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Michael McDonald: When Democracy Fails

January 25, 2012

In November, you’re going to be faced with a decision: will you vote for Barack Hussein Obama to serve a second Presidential term, or will you vote for Mitt D.A.R.Y.L Romney* to begin occupying the Oval Office in 2013?

*Reports suggest something called a “newt gingrich” might also be an option.

You might find that reality as appetizing as choosing between the hot dog or the taquito at a gas station. You might bemoan a political process that churns out candidates who only seem to represent special interests. You might, if you live in certain states, even resent that the Electoral College process makes you feel like you’re throwing away your vote.

Those are all reasonable gripes about the state of politics today.

But they are absolutely unacceptable reasons for refusing to vote.

There are in the neighborhood of 220 million eligible voters in the United States. In 2008, when the Obama/Palin dynamic was generating “historic” interest in the election—A black guy could be President! We did it; racism is solved! Or a woman could be Vice President! We did it; she’s way hotter than that lady in the 80s!—voter turnout only ended up around 62%. And those youth voters (ages 18-29) who were going to make a statement this time around? Only about 52% of their demographic showed up. In all, roughly 80-85 million Americans with voting eligibility decided they had better things to do on a Tuesday afternoon than exercise a right that millions of our forefathers gave their lives to preserve. No biggie, right?

Well, here’s what happens when a large segment of a voting population gives up its right to vote:

Let’s say you work in an office of 100 employees, all of you plugging away in your little cubicles. The boss is a tool, but he tries to promote employee morale with small gestures like the occasional gift cards or themed dress-up days. It’s not enough to make you not want staple your resignation letter to his forehead, but at least it occasionally breaks up the tedium.

One day the boss announces that management has decided to start playing music in the lunchroom, and will all employees please submit an email to HR indicating their musical preferences? Whatever, you think. I’ll get to it if I have time.

Twelve of your coworkers are very excited about this announcement, because they love Michael McDonald.

In fact, they love him so much that they meet up every Thursday at one of their homes to listen to his music and critically discuss his beard and leisure suits. They’re a weird group. But nobody else in the office shares their strange obsession, so you’re not worried about a future of ‘Yah Moh B There’ during your lunch breaks.

Then you see a company-wide email from the boss about a week later: The people have spoken and Michael McDonald it is! What the f***??!!

Turns out a lot of your peers did the same thing you did—they didn’t bother responding to the email because they were busy, and besides, they didn’t have real strong feelings about it anyway. In fact, out of 100 employees, only 25 sent their suggestions to HR. Thirteen of them sent a variety of lukewarm ideas; the other twelve not only sent their emails to HR, but they also created a PowerPoint presentation for the boss that passionately detailed the merits of Michael McDonald’s music.

And because of the apathy of many, the voice of a wacky few suddenly carried far more weight than it should have.

Vote. Or else:






From → The Patriot

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