Warning: The two statements below were based on my immediate reactions to the crowds of cheering fans for various candidates in the 2008 elections. By no means is this an indictment of the majority of my readership who spent the quality time to make a decision based on an understanding of pertinent issues and a proper gauging of character. When next November comes, I hope to eat my words, but as I’ve said before, I enjoy being a pessimist. I’m either right or pleasantly surprised.
Subtle Disdain or First-Time Voters:
Congratulations, you voted. I’m fine that you that when you pulled that level you were expecting a cloud of flying kittens that pooped daisies to appear to reward you for having made a decision for the candidate able to make “tough choices”. I’m fine that you’ve spent 20 minutes of time to make a poorly informed decision for candidates whose platforms you understand as well as the importance of gauge symmetry in particle physics. Really, as someone who votes in primaries and sits on his township’s environmental board and whose endlessly debated the difference between Type II and Type IIA drainage plans I’m glad your eventual decision went down to who gave you “hope” or “seemed like a stronger leader”.
I’m fine that you voted for who supported policies that aren’t within the powers of their office. Your president still can’t ban gay marriage, control budgets, or sign treaties. Your senator still can’t overthrow the FCC, change the National Park Service or change your state’s sales tax. Your local representative still can’t institute national health care, or end the War in Iraq. I’m fine that you didn’t know that.
I’m fine that you voted on the ballot initiative based entirely on what was written in the 2″x4″ box describing the measure or missed it entirely not realizing that there’s more than one avenue of legislative action.
I’m fine that after hitting the button for your preferred presidential candidate you froze in fear upon seeing the six other offices up for election and that you showed your true level of preparation by selecting people from your party or the person whose name you’d heard most.
Really, I’m fine with that. Statistics informs be that your ignorance combined with poorly designed user interfaces on voting machines means that your vote was canceled out by other slack-jawed yokels thunderstruck by the difficulty of operating technology that’s fault-tested by toddlers. The real winner in the 2008, as always, was the normal distribution.
Not Subtle Disdain For First-Timers:
It’s great that 138 million or so people voted, really I’m thrilled for them. Never mind that the vast majority lived in states that were as political conservative as the arch-angel Gabriel or consider the sex-drive of Cirque De Soleil quaint and their vote’s importance bordered on neutrino-like importance, I’m glad these neophyte political quidam could think of themselves as useful.
My vengeance against these panglosian plebiscites will come next November, when the only thing to vote for will be freeholders, DA’s, auditor generals and if you live in Pennsylvania which elects everything, County Coroner. The turnout will hit a stunning 12% and again my vote will wield disproportional influence over the unwashed masses ignorant of the true power held by a prothonotary over the District Justice and how County Commissioners sacrifice cats to summon Ialbadoth, Minion of the Lord of Greater Darkness. When the ichor-stained swatch of ballots hewn from hellstone consume the upstart touchscreen voting booths, Americans will again known the despair of democracy and the dread and loathing induced by an election day on an odd-numbered year. Feel my wrath.