Swingers, Swing Voters, and Polaroid

Once upon a time, people would take a roll of film to a film processor, and the film processor could see if you took any naughty snaps. Then came Polaroid cameras, and you could take private snaps.

This commercial from 1965 captures for me the difficulty of gauging the upcoming election. Which way will swing voters “snap” their “camaras” when the opinion processors–the pollsters–are no longer playing the role of middlemen? What will these “swingers,” in the privacy of the ballot box, actually vote to look at for the next four years: Mitt Romney or President Obama?


My guess (and hope) is that the majority of voters, in the privacy of the voting booth, will find a return to the Bush years too ugly an image to “snap” for, and will give Obama, despite his warts, another four years. A reader at Andrew Sullivan’s blog this morning nails it:

Barack Obama is not now and never has been a savior. It is not his holy mission to rescue us from Mitt Romney and the GOP. We are the masters of our collective fate. We our the captains of our national soul. If we’re willing to hand the wheel over to a guy spouting economic gibberish and a return to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld foreign policy, it is not Barack Obama’s fault because he gave a shitty debate performance. Democracy cannot survive if we must rely on someone to save us from ourselves.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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