Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please *don't* vote.

Note: Oops. Had to edit a few mistakes. Maybe I'm not a genius, after all-- not even today! ;o)

This isn't the promised "entertainment-related" entry-- just a little political sidetrack.

I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that I'm not a big fan of Howard Stern, yet here I am, about to link to a YouTube video featuring a clip from his show. (Will wonders never cease?) Before I do, though, I have to warn you that anyone with young children around might want to wait until they're not around to hit the "play" button. There are a few "f-bombs", even in the first minute of the clip, so use discretion. If you'd prefer, you can just read what it's about further down the page. And don't worry-- I've edited out the questionable language, in my version. ;o)

So, here's the audio clip:

If you chose not to listen, here's what it's all about:

Some guy goes into Harlem and asks random strangers (well, random except for race, as they are all black) whether they're voting for McCain or Obama. Most plan to vote for Obama. The interviewer then asks them what helped them make this decision. For instance, was it Obama's pro-life beliefs or his stance on Iraq? (The key is that the positions the interviewer attributes to Obama actually fall in line with McCain's policies.) The interviewees say that, yes, those are the reasons they support Obama. (Go ahead, take a moment for a grim chuckle.) Next, he asks them if they support Obama's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate. Oh, yeah, they do. When talking to the one guy who said he was going to vote for McCain, the interviewer pulled the same tricks (attributing Obama's positions to McCain and saying the McCain had chosen Biden to run for VP). Same results.

(End synopsis)

I realize that having someone come up to you on the street and ask you political questions might be a little unnerving. You're probably a bit startled and may be more likely than usual to make mistakes. However, I think this goes beyond that. I think there are many, many people out there basing their vote (a theoretical vote, at this point, but it's only a matter of weeks until they'll be real) not on the issues, but on something that shouldn't be an issue.

At times like this, I remember a particular commercial. . . (Ok, I looked it up, and it was from Ditech. Actually, it seems that there might have been a whole series of ads. Which isn't really pertinent here.) The commercial voice-over stated that "people are smart". Well, "smart" is a relative term. Whatever you think of people as a group, it's clear that some of us are smarter than others. Since the all-knowing glow of my youth has begun to fade, my opinion of my own intelligence has sometimes faltered. Today-- after listening to that clip-- I'm feeling like a genius, but one whose life will continually be detrimentally impacted by people who insist on voting when they clearly shouldn't.

Some people like to say that it's our duty to vote and that every person in the land should do so. I disagree. If you won't take the time to learn about the very most basic issues at hand, you shouldn't vote. Leave the serious business of life to the rest of us, please.