Fine, I am not above working for the oatmeal raisin. Heck, it’s better than trying to come up with an idea for my blog on my own.
So, how to get people to vote? How to get people to register to vote? How? How? How?
How about if we framed voting as a new reality t.v. show? I live in fear that American Idol will eventually attract more actual voters than mid-term elections. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Think of voting like your opportunity to cast somebody off the island. We can force all of the elected officials (who we will call “contestants”) to live in one giant house. Let’s call that house, oh, I don’t know, the Capitol Building. Within that house, we will dived the contestants into two teams: the Mars-Senators and the Mercury-Representatives. We will put cameras everywhere capturing their movements and interactions.
There can be the usual astounding realizations for reality t.v. We will likely find that Thomas Tancredo doesn’t wash his hands after using the restroom or that Katherine Harris can’t hold her liquor and starts hitting on whoever happens to be in the hot-tub.
Each week, all the contestants will face some type of “challenge.” One week, they could be forced to balance the budget while keeping a tiki torch lit. Another week, they might reconsider Puerto Rico’s status while they stand on logs for twelve hours.
Every evening, we could have video-summaries that shows that day’s events. Those who tune in regularly will be able to discuss who lies too much in the house and who just wants to be on t.v. For those who want a constant feed, we can set up an entire cable network that does nothing but show the proceedings of the Congress – er – I mean the house.
At the end of two years, if you registered to vote before hand, you can have the chance to decide who stays on the show. Because, in government, you are either “in” or you are “out.” Yep, the voters can toss out anybody who is part of the Mercury team every two years. Because of predetermined rules, though, only a third of Mars contestants can be eliminated every two years. Those contestants who survive elimination win a million dollars from their local lobbyist.
Have I convinced you to vote yet? Great – Now I have some suggestions to help the rest of the nation:
- – To increase the number of gay men voters, let’s make the voting machines dual purpose. Why not be able to cast your vote within a tanning booth? Elections are always in November, just the time that your summer glow starts to fade. With the tanning option, you can save democracy and look unseasonably golden brown. Lines at polling places would be around the block in West Hollywood.
– Let’s follow the lead of some other nations and tax the shit out of the lazy-ass people who don’t vote. The fate of the national debt, war, the education system, and environmental disaster might not be big enough issues to get some people to the polls. If not voting means, though, they have to pay a tax the size of their monthly Starbucks tab, they’ll drive their Escalades right into the voting booth.
– Speaking of Escalades, why not give out a free gallon of gas with every voter registered? Have you seen gas prices these days? Those Escalades burn-up four gallons just to roll down the windows. Toss a little petroleum in to sweeten the voting deal.
– Voting booths can dispense drugs depending on which party you opted to choose. After the pull of the lever, Democrats could get Xanax. This should dull the pain of voting for the “lesser of two evils” and knowing that you likely lost anyway. The Green Party, naturally, would receive a joint. It can replace the one that they smoked while they were voting. The Republican Party could receive Acid. After all, they live in their own reality already, so why not have a legitimate excuse?
– How about penalties for not voting on human rights issues? Is your state trying to cut welfare, keeps gays from getting married, or deprive immigrants of healthcare, but you are too lazy to even voice an opinion? Then I say you get a one-way ticket to being a bus-person at your local Denny’s. Screw public service that involves picking up trash on the highway – that’s too easy. People get nice tans doing that work. If you had to spend an hour washing syrup out of your hair each day, you would get your sticky ass to a voting booth.
– Show the American voters what a great success it has been to bring elections to Iraq. We can show all the smiling, appreciative faces as they go to the polls. Yeah, many of those voters don’t have decent water, healthcare, or access to education, but surely the ability to elect a Parliament that never convenes brings them joy. Hmm, maybe we better wait on this one.
– We should make it clear that Wonder Woman would vote if she was a U.S. citizen. Well, if she allowed elections on Paradise Island. Given that she is the heir to an absolute monarchy, though, she isn’t particularly inclined to start allowing voting now. It’s great for the U.S., though.
Though all of the above ideas show my brilliance, alas not many of them are likely to be picked up – except that tanning booth idea. That’s hot. Still, we are left with the reality that voting is a duty and a responsibility. Now is the time when we all have to come forward and demand that republicanism (the governmental system, not the political party) actually work in this country.
Are you a white man over the age of 21 who owns a large parcel of land? If not, then sometime in the past people like you (yes, YOU) fought for the right to vote because they thought it kinda important. Much of U.S. history has revolved around questions about who could and could not vote. Indeed, the U.S. has been historically pretty stingy with the vote (We won’t even go into the complicated ways we used to get Senators). Yet, people like you (yes, YOU) gave every ounce of their energy to ensure that subsequent generations of yous could participate in the government. Do you want to let down the dead by not voting? The dead will haunt you. Nobody wants Elizabeth Cady Stanton on their ass from beyond the grave.
Most importantly, GayProf wants to live in a nation that cares about human rights, that works within a world community, and provides for the basic needs of all its citizens. So, unless I move to the Netherlands, I am going to need you American folk to start voting more.
Visit vote-smart.org to learn how to register to vote in your state.