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A little help for the undecided

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George says he's conservative, yet compassionate. Al wants to be judged as his own man and not tied to that other guy. Two men. One election. So much confusion. Who really is the right man to lead us into the 21st century? And how can I be sure I'm making the right choice come Nov. 7?

As the debates faded into memory last week, I found myself politically perplexed. When it came to the presidential election, uncertainty is the only thing I was feeling sure about. I needed guidance. I turned to the Internet for answers. I hoped maybe somewhere in cyberspace I'd find a resolution to my impasse.

Trolling the information highway, I stumbled onto "President Match." Here's what I needed: an election "decision guide."

President Match promised a Web site all about issues. No personal attacks or talk of fuzzy numbers - a place free from the half-truths, mixed metaphors, and muddled messages of our presidential campaign. All I had to do was answer a few minor questions about such things as abortion, gun control, affirmative action, and taxes - and, in less time than it takes Al Gore to reel off a story on the benefits of a middle-class tax cut, I would have my very own candidate match. I flew through the exam like yesterday's newspaper, clicking on my answers with confidence and conviction. When finished, I took a deep breath of satisfaction and leaned back to await my results.

Tension mounted as I sat in anticipation. This was downright exhilarating. Who would it be? George W. or Al Jr.? I tried picturing them both at the top of one of those schoolroom presidential calendars. You know, the one tacked on the wall in fourth grade with the presidential mugshots around the border. I visualized future headlines: "Bush pledges to shore up military;" "Gore proposes tough new environmental standards."

At long last, the moment arrived. My input had been digested, analyzed and spit out. I allowed myself a mental drum roll and then - there he was. I had my man. According to President Match, my ideal presidential candidate was ... John Hagelin. Huh?

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