Dear Ignorant People,
Please don’t vote today. Don’t exercise your rights today. Don’t participate in the sacred democratic ritual. Just sit on your couch and watch reruns on Bravo, or whatever it is you do with your time. But please don’t vote. Please, dear God, I beg you. Don’t vote.
And realize, friends, that I am not insulting you. The word ‘ignorant’ simply means ‘lacking knowledge and awareness.’ It doesn’t necessarily mean stupid or idiotic. It doesn’t mean bad or evil. It just means that you do not have all of the necessary information to make a considered and thoughtful decision. That’s OK, really. Maybe there’s even something to be said for it. But it doesn’t belong in the ballot box. Not now. Not when there’s so much at stake.
See, although I am pretty well informed about current events, politics, the functioning of government, and most of the important issues of the day, I am admittedly ignorant in other areas. Perhaps even all other areas. It’s with great shame that I confess to being completely mystified anytime the conversation turns to quantum mechanics, auto repair, interior design, French cuisine, the history of equestrian semi-nomadic civilizations in 3rd century central Eurasia, basic mathematics, Arctic zoology, plumbing, astrology, and approximately 40,000 other subjects.
Therefore, if I’m asked to teach a math class, or fix a broken toilet, or cook a dozens crepes, or predict future events by analyzing the constellations, I will decline the invitation and leave the matter in more competent hands. Particularly if there are already a million more qualified people on site, taking care of business.
In other words, I’m not going to be the guy who pulls over at the scene of an accident to “help,” even though there are six other cars stopped, plus two ambulances, a police car, and a fire truck. There is nothing else for me to add. I can be of no assistance. I do not bring anything to the table that the emergency personnel and the half dozen other shameless rubberneckers can’t provide. If I stop, it will only be because I want to feel important and then drive home and regale my wife with the exaggerated tales of my heroic deeds.
That’s what voting day has become in America. Half the people who show up are only in it for the “I Voted” sticker and the feeling that they’ve Done Their Part. Except, unfortunately, you haven’t done your part if this is the only day you Do Your Part.
Being an active and engaged citizen means keeping up to speed, getting involved, and participating in the discussion every day. It means learning about how our government is supposed to work, how our laws are supposed to be made, and how our Constitution is supposed to dictate all of these things.
And then it means learning about how our government actually works (it doesn’t), and how our laws are actually made (by executive fiat), and how our Constitution actually factors into this equation (not at all).
If it were up to me, there would be some kind of short, easy, very straightforward quiz determining who gets to enter the ballot box today. Nothing complicated. No trick questions. Just fundamental things like:
-When was our nation founded?
-Who is the Secretary of State?
-What is the First Amendment?
-How many states are in the Union?
-Name one Supreme Court Justice?
-What does the term ‘national debt’ mean?
-Are you only voting for the candidates who gave you a pin at the state fair last month?
-What planet are we on?
-What galaxy is this?
I’d say we could weed out 40 percent of the electorate with the first six questions, and then another ten with the last three.
I wish there was an easier way of doing this. Maybe in the future they’ll invent some kind of Ignorance Test — kind of like the pregnancy kind — where you pee on a stick and it comes up either “+This person has a clue” or “–This dude has no freaking idea what’s going on.”
Until such a thing exists, there needs to be at least some sort of filtration system. We must erect barriers to guard against the Walking Discombobulated, who wish to pounce upon our Democratic System and devour its guts while it screams in helpless agony.
Alas, there is nothing to protect it. We are exposed and vulnerable. They are all invited in: the perplexed, the uninitiated, the illiterate, the obtuse and the benighted. The gates are opened and they stream in by the thousand to eat our country’s soul and take Election Day selfies.
Indeed, we don’t just make it possible for ignorant people to vote, we encourage it.
The idea has taken hold that voting should be the easiest, most comfortable, most uncumbersome thing you do all year. The future and fate of our entire nation hangs in the balance and we think it ought to be decided with the same energy and effort it takes to soil your underpants. If any semblance of purpose or competence is required of this apathetic mass known as the American electorate, we stomp our feet and shout that a great injustice has taken place.
Maybe it is an injustice. Maybe every single human being, no matter how willfully dense and repulsively complacent, should have the exact same power and responsibility as even the most in-tuned, eager, and knowledgeable citizen. Maybe a man who pays attention, pays his bills, and pays his taxes ought to be weighed precisely the same as a man who has never in his life paid any of those things. Maybe that’s ‘fair.’ I don’t know.
But what I do know is that it’s not how any Democratic system, including our own, was ever meant to function. And I do know that it leads invariably to disaster and ruin.
It’s not your responsibility to vote just for the sake of voting. It’s your responsibility to stay engaged and apprized of the national situation — and then vote. If you haven’t completed the first step, do not proceed to the second. Dear God, please, do not proceed to the second.
This is a conspiracy, don’t you see it? A conspiracy. An honest-to-goodness conspiracy. The Powers That Be know that active and enlightened voters are the greatest threat to their oligarchy. They also know that they cannot (yet) physically prevent those primed and savvy individuals from casting a ballot, so instead they drown the informed votes in a sea of bewildered ignorance.
They carry in the Oblivious and the Self-Satisfied, and pour their incomprehension all over our nation’s polling places until the smart votes are sufficiently diluted. It is a brilliant scheme, and it has paid dividends for them.
That’s why the elites in government love “get out the vote” campaigns like this one, starring a rapper and a B-list feminist celebrity.
If you need Lil John and Lena Dunham to tell you to vote, then you shouldn’t.
As a matter of fact, if you are even a fan of either person, then you shouldn’t (remind me later because that needs to go on the entrance exam).
Ignorant People, the greatest service you can provide today is staying as far away from a voting booth as possible. Your nation is calling on you, Ignorant People. It needs you, in this moment of great consequence, to do the right thing. And, in this case, the right thing is nothing.
If you want a sticker, I’ll make some for you. They’ll say: “I DIDN’T vote today!”
Wear it with pride. You earned it.
Thank you and God bless.
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