Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Vote or Don't

The most annoying thing about the month of October is the incessant "Get Out the Vote" campaigns that spring from the most surprising places. It is obvious why George W. Bush, John Kerry or your US or State Representative would want to ensure that their supporters get out of their houses and vote. After all, their paycheck as well as their sense of self-importance depends upon their supporters affirming their ambitions. So when I have to slam the front door in a nosy neighbor's face for coming by to drop off glossy literature for the candidate of their choice, I do it with the knowledge that they are playing to win.

What I don't understand, though, is why someone would generally make the assumption that voting is good and not voting is bad. You surely have seen the supposedly non-partisan public service announcements bemoaning the fact that that in last election, half of all eligible Americans failed to exercise their right to vote. Why do these nanny staters care if I or anyone else throws their right away?

I think there are really two answers to this question. The first is that many "non-partisan" efforts are really partisan efforts in disguise. When P. Diddy promotes his "Vote or Die" message in the inner city, he is really saying, I want you to put the crack pipe down and stand in line for an hour to vote for John Kerry. His logic is that no more than 1/3 of his fans would possibly vote the other way, so the more people he gets out, the more he helps his guy. I can respect that kind of manipulative behavior.

The second kind of behavior I cannot excuse. It is the assumption that I am so important that I am doing a public good by honoring my inferiors with my benevolent wisdom. It's the kind of arrogance that leads to the likes of David Schwimmer appearing in televised Public Service Announcements asking us to thank our teachers. Here's my most ridiculous example of this type of thinking. PBS broadcasts a children's show called Zoom! Since PBS is federally funded, it doesn't need to be entertaining, so this piece of crap has graced its afternoon airwaves since the mid 1970's. I'm not sure the target age of their audience, but it is clearly a pre-teen demographic. Yet they have a campaign currently running on their show and website called Zoom Out the Vote! They say the same whiney crap about not letting your parents waste their vote. They actually believe peer pressure from the Zoom! kids will cause children to influence their parents to vote. Mind you, these Zoom kids make Napolean Dynamite look like Ferris Bueller.

I propose a nihilistic vote drive, called "Vote or Don't!" If you feel like voting, fine. If you aren't planning on voting and feel pressured by all these do gooders, then this is the drive for you! Here are my 10 most relevant reasons not to vote:
  • The 2000 presidential election was among the closest ever. When all was said and done, the election boiled down to the results in Florida, not the state where you live. Even if you do live in Florida, your vote didn't matter, because the count had Bush up by a couple of hundred votes. So not only did your vote not matter, if you are a canvasser, even a pretty successful one, you probably had nothing to do with the results of the election.
  • The odds of you casting the deciding vote in any election (meaning a one vote margin your way) is over 1,000,000 to one.
  • The odds of getting into a car accident on your way to vote is greater than the odds of you casting the deciding vote (see above).
  • You might make a mistake. Imagine my shock at learning that this person voted for Jesse Ventura! That's a badge of shame that no one should chance wearing. Editors note: Outing a Ventura voter is not a pleasant experience. I am quite regretful and feel as if I need to take a shower.
  • You might get confused and end up wasting your vote anyway.
  • Since ballots are secret, you really don't know if yours counted.
  • If you are voting Republican, union thugs might beat you. If you are a minority and voting Democrat, the police might do same. While both these statements are probably BS, why chance it?
  • In the time it takes to vote, you could watch your favorite TV show, possibly twice.
  • Driving to the polling place pollutes the environment.

And the final (for now) excuse for not voting is:

  • People who say that "If you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain are lying!" The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides for the right to free speech. It makes no qualification for voters and non-voters. So sit back on your fat American butt and complain as loud as you can!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant, Suburban Nihlist, just brilliant.

Voting is just absolutely not worth it. I read somewhere on the internet (I forgot where so no link, but its absolutely true) that Bush is going to institute a draft, and he’s going to use the list of people who voted to decide who gets drafted. And this time there will be no deferments for being in college or being a woman or being old. Six months after the election everyone, and I mean everyone, who was stupid enough to have voted will be walking a beat in Fallujah.

Let’s face it, the only reason anyone votes is to get those little red “I Voted” stickers. Just try walking through the Country Club on Election Day without one. I swear, last election a half dozen old crones got in my face and lectured me about civic responsibility. Well this year I’ll have the last laugh when they’re on guard duty at Abu Ghraib. But I’ll still be annoyed for a day, which I don’t care for.

That’s when I got the idea that will pay for my next few Jags – Counterfeit “I Voted” stickers. I'll print up a few thousand, set up some drive-up booths near polling places, hire a couple of kids to man the booth and wait for the money to roll in. Who would wait in line an hour to exercise their right to put their name on the draft list when they could buy an “I Voted” sticker for a buck?

It’s the difference between Baghdad and the Bahamas my friends.


12:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home