Ever since I was a whippersnapper, authority figures have entreated us to "get involved" with politics. Involvement is not only good for democracy, they tell us, it's also our civic responsibility. Political campaigns can be fun to follow: it's interesting to talk about the horserace, the strategic maneuvers, the details of the candidates' biographies, the crazy relatives they're stuck with, and the candidates' errors of elocution. Follow politics for its entertainment value, but don't delude yourself into thinking that your vote matters.
This is not to say that there will not be a big difference if Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney is President. Also, if Republicans or Democrats control Congress, there should be a big difference to our futures.
But I have already decided whom I will vote for in November; the expenditure of many millions of dollars, oceans of ink and plethoras of pixels is very unlikely to change my mind, and I suspect that is probably true for you, too, dear reader. Think of all the time and money that will be spent over the next six months, all that for just ten minutes in the voting booth that for most of us may as well occur today.
The silver lining for us who live in California: the candidates will be here in person to raise funds but we won't have to listen to too many ads. In February Mr. Obama led Mr. Romney in the Field poll, 55 - 35%. The gap may close a little by November, but Mr. Obama should win here handily. Plan the use of what you pay attention to accordingly.