My Dad is sick.
He's also tired.
Sick and tired of politics.
My parents live in Florida and yesterday they received ten phone calls from the campaigns of Presidential candidates begging for their votes.
"Mitt Romney's wife called," my Dad joked.
Ann Romney appeared to call anyone with a phone. Her recorded voice appealed for Florida residents to vote for her husband. She wasn't alone. The other campaigns called my parents too.
The Florida primary is expected to have a major impact on who becomes the Republican nominee for President, which means aggressive last minute campaigning can have a key role in determining the winner. John McCain and Romney are the favorites to win the state's 57 GOP delegates. It could be the last stand for Rudy Giuliani who banked everything on winning in Florida, but still trails in the polls. There's a lot at stake, which is why Mom and Dad are getting so much attention from the candidates.
Some candidates have responded to this challenge by criticizing their opponents through a series of negative ads and phone calls. It's called "going negative." It works with some voters, but my parents are tired of it.
"It makes me nauseous," my Dad told me. He never liked the idea of people wanting something so badly they would tear down each other, especially in public, and then defend it by claiming "it's just politics."
We are about to share his pain. On February 5, Missouri and Illinois voters will fill out their ballots on Super Tuesday, the day when more than 20 states hold their primaries. Missouri and Illinois are always important states for Presidential candidates. We will soon be getting more campaign commercials and phone calls.
Maybe Mitt's wife will call me too.
Like many of us, including myself, my parents are excited about voting for a President. Dad and Mom take it seriously. They listen to the politicians. They study the issues. They value their vote.
Today, they headed to the polls and voted.
I called them this morning to talk about the big day in Florida politics. Dad was on his way to play golf. Mom was headed out the door too. They had friends visiting from Kentucky. They planned to go to a party. This is election day in Florida, but it already seems like a distant memory to my parents.
My folks had just exercised one of our most cherished rights in a Democratic society. The right to vote.
"I'm just glad it's over," confessed Dad.