Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama, death by not voting, democracy, democratic republic, Diddy, Hulk Hogan, ignorance--it's what America does!, Mitt Romney, Paris Hilton, Pauly Shore, Rick Santorum, stupid people, stupid voters, United States of America, Vote or Die!, Why am I so stupid?
With the 2012 Presidential Election at last coming to its ugly and no-doubt contentious conclusion, the American public is eager for the cessation of those unpleasantries attendant with any election year, but which have become especially pronounced in recent years. The most ubiquitous among these are the dizzying array of inescapable political ads which ruin commercial breaks and jam the nation’s mailboxes and inboxes, replete with well-moneyed half-truths and contradictory claims designed to fool the very stupid. No less odious are the half-witted, hyper-strident statements made in public and on social media by partisans of all stripes, armed with questionable facts and subjective statistics culled conveniently from publications which mirror their dogmatically monomaniacal beliefs.
Most insidious of all, however, is a widely held misconception which is quickly gaining an acceptance so entrenched as to render it a bedrock tenet of the American mythology, and unless quickly checked, will continue to fill the hallways of power in Washington with ineffectual partisan functionaries perpetually running for re-election. This misconception most often takes form in the platitude, ‘It’s vital to our democracy that everyone vote.’ Ignoring for the sake of argument the contention that the United States is a democracy,¹ the idea of voting at all costs, despite your head being firmly entrenched within your nether-regions, is a perfectly horrible notion.
But the idea takes shape further in the notion that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain, meaning only those who directly participate in the electoral process have a right to express dissatisfaction with the nation’s leadership. This is at best iffy logic in a society where freedom of speech is enshrined more highly than direct representation. And yet, if we follow this flawed logic, we see that like those who didn’t bother to vote, those who voted for the winning candidate have also forfeited their right to complain. In fact, the only people with a right to complain are those who voted for the other guy.
on thehomefrontandbeyond said:
good point– I have always wondered at God giving us free will, and democracy providing everyone with a vote (tongue in cheek–but not all the way)
Carrie Rubin said:
“Americans are just a little bit stupid”—Just a little bit? Smak is taking it easy on us today.
Over the last few days, I’ve collected a mass of glossy, political flyers I’ve received in the mail. I grouped them all together and took a photo, which I plan to post to Facebook and Twitter lately. A lot of trees were killed to fill my mailbox with junk I didn’t read. It’s sad, really.
Carrie Rubin said:
But that being said, damn right I’ll vote. And happily.
I always vote, but I haven’t voted happily since the first time I got to vote. I got fooled, and I realized then that only a sucker gets excited about a candidate.
Carrie Rubin said:
Hey, who you callin’ a sucker?
(That being said, I am actually sucking on a piece of candy right now, so your comment was well-timed.)
Being that you live in a Battleground State, I imagine you were positively inundated. I live in a “Safe State,” and I was still swamped. It was all state stuff, though–no “Vote For Barack” or “Vote For Mitt,” which makes sense. Neither candidate wanted to waste money on a state that was going Blue anyway. Likewise, I imagine not much money was spent in Idaho.
Often I’ve gone into voting with the feeling that I’m choosing the lesser of two evils, which is really not what the process should be. This year, I took advantage of the opportunity to do it early, which really should be available across the country by the next major election.
“…the feeling that I’m choosing the lesser of two evils, which is really not what the process should be.”
No, it shouldn’t be.
There hasn’t been a single time I haven’t had to make that choice.
When I think back over my lifetime, there was only one candidate I could have wholeheartedly supported, but I was too young to vote, and he was soundly defeated.
there was only one candidate I could have wholeheartedly supported, but I was too young to vote, and he was soundly defeated.
Was it Pigasus? I thought his “No More Pork” platform was ahead of its time.
It wasn’t, but I just had a great time reading about him now.
It was George McGovern.
I hear you. As I mentioned to Carrie above, the only time I didn’t hold my nose at the polls was the very first time I voted. I learned a lesson.
Love and Lunchmeat said:
The caption on Sean “Puffy” Combs, or whatever his name currently is, is simply priceless. Actually, I take all of my life advice from celebrities. So far, it’s working out pretty poorly though. I may need to find smarter celebrities.
Luddy's Lens said:
Are there such things as “smarter celebrities”?
Love and Lunchmeat said:
They’re probably the ones smart enough to keep their mouths shut, actually…
That’s some real wisdom right there.
Curly Carly said:
Saying “Vote or Die!” seems a little harsh. The least they could do is take away the exclamation point.
Very true. It all seems to be just another symptom of taking ourselves too seriously. Thanks for reading, CC!
Doggy's Style said:
Really nice post.
I faxed my ballot earlier last month, but I don’t think it counts, I’ve always have my doubts about how they sort all the absentee ballots.
I have the same concerns. But unless you lived in a Battleground State (which in retrospect, turned out mostly to not be so battle-groundy after all) it would take a whole bunch of votes to alter the color of your state (unless you live in one of the few states that portions out its electoral votes, of which I wholeheartedly approve).
What….!!!! You get a choice…!!!!
Come to Australia where we have to vote, or get fined…!
Seriously though; I’m not sure which is best. Being forced to vote (or cop that fee), or vote because your heart wants you to…. hmmmmmmmm…
William Miller said:
Another scary way to look at it: For the V.P., you either end up with Biden or Ryan. So, do you prefer the loud-mouthed plagiarist, or the creepy sociopath? Have a nice day!
Vote or Die! (that is kind of a wild slogan to use)
Alex Autin said:
Like not having the ‘right to complain’ has ever stopped anyone fully intent on complaining. And, yes, I do get the irony of my complaining about those ‘other’ people who complain. 😉
Voted early, already. I win!
Cakes and Shakes... said:
True, only smart people should vote 🙂 No seriously, this is why I abstain *ducks for cover*
There is evidence that democracy is not in itself fundamental for a productive society. It has been glorified as the ‘best’ way for a society to structure itself, but it also has flaws. In any democracy there are always excluded groups, and the excluded are not always lacking in an intelligent opinion.
Also, if not everyone ‘should’ necessarily be considered eligible to vote, equally not everyone ‘should’ be considered eligible for office. The esoteric line-up of American Presidents proves they don’t even necessarily look at IQ, provided the future Prez is willing to e.g. turn a blind eye to the gaping holes in a capitalist system, the fact that war is outright murder, or is willing to compromise their election promises to try to, at least if not please everyone, not displease everyone. Sucks to be a voter.
El Guapo said:
Maybe everyone that ever voted on american idol or big brother should just have their election voting right rescinded…
Russel Ray Photos said:
No less odious are the half-witted, hyper-strident statements made in public and on social media by partisans of all stripes, armed with questionable facts and subjective statistics culled conveniently from publications which mirror their dogmatically monomaniacal beliefs.”
I can’t stop laughing! In fact, I’m laughing so hard that I am having to type this comment instead of dictating it with my voice recognition software…………..lol
Some Guy said:
I went to the polls this morning Now, how do I let Paris Hilton and Puff Diddly know that they don’t need to kill me for not voting?