The thoughts expressed within this editorial reflect only the opinions of Editor Derek Evers and do not necessarily represent the feelings or opinions of everyone at the Tripwire.
If I hadn't realized there are so many people inspired to vote today, all I had to do was open my e-mail this week. Without ever signing up for any politico junkie website updates or RSS feeds I've still been bombarded by e-mails, newsletters, press releases about election day concerts, CDs or just other words of voting inspiration. The thing is, despite being registered as an Independent, the only candidate whose supporters are spamming me are Barack Obama's. Now, I realize that a great majority of the young people involved in the music industry support Obama, but as today approached it got worse and worse, leading me to wonder -- is everyone inspired by change really this annoying?
"If you read one email today, read this one." Really? What gives you the gall to tell me what to read?
"Finally, change we can believe in." Yeah, and the other side is saying Christianity is the moral ground we can believe in. What makes you different? And where have you been the three years leading up to this one? Hell, where were you during the last election when we could've actually changed the past eight years of political defecation into only four?
"Hey everyone, don't forget to Barack The Vote!" Ok, now they've officially pissed me off. Every opinion is bearable until it is transformed into a marketing slogan that is so undeniably cheesy it might actually inspire more violence than voting. No wonder Republicans can actually win elections by trying to get people to hate Democrats -- it's so much easier than actually getting people to like Republicans.
In fact, the Republicans have it down; they've reduced their arguments and slogans to revolve around the only things that will get the rural working class to vote for tax breaks for the wealthy: Abortion, guns, fear of people that look different and religion, which is kind of like the umbrella that all of the previous topics can fit under. See, I don't believe in reducing an election to topics that will never really become serious issues for our Country's leaders, but you have to realize the genius and power in their message of "we're not sure what we like, but we know we definitely don't like that."
Conversely, what's the best the Democrats have come up with? "Vote or Die?" I'm sure Biggie doesn't see the irony in Diddy's gimmick to sell some t-shirts, er, I mean, get people to vote. "Rock The Vote?" Those MTV specials lasted for all of one election. And now "Barack The Vote?" Seriously? A man inspiring thousands, if not millions of people to get up and vote -- many for the first time in their lives -- and the best the Democrats can come up with is the political equivalent of those "got pot" t-shirts they sell at novelty stores in the mall?
"Baracking The Vote" symbolizes everything that is wrong with how the Democrats conduct business during the electoral process. Everyone that is "Baracking The Vote" is, in essence, the bandwagon fan of politics. The people who like to complain about things without actually doing anything. For instance, how many people have been asked to Barack the Feds into forcing the banks to re-invest the tax-payer money that was used to bail them out of the mortgage crisis back into our economy? Why hasn't anyone been fighting hard to Barack the insurance companies into providing affordable health care for every American citizen regardless of who the president is? And no one seems to care that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to forgo Barracking any vote and essentially bought the right to a third term despite voters turning it down twice in the past decade. That's because the sad reality is most Democrats don't vote based on policies, Democrats vote based on what is deemed cool.
This is why Democrats alienate so many people -- they don't even realize how cheesy they are being. Don't forget, this is the party that let a war hero be reduced to a "swift boat incident" without even so much as a fight. Imagine if the Republicans ran a slogan-filled campaign around "Barack Obama totally Balacks the experience to be president" (copyright pending), wouldn't you just laugh? To put it into terms most Democrats can understand; Billy Joel's daughter Alexa Ray will be voting for Barack Obama. Christie Brinkley's daughter Alexa Ray will be "Baracking The Vote."
Now to be certain, this is a historical election. Regardless of the outcome we will have either the highest-ranking African American or woman in office. And based merely on the fact that a woman and a black man are in the running should inspire record setting voter turnouts. So long after the ironic political t-shirts are being worn as your "work-out" or "layin' around the house" attire, hopefully your lazy ass will still be inspired to clamor for "change." Because no matter how much change we expect and hope our voting will launch, don't fool yourself into thinking its the Bush regimes' fault for the last eight years. Nope, the biggest problem facing this country and the reason for the last eight years of horrible leadership is apathy.
Apathy is the reason Bush has lasted this long. Apathy is the reason we didn't turn out in record numbers last election. And, God forbid, the worst case scenario happens and Barack Obama wins the popular vote but loses the general election sending America spiraling into chaos, apathy is the reason the last people I want on my team when the revolution begins is anyone wearing a "Barack The Vote" t-shirt.
So please vote today. Vote for the candidate you believe in. Vote for the candidate you think will lead this Country to a better place. And above all, don't stop caring when today is over. Many people will tell you the Presidential election is one of the least important elections because any real change happens on the local level. So stay involved in your local politics. Demand answers from politicians all the time. Become, and inspire those around you to become, role models and leaders in your community. But whatever you do, please don't "Barack The Vote."