Archive - Sep 2004

September 30th

Why Democracy Sucks, Part 412

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Memo to America's "Undecided Voters": YOU ARE DUMB.

What is your fucking problem? The news keeps telling me you're all waiting until after tonight's debate to make up your minds. Here, let me give you a preview of what you'll learn from the debates. First, JACK. Second, SHIT.

Here's an easy prediction. Nothing new will be said tnnight. NOTHING. Every single thing said during the 90 minute debate tonight will be something a candidate or their surrogates have said before. Which means you're not undecided, you're just LAZY. Pay attention, and you'll get to make your mind up that much sooner.

Or maybe you're not waiting for new information. Maybe you're waiting on the Jib Factor. You want to watch the candidates on live television to see which cut of whose jib you like better. Who sweats. Who has nicer hair. Who doesn't come off as "too snooty". If so, you are part of the problem and should stay home on Election Day, along with your shallow, gut-instinct, irrational candidate selection technique. Fuck off.

How difficult IS this decision? Either way? I don't care where you actually stand, politically. The last four years have very clearly and distinctly defined who Dubya is, what he is about, and what he has done and will do. Ambivalence about this is NOT A FUCKING OPTION. You either love it along with your fellow rich white suburbanites, frat-boy jingoists, and religious nutters, or you don't, along with your tree-hugging, America-hating, Michael-Moore-watching brethren.

Despite all the half-assed obfuscation about "compassionate conservatism", the country is being run by rabid ideologues with such a blatant and deliberate agenda that it SHOULD be physically impossible to be "undecided" about. It shouldn't even matter who the Democrats ran. If you're on board with what's been happening, then you won't be voting for anybody but Bush, and if you're NOT on board, then it could be Kerry/Edwards, Dean/Kucinich, or Eggplant/Toaster for all I care. As long as the opposition candidate isn't fucking puppies on live television, you either want four more years of this, or anything but.

If you're on the fence with just over a month to spare, how do you even make it out of the house in the morning? The existential dilemma of sock color must leave you paralyzed. Heaven forbit you stand in line at your local fast-food establishment, perusing the five different varieties of chicken sandwich in slack-jawed amazement, both excited and horrified by the strange new world that has such variety in it.

But you wanna watch the debates to see who you think comes out on top? Stop kidding yourself, and the rest of us while you're at it. We know what you're really waiting for. You're waiting to be told who won the debate by America's honest, unbiased observers in the pundit hot-seats of our many cable news channels. If you're incapable of evaluating the President based on four years of current events, including two wars, then 90 minutes tonight isn't going to provide you with your epiphany. So you'll be told who to vote for by the post-debate pundits, and you'll tell everyone you know that it was the debates that made up your mind. But we all know better.

Look, I've been an undecided voter before. In 1998 and 2000, I walked into the booth not knowing if, when push came to shove, I'd be able to vote for the bland, unappealing Democrat or the interesting but doomed third-party candidate. Both times, I was pretty damn sure that the bland Democrat would do fine without my help, and the bland Republican was only a few shades off of true in the other direction. Once, I helped put a wrestler in charge of a state*, and once, I was dead-on and the bland Democrat won my state.

But this President has spent the past four years engaging in fundamentally polarizing actions. He's like a giant, smirking magnet. You should either be attracted or repelled, not some inert lump of plastic sitting and dithering. If you haven't made up your mind by the time the debate starts tonight, you should commit to joining the rest of the non-voting half of the country come November. Unless Bush or Kerry fucks a puppy on stage. Then I'll grant you an exemption.

*Which I'm actually quite happy with, as Jesse did, roughly, an average politician's worth of damage to the state, while providing ten times the entertainment value.