Monday, November 03, 2008

Spooky Day, Take 2


Halloween is behind us, and already the most frightening day of the year is upon us. That's right, election day, the day we decide which idiots to send to Washington. The principles of democracy were set down centuries ago, but here's a quick review: Voters study the choices in each race and carefully make up their minds which imbecile is the lesser of two evils. This decision is based on one of the following, or a combination of them: which candidate ran the least-irritating TV ads; which candidate's supporters phoned the voter less often, and which candidate is better looking. I know of no one who has ever voted using other criteria.

Each voter has one vote to do with as he pleases, and no one can tell you what to do with your vote. Stop laughing. That's how it's supposed to work. In practice, no one trusts you to vote correctly. Here are some of the people who aren't content to simply cast their own vote and accept the decision of the majority:

1. Party Loyalists. These people will try to convince you that the better candidate in every race from president to county sheriff just happens to belong to their party. Let's look at the odds. Say you are voting in eight elections. The chances that the more conscientious, harder-working candidate is a Democrat in all eight is one over two to the eighth power: 1/256. The odds that the better candidate in each race is a Republican are even worse. Just once I'd like to hear a party loyalist say, "Our candidate for governor is a gem, but our senatorial candidate is a real lemon, and I simply cannot justify voting for him."

2. Car owners. These idiots reduce the resale value of their cars by pasting on political bumper stickers in hopes that the morons driving behind them will say, "Hey, an Oldsmobile with a Stassen bumper sticker! That's good enough for me! And while I'm on the subject, what about all these signs posted at every intersection? There should be a law that if you win an election and your signs aren't removed within two days, your opponent wins.

3. Endorsers. Movie stars, athletes, newspaper columnists, politicians already in office . . . they all think if they announce for whom they're voting, you'll follow their lead. I'm supposed to vote for someone just because Barbra Streisand or Richard Petty is? You'd have to be a drug addict to believe voters are stupid enough to follow you blindly. Of course, most movie stars and athletes are drug addicts, so...

4. People outside voting sites. Apparently these nuisances expect people to walk up and say, "I'm here to vote, but I need some advice. Advice from . . . You! Specifically, I need you, a complete stranger to tell me, an adult, what to do." I don't show up just to increase voter turnout; I've already decided. Leave me alone, or I'll vote for the other candidate out of spite. Yes, I would do that.

I'm not trying to dampen your spirit. By all means get out and vote. But don't vote for idiots. There are enough of them in office already.

30 comments:

Kiersten said...

Wait--I shouldn't vote for an idiot? I thought you said I should vote, and there aren't any options other than red idiot or blue idiot!

What I've found most effective here are people that hold up those street signs on corners. I always base my vote on whichever one I saw last. Except it's really hard when the "VOTE NO ON [fill in the blank proposition]" people are standing right next to the "VOTE YES ON [same proposition]" because if I'm driving too fast, I can't remember who the last person was, so I don't know which one to pick.

Then I cry, because I might have to base my vote on, say, research and an informed opinion.

Chelsea said...

How about the field that votes for a specific candidate: you know, you're driving out of the city, by long fields of grass, and suddenly you see a sign sticking out of one of the fields, and think, Oh, so that field is voting for McCain. Wait . . . wait, three feet farther down, that same field is voting for Obama. Now I'm really confused.

;)

Then you have the flip side: people who say they aren't voting because there's "just not enough information about the candidates."

Because we live in a world without the internet, libraries, biographies, autobiographies, records of candidate voting history, youtube clips of candidates talking about EVERY ISSUE, etc. But no, it's too hard to look any of that up. I mean, unless a candidate comes to my house and sits down with me, outlining his every belief in colorful, kindergarten-level pictures and pie charts, I can't be bothered voting. It's TOO HARD!!!!!

BuffySquirrel said...

Us, we? Way to make the non-Americans feel unwelcome!

Evil Editor said...

As I am among those going to the polls, "us" and "we" are correct. If I weren't American, I would have used "you."

In any case, not only are you welcome on the blog in spite of being overly sensitive, you're also welcome here in America, the greatest country of all.

Kiersten said...

Oh, EE, you make me laugh.

Thanks.

And Buffy, you're welcome to try and vote tomorrow, I'm sure.

benwah said...

Here here, EE, warts and all. (I mean the country. Not casting making any assumptions about your dermatological topography.)

Khazar-khum said...

You nailed it, EE.

My favorites are the people who vandalize the opposition's signs. What is this, third grade?

Oh, and Barbra Striesand et al typically didn't even bother to finish high school. Yeah, there's an informed source.

Robin S. said...

...hell, forgot to say...

And I have kept our landline unplugged about 90% of the past month, because of those @#$@#$%%@@!&^%$-ing political phone calls.
And I live in a very open plan house with floor to ceiling *&^%$(*&###-ing windows that are very nice to look out of, except during the runup to an election, when people feel the absolute divine right to walk up to my front door and hand me shit and tell me who to vote for. If I see McCain crap on them, I tell them I'm a Dem. If I see Obama, I tell them I'm Republican.

I wannabe bothered at my front door and on my phone like I wannna be shot out of a cannon sideways by a toothless reprobate hag with smallpox.

ril said...

Actually, it's not impossible, even for us un-Americans, to participate. For my part, I've been dialing random phone numbers in the US to tell them who I think they should vote for.

Of course, last time I didn't expect them to take me seriously, so experience tells me this time I should be a bit more careful...

freddie said...

Neener, neener. I voted early because I expected to be in class all day. But with Obama hanging out in Grant Park right next to Columbia, the school cancelled classes. I couldn't get any tickets to get into the park, but I shall be lurking. And—oh, wait. "Lurking" doesn't sound very good when you're talking about it in real life. I'll be . . . loitering?

ril said...

...be shot out of a cannon sideways by a toothless reprobate hag with smallpox.

Hey. It sounds bad at first, but there are worse hobbies.

Kiersten said...

Ha! Oh, Ril. You scoundrel.

You've been campaigning for the Peace and Freedom party, right?

ril said...

Half right.

Whirlochre said...

From where I'm sitting, it's like watching a sumo wrestling match outside the stadium on the big screen — only the stakes are higher and the pants, tighter.

Julie Weathers said...

Awesome post, EE.

I'll be voting tomorrow. Will was going to vote in Georgia, but he never could get his paperwork straightened out.

Robin S. said...

...be shot stark nakedout of a cannon sideways by a toothless reprobate hag with smallpox.

There you go, ril. There's the worse hobby, honey.

Now, I'm going off to vote, after passing through the gauntlet of signs and people bugging the crap out of me. Again.

If you think about it, the whole voting thing is a pain in the ass.
The ubiquitous 'they' should maybe consider taking some of the pain away.

The Creative Cafe said...

Wait--If Marky Mark weren't out there telling me what to do, I wouldn't even be voting at all.

LOL at EE bustin' on Buffy. ehehehehe! :-)

BBJD said...

"I've been dialing random phone numbers in the US to tell them who I think they should vote for."

Ril, that is a great post. I hope you've been calling collect. That is how American politics work.

You should have called me, Ril.

BuffySquirrel said...

Your day will come, creative-cafe!

:D

chelsea said...

I dunno. When being called on my land line a couple months out of the year is the biggest discomfort in my life, I consider myself living in luxury.

Then again, I don't have a landline. Doh!

ChrisEldin said...

The Creative Cafe is me.
Not used to signing in and out...
Sorry!

Robin S. said...

Hey chelsea,

It's not the biggest discomfort of my life. However, it is fucking annoying. I work. I pay bills. I pay (a boatload) of taxes. All kinds. I'm writing (large) checks for tuition for my daughter. I expect some peace and tranqility in my own home, with a piece of equipment (a phone) and a recurring (not inexpensive) bill that I pay monthly for service to and for said piece of equipment. I fucking don't want any asshole using it that I don't want to hear from. Period. If they want to use it that badly, they can pay the mf bill.

That's the deal. That's why the landline is going away.

ril said...

Okay, okay, I'll stop calling.

Jeb said...

O Evil One, you would be heartened to hear that a campaign volunteer in Texas was handing out Obama literature with one hand and, with other, pamphlets for a local race (judge) about a Republican.

When questioned by a CBC reporter, she said, "Over all, I'm a solid Dem, but in this one race, the Republican is simply a better choice."

It gave me back one tiny iota of faith in the sanity of voters.

chelsea said...

No offense meant, Robin. I agree that random people calling (for political reasons - or to ask: "Would ya like ta take a survey?" can be incredibly irritating. However, in spite of the annoyance, I'm immensely thankful that a) people have the right to defend and explain their political beliefs and b) are courageous enough to fight for the things they believe in, even in the face of a LOT of annoyed, pissed off people. Whether you like them or not, and whether you agree with each individual caller aside, that takes GUTS. I personally don't have the thickest of skins, but I'm in awe of those who do. I'm especially in awe of them today.

:)

Robin S. said...

Actually - the calls were automated. The only guts that would take would be if the CS who set them up came and visited me.

I'm all for everyone doing whatever they want - voting for whom they want, saying whatever they want, screwing whomever they want, drinking whatever they want...but not at my expense and on my time and on my turf.

I'm actually a pretty nice person, but I'm the worst fucking banshee in the world when I'm home and fucked with, and I don't apologize for that, ever.

ril said...

Automated unsolicited calls are surely the work of the devil. Not only do they intrude, but you get to do their work for them.

Robin S. said...

Exactly, ril. And by the way, if you wanna have happy morning, go check out the picture of Whirl-in-a-kilt, on his blog. Made me very happy.

Now, I figure maybe it's your turn. Or Sparky's. Or - if there is a god, both of ya.

ril said...

Ah, when one rides the subway to work, one learns pretty quickly that the kilt is not the most appropriate attire.

Robin S. said...

Maybe not appropriate. But certainly attractive.