Tom Goulter - student, Christchurch

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

One More Truism Leading To A Modest Proposal

Truism The Third: Some Americans Are Just Plain Lazy

Fifty one point fucking two percent. Just over half the voting-age population in America exercised their democratically sacrosanct right to Rock The Vote in TV's Decision 2000. That's an improvement over the previous election, where less than half (49.8%) of eligible voters honored the principle their forebears had defended from Fritz and Mao and Uncle Joe. Disillusioned voters who percieve their votes as having gone uncounted - and their voice railroaded by our afore-mentioned friends, uncharacteristically loud and obnoxious Right-wingers - may, it's reasonable to expect (and not altogether impossible to understand), be projected to show up in lesser numbers than they did in 2000. (Of course, these projections don't attempt to take into account Pro Wrestling's bid to politically motivate a new generation of voters).

In the same way as Grandmaster Brash's lowest-common-denominator soapbox-thumping had the welcome byproduct of bringing New Zealanders into the race-relations debate who hitherto had felt it best to clam up and preserve the perilously thin facade of a status quo, the last four years have gone some way toward galvanising Americans into remembering what political animals they can be. Folk will vote out of the urge that prevails in the Left (and plenty of centrist) camps: Anyone, So Long As It's Not Bush. And long-standing Republicans, usually highly skilled in the art of supporting policies and politicians based on their Elephant status rather than any actual merit, percieved or otherwise, are reconsidering long-held allegiances in the wake of war, job losses and miscellaneous fuckings-with.

However, this may not be enough. Which is why I at last submit my Modest Proposal.

A Modest Proposal

Hello, my American friends reading via the wonder of the World Wide Web! (Thanks for that, by the way!*)
Do you intend to vote this year? Do you have strong feelings on who will be the next Ruler Of The Free World? Do you think your vote will make a difference?
If not, great! I'm not here to convince you otherwise. I'm being entirely earnest when I say that the channels and means of educating you as to your electoral system and the merits thereof have most likely done everything in their power to win you over, and if they (with the help, let's not forget, of Bam Bam Bigelow and the Hulkster) haven't done so, they've failed you, and not the other way round. I ain't here to tell you what to do.
However. If you're not going to use your vote, can I have it?
I only want one. (Maybe think of it this way: did you see The West Wing when Donna accidentally voted Republican, and then she had to find a Republican who she trusted to believe that she'd accidentally voted wrongly, and who would then keep their word to, in exchange for Donna's misplaced vote, switch their vote in return? Well, in this equation, I'm Donna, only instead of pulling the wrong lever, I accidentally wasn't an American citizen and henceforth couldn't vote; and you, you lucky busy go-getter, are that hunky Christian Slater willing to go along with my lame-brain get-rich-quick scheme!)
And if you have friends who don't intend to vote, can me and my friends have their votes too? I only want one vote per person. And I don't mean that I want you all to go vote Kerry. If I have friends who want to put in a vote for Bush, and you have friends who don't intend to vote either way, then my clinically insane politically psychopathic friends will be given the chance to vote through you and your friends, who, for one reason or another - all of them, I hasten to add, doubtless good reasons - have decided to skip voting this year.
On the offchance that your decision not to vote is motivated by a belief that it's not worth it, that you will get nothing out of it, I suggest this: Is your vote worth less to you than a bar of tasty chocolate?
Because we have damn good chocolate here in New Zealand. And if you'll go along with my - on the surface, cockamamie and misguided - scheme, I pledge that each voter who votes on the behalf of a "buddy" outside of the United States will recieve a rich, tasty bar of finest Cadbury chocolate, containing no less than a glass and a half of full-cream dairy-milk.
Please don't mistake this for me making asides as to you Americans' infatuation with junk food. I could give a shit whether or not Americans eat more or less junk food than anyone else. This is a democracy; you can eat what you like, right?
I'm just saying: everybody likes chocolate. And if not everybody likes voting, well...
Everybody likes chocolate.

In A Genuine Spirit Of Friendship Unclouded By Sarcasm Or Tiresome Irony,

- Tom In New Zealand.

* You'll note, in the spirit of bypartisanship, I'm thanking all of you for the Internet, and not even going near the specific grievances of certain ex-Vice-POTUSes who may or may not have been instrumental in the funding of the WWW as a public resource and may or may not subsequently have been misquoted on the subject thereof. You're welcome.