Let's give a break to what many think is a mythical being: the undecided voter. There are 24 days before Election Day, and the Undecided Voter is catching hell -- from Saturday Night Live, most recently. This isn't new; The Daily Show gave them the business in 2008. Really, you haven't made your mind up by now?, they imply. No, some haven't. Some folks have actual questions they still want answered.
If that isn't clear by the polls being swung by a 90-minute debate in which the one guy who lied loudly came out the "winner" over the President, I don't know what to tell you. Clearly, "Undecided Voter" doesn't just apply to people who haven't made any kind of decision whatsoever.
Surely such an important decision -- who will be the Leader of the Free World -- is an important one to ponder. And it should be encouraging that there are citizens among us weighing all the important policy positions, personal attributes, and records of the men running for President of the United States. Right?
Instead, these utterly responsible citizens are being pillories as if they were aliens walking amongst us, and encounters with them are on the level of what Carl Sagan described in "Contact." Meeting one is like encountering an Oklahoma City Thunder fan; seriously, have you met one? But there's the problem with anecdotal evidence right there: there are tons of people (though likely not in Seattle) who root for that team, as there are actual, real, living undecided voters.
So rather than asking those people in a fury, "WHY HAVEN'T YOU MADE UP YOUR MIND, DUDE/LADY?!?!", today we'll explore some of the things that could help sway their vote in these final days. Naturally, there are people who are their direct opposites -- folks who have voted early, in states like Ohio. Well, in today's edition of This Week in Voter Suppression!™, we'll bring you some fresh news on what extremes Republican lawmakers and state officials are going to in order to block people from voting early.
We'll also assess the cultural and social impact of an Obama second term on African Americans, and take a look at school desegregation through busing. And we'll have a Foot Soldier which you will not want to miss!
Our guests include:
- Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
- Anthea Butler, professor of religious studies and graduate chair of religion at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Prudence Carter, associate professor of education and sociology, Stanford University, and author of "Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools."
- Jelani Cobb, associate professor of Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut.
- Kim Janey, senior project director at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, and a part of the Boston School Reform Project.
- Glen Johnson, politics editor of Boston.com.
- Nina Turner, Ohio State Senator.
- Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason Magazine, and author of "McCain: Myth of a Maverick."
As always, folks -- be sure to interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!