How do I answer the constantly asked question: Who am I voting for and why? I am so sick and tired of this question but every month or so someone finds the need to corner me with this one. What should or what would you say? None of your business just isn't getting through. Any thoughts?

quimby.gifIt's an election year and the Republican National Convention is coming to New York City. It seems impossible to avoid political discussion.

We'll set the scene. You're at a party, sipping a cosmo, engaged in a lively discussion about Spongebob Squarepants, when suddenly someone says, "So this Abu Ghraib thing has me pretty convinced that I shouldn't vote for Bush this fall. What do you guys think?" Panic sets in. You haven't really been watching the news. You frankly don't care much about politics; politicians are all the same, anyway. Everyone is staring at you. You shrug and say, "Eh, I probably won't vote." This response illicits scorn from your fellow partiers such as you have never seen. Your best friend is reduced to tears. "How can you even say that?" she asks you.

The climate all around you is politically charged, so how do you stay afloat?

If you'd prefer not to answer the question (be it because you don't have a preference or that you're the lone Kerry supporter in a group of Nader-ites), have a stock response ready. "I haven't decided yet" may not work, because we've found that has the unfortunate consequence of causing everyone to try to convince you of their choice in presidential candidates. "Mind your own business" also clearly isn't working. You could try, "I'd rather not say," and give some reasoning; you'd rather not talk about politics at this festive occasion, etc. Try changing the subject. We find that talking about baseball often gets a particularly passionate debate going, especially if you bring up the Yankees.

On the other hand, this is an important election, so it can't hurt to breeze through the newspaper and inform yourself so that you can answer the question succinctly. We at Ask Gothamist would encourage everyone to vote. Then again, maybe you are informed, have strong opinions, but are just sick of talking about bloody politics all the time. Say, "I'm voting for Kerry," or "I'm writing in Mayor Quimby," or whatever your preference is, then change the subject if you don't want to discuss politics anymore. As the election approaches, though, the subject will become increasingly hard to ignore. Only a few more months to go, though. Just hang in there until November.