“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken

Just when you thought you could finally forget about politics for a while or at least leave it to the Berkeley mobs and the foul-mouthed chuckleheads on late night TV, along comes another election. We’re not overjoyed about it either, but voting is, like, our civic duty n at, right?

Idler 226 B

We’re talking about the primary election, scheduled for next Tuesday. How’s that? You say it doesn’t gun your motor? Hey, we get it, there aren’t any big national offices, like president or senator, up for grabs and on top of everything else, it’s a primary. Primaries only determine which candidates get to actually run under a party’s banner in the Fall general election.

But think about it, if you don’t make sure the right guy gets your party’s nod, come Fall, you may stroll into the polls faced with a choice between the gin-soaked scoundrel the other guys are putting up and the two faced lout your party picked in your absence.

And let’s not kid ourselves here, it’s no secret that most of us live in one-party towns, at least where elections for local offices are concerned. I’m not saying which party, but it rhymes with “memo flat.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the point is, in towns like those, the primary is the election.

Wait, I hear a lot of harrumphing from the civic-minded crowd. They’re saying every citizen should participate in every election by going to the polls and letting their voices be heard. Exercise that franchise! Well excu-u-u-use us for saying so, but we don’t buy it.

Despite what the voting-nazis say, there are actually plenty of good reasons for not pulling the lever. First, Pennsylvania does not allow cross-over voting. This is a total travesty of the democratic process from our point of view because it completely eliminates your ability to mess with the other guys. We’d bet you a beer that this scene was re-enacted in cross-over voting friendly states all over the country last May:

Democrat #1 – Hey, I have an idea, let’s jerk the Republicans around by crossing over and getting them to nominate their most ridiculous candidate!

Democrat #2 – Great idea! Which one, the short guy from Florida or the one from Texas, looks like a funeral director?

Democrat #1 – How about the loudmouth from New York with the wacky hairdo?

Democrat #2 – The one that calls all the other ones names? Ha-ha! Perfect!

Notice how the voters in other states are having all the fun while we’re stuck in a no-fun, non-crossover straitjacket of a state? Think about it, what if you belong to an obscure party that doesn’t field a full slate of candidates, like practically every one that doesn’t rhyme with steno-slats? Worse yet, what if you’re an Independent? They don’t have a slate of candidates, do they? If they did, all the members of the Independent party would start yelling, “You can’t tell us how to vote! We’re independent!” So, heck, they totally stay home.

Well, desperate voters, you’ve come to the right place, because we just happen to have the answer to your ballot bummer blues. Instead of staying home and watching fake news with irritated independents, go down to the polls and stride manfully (or woman-fully, whatever) up to the counter and ask for a ballot, and when they tell you they don’t have ballots anymore, they have voting machines, tell them, okay then, you want one of those.

So then when you look at the screen and find out, a) there’s no one on it you want to vote for, or b) there’s no one on it you can cross over to vote for, or, c) there’s no one on it because your party, Americans for Free Beer, didn’t field a candidate for that office, what do you do?

WRITE SOMEONE IN.

There’s a little onscreen keyboard just for that purpose. You can write us in if you want, but we’re totally Shermanesque – as in, we won’t run and we won’t serve – on the subject. If you think your optician would make a good public servant, write her in. Is your bartender a sympatico hombre? Write him in. Your realtor must have a stake in the community, at least in its front yards. Write her in. We think we might write Hillary in. She could use a little ego boost after last Fall.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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