In addition to the overwhelming number of political attack ads, this time of year we are inundated with messages encouraging everyone to get out and vote this November. From “Rock the Vote” to the infamous P. Diddy “Vote or Die” campaign (which isn’t just a catchy slogan – just look what happened when Tupac refused to vote in the Bill Clinton-Bob Dole election in 1996), celebrities come out every four years and tell you that your vote matters and you need to make your voice heard.
Your vote doesn’t matter. And your voice doesn’t need to be heard.
I’m not speaking to everyone here, of course. The right to vote is an amazing thing. It’s something that makes this country great. And it’s a right that women and minorities had to fight to get. (On behalf of white dudes everywhere: sorry about that, guys.) Casting your ballot and being a part of the electoral process is truly a beautiful thing.
Unless you don’t give a shit. In which case, please just stay at home.
I’m not judging you. Frankly, I don’t care if you don’t care about politics.
I know you are busy. You’ve got episodes of The Office to watch and Angry Birds to launch (or, if you are like me, you’ve got that damn addictive Simpsons Tapped Out game to play). Casting a vote isn’t going to make your job at Papa Johns any less shitty or those never-ending PTA meetings any less monotonous. If you are too caught up in your own life to follow politics, don’t sweat it. Save your vote for something that really matters, like the American Idol finale.
The last thing we need is a bunch of uninterested people crowding the lines on election day when we are trying to vote, casting ballots based on nonsense they read on Facebook or things they saw on the “news.” Or worse yet, we don’t need any of you casting votes for a candidate because he seemed really charming on The View.
If you blindly believe that Barack Obama is some kind of secret Muslim who spent four years marginally improving the country so that he could get reelected and launch us all in to Armageddon, don’t bother hitting the poles. Likewise, if you think that Mitt Romney is some sort of robotic corporate whore who will force all of the poor people to shovel coal around the clock to heat the pool at his summer house, stay home on election night.
Some of us will be not only watching, but paying close attention to the debate tonight. But it won’t stop there. We will also research the things the candidates say during the debate, doing our own investigating and fact checking. We will use that information to make an informed decision on who we think should lead this country.
The fact that you can just roll up to the election booth after having spent five minutes watching Fox News or The Daily Show and your vote counts the same as ours is frankly a bit depressing. And honestly, it’s unnecessary.
People try to convince you that your vote is essential to making this whole thing work. They’ll tell you that if everyone thought like you and just sat out the election that the whole thing would fall apart. But fear not, there’s absolutely no chance that that will actually happen.
Remember when you had group projects in school? You’d maybe get four or five students all randomly assigned to work together, supposedly to teach us all about team building or some other nonsense. (Which, in reality, we all know was nothing more than a way for teachers to phone it in and have the students do their jobs for them.)
The teacher would usually give some pep talk about how everyone had to pull their weight in the project in order for it to work. But we all know it never went down like that. One or two goodie-two-shoes would end up doing the lion’s share of the assignment, while the rest of the group goofed off and threw together some half-assed Powerpoint presentation of the other kids’ work as their “contribution.”
These elections are just like those group projects. Stay at home and play Xbox or update your Tumblr. The rest of us will go out and vote, making an informed decision. We’ve got you covered. You can handle the Powerpoint.
Just don’t tell P. Diddy you sat this one out. That guy is not fucking around.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.