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Making It Harder

« November 2014 »


You have, sometimes, good ideas. Your ideas even when they're not great, are usually better than the alternative. You have demographics on your side. Many of you individually are decent human beings. Oh, sure, most of you are bought and paid for by the same assholes that are ruining things, but that's not the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that weird mix of cowardice, incompetence, and general fecklessness that leads to unforced errors, a general appearance of derp, and the occasional pre-election weird-ass shit that's just, well, creepy and distracting.

I'm referring, of course, to this year's mailings from the national Democrats in several states that take known sociological science about promoting voter turnout and applying it in the worst way possible.

You see, social scientists have known for quite some time that voting is like washing your hands after you pee. We all know it's a good idea, but we're way more likely actually do it if the guy next to us is going to notice that we didn't.

But in the increasingly isolated... well, traditionally isolated, at least, version of modern culture, that social pressure no longer really exists for voting. I don't know whether or not my neighbors voted, because I don't know them that well, because I don't have to know them that well, because I've got the Internet and can chat with more interesting people regardless of their geographic proximity.

So, some Democrats who I guess don't know shit about optics decided to send out a mailer to voters informing them that whether or not they vote tomorrow is public record, and they'll be checking to see if they did or not, and then they're going to tell all your neighbors whether you voted or not.

It's worse than it sounds. Worse enough to require a double actualization. ACTUAL LETTER TIME!

"We will be reviewing the Queens County official voting records after the upcoming election to determine whether you joined your neighbors who voted in 2014. If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not."


"This flyer is part of the nationwide Democratic response to traditional Republican voter suppression efforts, because Democrats believe our democracy works better when more people vote, not less." - an unnamed Democratic Party spokesman.

Since they cannot see the problem, let me point it out. Republican voter suppression efforts target people who are not Republicans. They send out misleading mailers, tell people the wrong day to vote, or just "lose" 400,000 voter registrations, oops. But the people they piss off are not Republicans.

Democrats, on the other hand, are perfectly comfortable with a passive-aggressive threat to THEIR OWN SUPPORTERS to tell all their neighbors they're living next to a bad citizen. They're saying "vote, or else" to people who are going to vote for them, which turns the message into "vote for us, or else", which is a message that is generally received poorly. Hell, I didn't even get a mailer like this (although I did get one that told me I had voted in the last four elections and was therefore awesome) and I'm still feeling a touch of that ornery "don't tell me what to do" feeling about this.

Here's an idea. How about you convince people who don't normally bother voting that if they vote for you, and put you in office, you'll try to make their lives better. And the way you do this is first, when you're in office, make people's lives better. And second, when you make people's lives better, don't run away from it just 'cause the way it happened got nicknamed, say, "Obamacare".

I know that'd work a lot better on me than the threat to snitch on me to my neighbors.

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