Did You Ever Have To Finally Decide?

From Mike Miner’s Hot Type, we get this:

Steve Chapman in the [Chicago] Tribune, August 22: “From listening to both sides, you’d think Kerry and President Bush were running for trustee of VFW Post 836. Though the differing war stories may be endlessly fascinating to anyone who served in Vietnam, or anyone who strove heroically to avoid serving in Vietnam, the rest of us would rather hear the candidates recite from a volume on patent law.”

The Sun-Times made roughly the same point in an editorial August 24: “Nothing is more unappealing than the thought of this bickering over 35-year-old history extending any closer to November. . . . Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether John Kerry was a war hero or a self-aggrandizer half as much as his views on the economy, education, health care and the war on terror matter.”

But it does matter. Anyone can have views. Views clash and confuse, leaving voters looking for something specific that will cut through the confusion — some kind of tiebreaker. Like character. A lot of uncertain voters would believe Kerry lied about being a war hero because it would let them make up their minds.

I don’t think there are “a lot” of uncertain voters out there. If recent polls are any indication, people have pretty much made up their minds. But Miner does point out a tendency in our lazy electorate: to form an opinion of a candidate’s “character” and then look for things to confirm that opinion.

A.