I was recently asked by the DS opinion editor to write a piece satirizing the election because my articles are typically non-partisan and I am the best rated propagandist they have on the editorial staff. That and I don't like either candidate.
So a friend and I went to work last Monday and, after four hours of cracking jokes and using off the wall youtube videos (God bless Comrade Conker) as inspirations, we wrote our article that equally insulted both sides. However, our test audience of Tom, Dick, Harry, and Mom, were anything but amused. My own mother criticized me of being just as dirty and underhanded as those I criticize. Upon further examination of my article, I discovered she was right and I felt genuinely ashamed.
Now, to further illustrate this point I will utilize the powers of Captain Copy/Paste to show you guys the article. This is a People's Cube exclusive as I couldn't even post it on my blog and their respected outlets. Just know that it was supposed to be published on November 4th.
The Maverick and the Messiah (Give us Barabbas!)
"This week on the eve of the 2008 presidential election citizens of America both near and far are encouraged, but not required, to engage in one of the most sacred traditions of our (once) proud republic, voting for who we think will screw us over the least. Since the end of the multi-party system,voters have been treated to a much simpler process of selecting their candidates via either voting for the lesser of two evils or flipping a coin. While voters do not have a diverse selection to choose from,at least they can rest assured that they have a 50% chance of picking the winning ticket. However, more often than not, voters are given the choice between Busch Light and Bud Light, both leave a bad aftertaste and, unlike California, do not turn the label blue when chilled.
Let's face it! In the time of our country's greatest need where the future of our economy is uncertain,low-income families can no longer afford a five bedroom home and a Mercedes, and Oliver Stone is still allowed to make movies, THIS is the best both parties can come up with. A maverick and a messiah.
First, there's the maverick, a near geriatric senator whose number of landings does not equal his amount of takeoffs in the Navy. If being shot down makes you qualified to be president, then Owen Wilson is entitled to being crowned emperor for his role in “Behind Enemy Lines.” This guy's idea of being a “maverick” is strongly urging a $700 billion bailout despite his own admissions that he “really never understood” economics.
On top of that his ideas of continued foreign interventionism, lacking energy and education plans, and thefact that he's almost dead make him as appealing to both his conservative base and the American moderates as Joe Lieberman is to the Democrats. And who does this “maverick” nominate as his VP candidate? A former beauty queen with her own action figure line (Iown the school girl one).
Then there's the messiah, a junior senator whose experience is in question despite staying at a Holiday Inn Express. A pupil of the same political machine that lower selection controversy by voting early and often, the messiah skilfully learned the craft of community organizing by chanting two words (Hope and Change™) over and over loudly. Like many great leaders in the1930s, the messiah promotes His ideas through “truth squads,”Sunday school choirs, and military-fatigue wearing youth who refer to Him as “alpha and omega.” If you haven't heard the gospel of Hope and Change™ about the messiah, you soon will... or they'll f-wording kill you.
And who does the messiah nominate as His potential successor and harbinger of Hope and Change™? Apolitical veteran who spent the last 20 years perpetuating the same system the messiah Hopes to Change.
For the first time in history, the American people have the chance to elect either the first (50%) black president or the first senile president. It's either vote for one of those two or throw your support behind one of the unknowns at thebottom of the ballot with names like Babar. Similar to the movie“Aliens Vs. Predator,” no matter who wins we lose only the face-huggers come in the form of taxes since paying more is the“patriotic” thing to do.
However, voting is still a critical institution no matter how bad the candidates are. Sure the candidates have continued the traditional political cycle of ignoring the issues and focusing on the irrelevant shortcomings of the other(ie: sporting flag pins) but if ignoring the problems made everything go away M. Night Shyamalan would never have made “The Happening.” Voting means you have placed your support behind who you believe best represents you in hopes of defeating the one least likely to accurately represent you. Without your vote, the worser candidate is that much more likely to be your representative.
You only lose in the election if you do not vote period. Even in defeat you have the option to campaign for the issues important to you by actively lobbying your representatives or fellow voters. Even if it's a symbolic vote for a third-party,it's still taking a stand on the issues since politicians care even less about those who do not vote or advocate armed rebellion.
So on November 4th when the time comes to do your civic duty, VOTE!! Vote, no matter how tempting it is to ignore the maverick and the messiah by placing“Barabbas” in the fill-in spot (Barabbas! Give us Barabbas!!)."
Out of character: I really did feel as though I've stooped down too far so I went back to the drawing board by myself and drafted up this.
What We've Become
"Originally I had written an article satirizing both presidential candidates as they provided me with plenty of material to work with. I then criticized both sides for being nothing but downright dirty and underhanded by conjuring up any allegations they could come up, exaggerate and spin their voting records, and even go after the candidate's families. All this for political gain.
As I proofread my work I came to a shocking realization. In my efforts to satirize those who use dirty tricks and insults to further their candidate, I was using the same tactics to further my article. I even went as far as to facetiously refer to Obama as the “messiah” and mock the events surrounding McCain's POW status. It's one thing to make light of Amy Winehouse or use defecating similes to describe Uwe Boll films (I just finished“In the Name of the King”) for the sake of humor and good fun,but it's another thing entirely to go after someone for the sole purpose of hurting them. It's vindictive, disrespectful, and highly unprofessional.
I am ashamed that I fell into this trap and I fear it is a symptom of a much larger problem in our society.
Granted elections have always been a a full-contact sport that would make Manchester United fans cower in fear, however, in the past year the elections have been nothing but insults with no projected policies, no proposed solution, and no mercy. There hasn't even been a half-hearted attempt to appeal to people with words like “lock box.” At least that's a proposed policy as opposed to the empty platitudes we see in this election.
Today we, as the American people, go after anyone and everyone who might disagree with us despite the fact that we need their vote. We label them with contemporary scarlet letters like “racist,” “ignorant,” or “un-American” when they disagree. We go after those asking the tough questions,disregarding the inquiry entirely as if the person asking is more important than the answer. We market our candidates not by pointing out their accumulated merit or proposed policy if elected but by demonizing our opponents. I cannot watch the post season or a single episode of Smallville (Bite me, I think Chloe is hot) without witnessing the highly contested Minnesota senatorial race and hearing how much the other candidate sucks. It's just not respectable or fun anymore.
A friend of mine once described elections as a “sporting event” in terms of excitement. I respectfully disagree. To me, it is more like the running of the bulls in Spain; the longer your stay in the race, the more likely you are to get a horn up your ass.
Perhaps I am naive and am finally becoming aware of the political machine or maybe I'm fed up with it entirely. Either way the insulting, the witch-hunts, the going after the families, it all needs to stop. We need to get away from the mud-slinging and back to addressing the issues and debating the possible solutions. It is time to stop griping and start discussing. If we are to survive as a nation in this time of economic uncertainty, we need to stop blaming each other and start figuring out how to fix the situation.
I doubt we will ever suppress our malevolent nature, especially before election day, but I will do my part by listening to what others have to say without reservation. I will engage others in civil political discourse to better my own perceptions and possibly improve theirs. I know I am a young idealist, who still believes in the American republic and the importance of voting, but I believe we can improve ourselves as individuals and later try to restore the system to a position of honor and integrity. I will not hold my breath but, like the Boston Red Sox, I will not stop trying until either I've achieved my objective or the season is over.
What say you?"
I know I'm being severely out of character, but this election has emotionally drained me to the point where intellectual discourse makes me want to crawl into a bottle of Busch Light... BUSCH LIGHT people and not Bud Light!!
Come with me and we will address your concerns with the Central Committee for Correct Politics (CCCP) who will assign an "adviser" to assist you with your political observations.
Trust me, his methods are persuasive (he is a former union/community organizer) and you will be a new man.