By Arthur O’Sullivan
Much like that time when I slept with my girlfriend’s twin, I have two important questions:
- Should everyone have the right to vote?
- Should each person with the right to vote do so?
As confused as the Smith sisters were when I asked them last March, I am nevertheless confident that these questions are essential to the proper functioning of our American democracy.
In case you haven’t noticed, we had an election last week, where DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE, if democratic (the party, not the eternal concept) messaging is to be believed. Exciting stuff, ain’t it? The one problem is that although this issue comes out after the election, I have to write this baby before then. So I don’t know whether republicunts will retake Congress, destroying the democraps’ peaceful and prosperous paradise which they created over these past two years under glorious chairman Biden, who makes the sun shine and the rain fall upon our amber waves of grain. I don’t know whether the tyrant fem-fash pansy Hochul will be ousted by Ayatollah Zeldin, who will spend all of January purging New York of the concept of women, restoring this august state to the homosexual-Sharia-pilled paradise it once was. I don’t know that anything will happen, and if you think that I’m going to write multiple drafts—or worse, edit this logorrheic mess of an article—on or just before production night to account for whatever happens, well, you can go join Binghamton Review getting an office and a Harpur Student entering the Kingdom of Heaven in the “things that will never happen” corner…
What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, voting. Again, if you haven’t noticed, there was an election last week, and you may have been told somewhere between ten and ten quadrillion times to “register to vote guyssss!” or “remember to apply for an absentee ballot folx!” or some variation on the theme that no matter how little you know about politics, it is not only your right but your moral imperative to vote (for democrats). Well, that parenthetical jab isn’t entirely fair: Republicans are plenty enthusiastic about “energizing the base” in demographics with lower voter turnout on average. Although the old people of the greatest and the silent generation have long been loyal to the right (and have nothing else to do in their senescence other than get angry about stuff they read on weird right-wing internet sites), they’re beginning to die and get replaced by the baby boomers, who somewhere in their LSD-from-the-sixties-addled mind are still able to form the thought “It’s election day. I better vote for Hubert Humphrey or else that crook Nixon will win!” Thus, republicans are forced to play the game of getting stupid and ideological young people to vote for them, too!
Which brings me to the crux of this article (ok it doesn’t, but I’ve already gone on two incoherent tangents and I’m running out of space): if we want to maintain a functional democratic system in this country, we need to iron out a few wrinkles in our present attitudes towards voting. Hence, I ask the two questions which began this article; hence, I shall end this article with their answers.
The first question “Should everyone have the right to vote?” is easy enough. Yes.* Next question. (*Assuming you are a citizen of this country. I don’t see why Bashar Al-Assad should be allowed to vote for our politicians. One could also argue about edge cases such as incarcerated felons and non-naturalized children of illegal immigrants, but still, our “representative democracy” by definition will not be representative without at least near-universal suffrage.)
The second question, “Should everyone with the right to vote do so?” is a little more interesting. I’ve already described the present dogma preached from the pulpits of Instagram by the priestly “influencers” to their youthful parishioners, which reprove the refusal to vote as “supporting one’s opponents” (coincidentally, the same as the influencer’s). Third-party voting is similarly out of the question, since everyone knows that a major party never tries to regain potential voters (he said, sarcasm dripping from his pen like blood from his lips). But should we take these dogmas as, well, dogma? Will DEMOCRACYTM perish without Joe Fratboy skipping his Tuesday morning Sociology class to vote for “the one that gets me the most bitches lmao”? I vote nay.
The idea that everyone, especially young people, needs to vote is a convenient fiction spun up by desperate partisan hacks to win short-term political victories at the expense of long-term political sanity. When every election since Adams becomes the EXISTENTIAL BATTLE FOR DEMOCRACY, those without the historical knowledge to see through the derangement (i.e. young people and baby boomers) will themselves become deranged. To force everyone to vote, regardless of their political or practical knowledge, dilutes the votes of those with practical and concrete interests (say, the carpenter who votes for a Democratic congressman to expand Medicaid, but a Republican mayor to curb crime) with those of half-baked ideological motives (say, the B.U. freshman who took an anthropology class). Unmooring politics from practicality likewise unmoors the polis from sanity. This may allow for short-term political victories for ideologues. Still, to those I say, “but for Biden?” Happy Thanksgiving, go Jets!
A POST-ELECTION ADDENDUM
>YOU BLEW IT UP!
>YOU LOST THE SENATE IN A RED WAVE YEAR!
>GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!