Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting isn't for Idiots

In the world in which we find ourselves under a constant barrage of media from news stations, political satire shows, the blog-o-sphere and any other media outlet you can think of, we have become a culture in which voting is more difficult.

Some would argue against this statement,claiming that with such great coverage it is now possible to know more about the candidates than has ever been known before. This of course is a very good argument. The seemingly infinite number of outlets creates an infinite number of angles against the candidates. Information is going to come up that people wouldn't have even thought of 50, 75, or 100 years ago. Sure there have always been the sex scandals in politics, but only now can news articles, news programs, spin shows and bloggers all converge on topic of “Why Obama turned down a cup of coffee and asked for an orange juice instead”

Unfortunately it is this that is destroying so many people's ability to make an informed choice in the voting booths. This is not to say that I want the news, bloggers and satirists to stop what they're doing. That would be idiotic they need to continue to do their jobs. It is just unfortunate that to the untrained ear and eye this very news is increasingly turning candidates into celebrities with every election. There is so much information out there that people are reluctant to even try to dive down into it, instead they surf along the top of it absorbing a little information here and there. Unfortunately that information is more often than not the sketchy, superficial rumor mongering that caused the Great Orange Juice Controversy of '08. Or better yet they vote for whomever doesn't seem to be the biggest idiot when played by the actors of SNL.

This is not to say that everyone is an idiot and can't understand how to use the media to their benefit. There is certainly no way to calculate such ignorance anyways. I'm simply saying that those who are thinking about voting in this coming election should seriously consider if they are doing so under the proper knowledge.

A couple weeks ago Howard Stern featured a guest who did a street experiment, much like the Jay Walking part of the Tonight show. His experiment followed the premise that many black voters were going to vote for Obama simply because he was black. Obviously in listening to this you have to take into account the show it is on and the fact that this was in no way a scientifically controlled experiment. Certainly more people were interviewed than were put on the show, and of course it was the best ones that made the cut.

I'm not going to repeat what the goes on in the clip in it's entirety because it's not very long and I've included the link. But basically the guy asked the black participants who they were voting for, all of which said Obama for various reasons related to his presumed ability to be a better leader, or his agreement with them on issues. He then preceded to ask them which of two “Obama views” they agreed with more strongly. The twist was that the issues were actually of McCain's view and those interviewed fell for it, bad.

This was a dramatization that unfortunately probably appears in society more often than we would like to admit. (Oh and it's unfortunate that I have to say this, but no I am in no way trying to say that black voters aren't as qualified as white voters.)

We have been pushing to get young voters to the voting booths for a long time and in this election due to the Obama camp we may even see record numbers of them doing so like we did in the democratic primaries. Unfortunately we should be pushing for young INFORMED voters. If the young people of the country are too lazy to get out and vote just once, isn't it also a pretty good assumption that they weren't able to find the time in their busy schedules to actually follow the debates, news, blogs, other commentary? We vote on a Tuesday for Christ's sake, Monday isn't even one of the big party days. My opinion is that if they don't want to vote, don't make them because they're just going to make a stupid decision anyways.

And just to bring this whole issue to a head Orange County California opted today to allow a one day only drive-thru registration and voting system. The same way that we have managed to become fat, sloppy and lazy Americans through the fast food assembly line, now we can vote! And to no surprise at all it had a great reception. We need to keep this from spreading.

If people are too lazy to vote the old fashion way they probably shouldn't vote at all. Is voting really that hard? For most we're talking about once every four years. For the most dedicated voter twice a year. All you have to do is walk into a building sign a book and vote in the booth. Occasionally lines get a little lengthy during peak hours but districts do the best they can to keep these under control. If you can not do that once every four years, you shouldn't vote. I'm sorry, you're are lazy and would be better off following the rest of us around anyways. Stop fooling yourself, leading isn't for you please, please don't waste your time or mine.

We're better off with a tiny percentage of informed voters than a mass of ill-informed, lazy morons.


hANOVER fIST said...

"If people are too lazy to vote the old fashion way they probably shouldn't vote at all."

I agree wholeheartedly...it's not even the question of voting the "old-fashioned way"...rather, it's voting the "tried-and-true way".

HAVA, just like CALEA, was a backdoor into what was once a secure and secured process.

TCR said...

Seriously though, I'm from NYS and we have had the lever voting machines for about 100 years now and I think they are great. There is no reason to move to touch screen voting. The risks of hacking, miscalculation, and zero solid receipts far outweigh the benefits of ease of use. No I don't think punch cards should still be around, but lets not get crazy with the untested technology.

Furthermore there are news articles all over today about how the mail-in vote is becoming the method of choice. Here's one: http://www.truthout.org/102708VA God help this fuckin' lazy human race!