There are times when this corner of the planet where I live seems a little insulated. Perhaps I'm being too selective, but I don't tend to run into many people who disagree with me politically. Maybe it's because I talk so loud, or maybe nobody wants to argue with me for fear of causing a scene. Whatever the case, I'm having a hard time scaring up someone with whom to debate the upcoming election.
How can this be? All the polls would have us believe that Obama and McCain are in a virtual dead heat, and on certain issues, McCain is favored by those expressing an opinion. Please understand that I have spent my time in John McCain's corner. He continues to be near the top of the list when it comes to "good sports on 'The Daily Show'", but lately he's begun to sound more and more like "one of them" instead of the driver of the Straight Talk Express.
While I am sure that there are those who might have similar sentiments about Barack Obama, I haven't had conversations with them. Instead, I end up with a lot of knowing smiles and nods of affirmation. I live in Northern California, and maybe I shouldn't expect to encounter much "red" in such a "blue" state, but I am missing the dialogue.
It could also be that the Grand Old Party is beginning to fall apart from its center. Alan Keyes is gone. Michael Bloomberg left a year ago. There is even a convenient web site, Flee the GOP.com, that allows disgruntled Republicans to re-register online as Democrats. The fact that no such alternative exists for Democrats to hop the political fence says a lot about the times we live in, or perhaps that Nobel Prize and Academy Award winner Al Gore invented the Internet.
Or maybe it's just too soon. Maybe all the great debates I am anticipating will come in the next five months, but considering the past eight years, I won't hold my breath.