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Jewish World Review
Oct. 27, 2006
/ 5 Mar-Cheshvan 5767
Don't vote if you're a dope
Is it your civic duty to vote? Even if you don't know who or what you're voting for? I never went along with the idea that all citizens should be urged to cast their votes on Election Day no matter what. We've got way too many dopes in this country and I don't want them voting on matters that will directly affect my life, thank you very much. The accepted wisdom that foolishly claimed, "it doesn't matter who you vote for or what you vote for, as long as you just get out there and vote," is imbecilic. OF COURSE it matters who and what you vote for! The privilege of having a vote in one's government is much too important to be taken lightly Ö or stupidly.
How about this instead? "It is the civic duty of all citizens that wish to vote to make it their business to be informed on the candidates and on the issues so that they will be voting intelligently." Is that too much to ask? Or is that TOO JUDGEMENTAL? Maybe asking people to actually be informed is discrimination against dummies. Careful, you may be accused of being dope-ophobic.
I realize that in America everyone has the inalienable right to be stupid, but why must I be at the mercy of it? I'm not allowed to subject other people to my cigar smoke, why are ignoramuses allowed to make important decisions for me? Y'know what, if you want to be an ignoramus, do it in the privacy of your own home, okay?
I propose a new motto for Election Day: "Get Out and Vote - Unless You're a Dope, in Which Case, Stay Home!" Another possible slogan, which could be posted right outside the polling location, would be "Polling Place - Stupid People Stay Away!" Or, "No Brain, No Vote!"
I know that the rules of who can vote and who can't vote in America have constantly changed over the years. In the beginning only white, male Anglo-Saxon Protestants who owned property could vote. And why do you suppose that was the case back then in 1776? Was it simply that all those nasty, rich, white guys wanted to hold everybody else down because they are naturally hateful, cruel and evil? Or could it be that the only ones who were qualified to make intelligent decisions back then were the white male property owners? You know why? NOBODY ELSE WAS GOING TO SCHOOL.
In fact, the only really educated people in those days were white wealthy WASP men and the common thinking was that only EDUCATED people should be the ones who vote on the important issues of the day. It's different now in our enlightened age. Today we all have the right to vote no matter how uneducated we are. That's real progress!
Times change. Once upon a time you had to be a citizen to vote, remember? Now all you have to do is get over the boarder, survive the desert, figure out how to write your name and find a polling place that speaks Spanish (which isn't exactly a tough thing in Southern California). Do you know that it is actually against the law for a polling place to require a person to PROVE CITIZENSHIP before they vote?
I'm so old I can even remember a time when convicted criminals weren't voting. And of course old Joe Kennedy changed one silly little voting rule back in 1960 when son John was running for President, which ultimately got him elected. You know that silly little rule that stipulated that only people who are actually alive can vote. Daddy Joe and Uncle Sam (Giancana, that is) gave a whole new meaning to the term, "family values" that year.
How do you know if you're a dopey voter? If, when you're looking at your ballot, you only check the names for candidates from your own tribal group whether or not you know anything about them, then you are a dopey voter. Y'know, like voting for all the Italian names, or all women, or all Chinese, things like that. Really dopey.
If you vote for a judge of whom you know nothing about, you are a dopey voter. Better to just not vote for a judge than to vote in another knucklehead to the bench.
If you vote straight party line on propositions without using your own common sense and reasoning to decide on the issues, then you are a dopey voter.
If you vote based solely on the endorsements of your local newspaper without doing the research yourself you are a dopey Kool-Aid drinking voter.
If you vote for a candidate based on how he or she looks, you are a shallow dopey voter who should be spending her time voting for America's next top model instead of America's next senator.
If you vote for higher taxes you are not only a dopey voter, you are a masochistic lefty.
To sum up, I really wish people wouldn't vote in this election just because they feel it is their civic duty. If you know from nothin' about the candidates, the propositions, the national issues, the state issues, or the local issues, then please, please do us all a favor and stay home and watch Oprah. It is your civic duty.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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© 2006, Greg Crosby