“Why do people have to tell you who they’re voting for, Mommy?” Asher asked as we passed lawn sign after lawn sign proclaiming support for the Obama-Biden ticket.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I really don’t know.”

I am up to my eyeballs in political proselytizing this fall. Literally.

This election has hypnotized my relatives, people previously driven by a who-cares approach to politics. At holiday gatherings and casual get-togethers, they exhibit Obama-Biden lapel pins and wax passionate about what an idiot Sarah Palin is and how similar to W John McCain is.

When I jumped down from my fence seat and announced my support for the McCain-Palin ticket, my mother turned up her nose, narrowed her gaze and spat, “Well, that’s YOUR problem, Lynne.”

I was slicing hard tomatoes in her granite-counter kitchen and sipping Spanish wine. I make salad differently, but I didn’t feel the need to say so.

Look. I don’t care who anyone votes for. It’s every American’s right and responibility to cast a ballot. And it’s none of my business what reasoning drives that choice.

Apparently, I am one of the few Americans who see good and bad on both sides. The people I know with lawn signs and lapel pins declare Obama as THE ANSWER TO EVERY PROBLEM. They’re being naive.

A just-out-of-the-starting-gate senator – albeit one who has infinite charisma and great speaking abilities when he knows what he’s talking about – is no more or less poised to lead than a veteran with experience negotiating across party lines. And an in-the-trenches governor who won’t take sass and juggles a family and public office is more equipped to offer insight, direction and answers than a white guy from the tiniest state in the Union.

But I digress.

This economic crisis was a long time in coming and there are many to blame for it – including each one of us. No one person will resolve it overnight.

And if you’re going to talk about change, please be specific. You see, except for Sarah Palin, whom I adore, they’re all dancing around vaguaries and big words. No one’s saying anything of worth.

(The next time someone tells me they don’t want a soccer mom in high office, I just might slap them. Even though I loved Tina Fey’s impressions.)

Vote for your candidate of choice. Be passionate about your beliefs. But please don’t preach to me.

And put your damn lawn signs away.

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