollard, who had this little gem for The Washington Post:
"I think Obama would be a disaster, and there's a lot of reasons," said Pollard, explaining the rumors he had heard about the candidate from friends he goes camping with. "I understand he's from Africa, and that the first thing he's going to do if he gets into office is bring his family over here, illegally. He's got that racist [pastor] who practically raised him, and then there's the Muslim thing. He's just not presidential material, if you ask me."
Blargh! Double blargh!
Apparently this is all so confusing for poor Jim Peterman that he may not vote at all. Which, I have to say, is maybe not the worst idea in the world.