Usually I avoid talking about politics, but there are some times when you just want to get some things off your chest.
I'm an independent. I am also from Kansas. In this election, I have been going back and forth between voting for Bush or Kerry. I dislike several of the issues Bush is very steadfastly behind. I question the necessity of the war in Iraq. I disagree with his stance on gay marriage (which is a whole rant in and of itself. hm...I'm not sure rant is the word I'm looking for there.) On the other hand, up until very recently, the entirety of Kerry's campaign has seemed to be "I'm not Bush! Vote for me!" to which I can only respond, "neither am I, and yet, I am not qualified to be President." Still, I had no major issues with him, and so I strongly considered voting for him.
However. As Kerry and Edwards have recently demonstrated, they don't think I count for anything in this election. I wasn't in Lawrence, I wasn't waiting for Kerry's train to pass through, but I'm still offended by the implication that Kansas voters don't count to the Democratic party. I realize that Kansas has a history of voting Republican, but that is never going to change unless Democrats make some attempt to win over Kansas voters. Ignoring us just makes us resent you. Giving us shallow excuses about not being able to stop in every rural town from the minuscule mining town of Wilcox, AZ is utterly offensive. Furthermore, while Kansas did vote for Bush in the last election, that doesn't make all Kansans Republicans, or dedicated to voting solely along party lines. For one thing, we have a Democrat in office as Governor. This tells me that while it may not be a good chance, there is, well, there was a slim chance that Kerry could have garnered Kansan support.
Simply put, unless you try, nothing is going to change.
I have not stopped considering Kerry, but this does make it less likely I will vote for him.