Friday, November 05, 2004

COLUMN: Voting

It's over. Finally.

I can once again merrily go about my business without being stymied by
political endorsements. No longer do I have to know that the car in front
of me supports Kerry. No longer do I have to know that the lawn across the
street from me supports Bush. I'm still not sure who my TV set supports -
it did a bit of flip-flopping the past couple weeks.

It's over -- my vote has been counted.

Okay, I'm lying to you. I'm about to do the unthinkable and break the
fourth wall of the Leader, folks. Those guys who write the actual news up
there on the front page think that they're such bigshots because they can
turn in a breaking news story at the drop of a hat. Us non-important (i.e.
"funny") folks have an earlier deadline. We don't have the privilege around
here to yell "STOP THE PRESSES!" (Actually I yell that all the time for
fun; they just ignore me.) I had to turn this column in on Tuesday. In my
world, it's still election day, and as of this writing, I don't know who

Not that it matters, because the way things have been stacking up, there's a
good chance you don't know who won yet either. I'm guessing that as you
read this, chads are probably hanging all over the place, and the future
course of our nation probably hangs on a recount in, oh, let's say, Rhode

But I WILL be sure to have voted before it's all over. Why? Because P. Diddy was
going to kill me if I didn't.

Did you guys catch any of this? P. Diddy was the voice behind the campaign
that's been all over MTV for the last month. It's happy message? "VOTE OR
DIE!" And that's right, kids, this is moral leader P. Diddy, who just a
couple years ago narrowly escaped an attempted murder charge in court. I,
for one, take his threats seriously.

Everywhere I channel flipped, I was being oppressed by stupidity. "VOTE OR
DIE!" "CHOOSE OR LOSE!" I saw an ad the other day that said, (no joke,)
"Vote for something. Anything. Just vote."

Now, I'm completely sympathetic to the problem of voter apathy. It's
ridiculous that a lot of people my age or younger don't feel that voting is
an important civic duty. But let's not counter this problem by yelling in
their face and saying, "DO IT! VOTE, STUPID!"

If we throw any campaign towards the youth of today, it should be for them
to educate themselves on the issues and the candidates, and THEN let them
decide if they want to vote. I'll admit it - I didn't vote in the first
couple of elections after I turned 18. Why? Because I was in college and
didn't know anything about anything. The only issue I took a stance on in
those days was how to best soundproof the frat house so we wouldn't get
busted on Friday night.

These campaigns seem to be saying to 18-year-olds, "Hey! You! You should
vote! What's that? You don't know who to vote for? You don't know anything
about any of the candidates? Oh well, that's not important! You still need
to take a stand and vote!"

Sure, the youth of America needs to make its voice heard... unless it's a
STUPID voice. If you don't know the candidates or the issues, you should've
stayed home. It's that simple. Because what happens when you go to the polls
and you don't know any of the candidates? That's when human nature takes
over, you weigh the information in front of you, and you do the logical

You vote for the guy with the funniest name.

You think I'm wrong? I've got two words for ya: Dick Armey. He spent 18
years in Congress. There's really a Senator from Idaho named Mike Crapo. I rest my case.

Of course, I'm a bit of a hypocrite when I say that you shouldn't have voted
unless you were informed. Sure, I try to know a lot about all of the major
candidates... but then you get to that last page on the ballot. "Shall this
judge be retained in office?" Ummm... Sure? Maybe?

These people could be communists for all I know. The only judge I know
anything about was the one I had to see on the day that we DIDN'T soundproof
the frat house well enough on a Friday night. And, quite frankly, that guy
doesn't get my vote.

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