Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Vote... Or DIE!!! Really?!?

[Vote... Or DIE!!! Week Continues]

[Editor's Note: Somewhat pointless babble ahead. Search for a coherent point, and good luck if you find it, but no promises. Don't say I didn't warn you.]

Remember back in 04' when P. Diddy came up with that ingenious Vote Or Die campaign to sell Asian sweatshop manufactured ringer tees for $45 invigorate a generation of young voters? The whole thing smelled like ass to be from jump, mainly because Diddy clearly isn't a politico, and really has no discernible talent other than extreme impregnation self-promotion. I guess this whole thing was deemed successful, because it did indeed invigorate a whole new generation of young voters. Unfortunately, these folks were largely down with the GGGGGG.O.P-Uuuuuunniiiitttt, and Puffy's poorly disguised bipartisan support of John Kerry ended up agitating youngsters into voting for G-Dubbz.

Can't Stop, Won't Stop, indeed.

[Editor's Note: The Store will have our very own Vote Or Die inspired designs very soon. They won't be made by 5-year-old Honduran seamstresses, and they won't run you a week's pay either. Keep it locked.]

Four years later, I'm sure Diddy, who needs every penny he can get to shell out that massive $100k/month in child support, warming up the Sean John print presses for another edition of those Activist T-Shirts as soon as a front runner is tagged. And we'll probably see another Fall full of MTV specials and PSA's telling us how important voting in this next Presidential election is. And as I always tend to, I'll wonder: Is voting really that important? And if so, how come it's only important every four years?

Since I first voted for The Original Black President in 92' as a wide eyed sophomore at my Negro College HBCU, I haven't missed a single primary or general election. As I've grown in my general understanding or how the whole politricks game works, I also haven't missed a single local election: be it for county exec, mayor, city council, etc. You could chalk this up to the influence of growing up around two parents who often volunteered at the polls on election day and talked politricks over dinner each night. Like all habits learned in the home, good or bad, this one stuck.

Sometimes, however, I really wonder just what exactly is the point of voting. Story after story reveals that generally speaking, the American public is pretty damn ignorant about politricks as a whole. Most folks couldn't name their mayor, city councilman, or school board superintendent, although these people have far more impact on their day to day lives that whomever resides at 1600 Penn Ave. Most Presidential candidates advocate the exact same stances on major issues, with a minor wording adjustment to distinguish them during stump speeches. This doesn't really matter, because they seldom are able to accomplish what they promise once they make it to DC. And most voters don't care to follow day to day goings on in DC, so there's no real accountability. Congressmen spend half their work weeks manning the phones for re-election funds. The President can't do much without his party in control of the Senate and House, and a favorable batch of candidates on the Supreme Court.

And when you add it all up, very little gets done. Not that you should be surprised of course.

Essentially, politricks, especially at the Presidential level, becomes little more than a middle school level popularity contest, with "popularity" generally being defined by whomever major newspapers and newscasts (cause' most people only read the Sports and Comics - Go Redskins!) choose to feature most frequently.

Rinse and Repeat. And we all stay losing.

I guess I say all this to say that while has already chosen which candidate we will endorse, it really doesn't make too much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. No President can make your marriage better. No Senator can help raise your kids. No Congressman will tell you to put down that Quiznos (although will definitely say that those little "Sammies" are pretty darned good) and take your fat arse to Gold's Gym like your third New Year's Resolution clearly states.

These folks really don't have that much control over your life, or at least not as much as they'd like you to think.

So please just Vote and ignore the extra rhetoric. You won't die.

Ok, now that I'm done with my pointless rambling, here's the question for ya'll to digest.

Does voting matter? If so, why? If you don't vote, also tell why.

Gimme your two pennies you know where.

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