THE AMERICAN IDOLIZATION OF DEMOCRACY
by Steve Young
Steve Young columns
down to two. It always comes down to two.
Oh, we flirt with a couple other choices, but in the end it's really only two that have any real chance of winning.
Did you really think Kevin Covais had a chance? Nader?
Getting the populous off their collective arses and into the voting booth is what America and ABC are all about.
Then again, some would choose the Electoral College.
I don't doubt that the entire rationale for the radio Lords of Loud existence is to get the Republican base into the voting booth. There may be fewer Repubs than Dems, but we've had a string of elections that show 100 percent of 100 is far more that 10 percent of 200.
Not meant as a snide popular vote vs electoral college argument, I'm more speaking to the issue of how you get your side to win. Something Democrats might want to consider trying one day.
In politics, the voter gets to make his or her decision based on a whole bunch of spin.
On American Idol, it's based on a semblance of ability.
That's not to say that the most talented singers always win on Idol. Then again, William Hung never made it to the finals. George W. Bush did.
What I am suggesting is that if political parties want to get elected their candidates elected they might want to consider get-out-the-vote efforts that Katherine and Taylor are using.
The electorate just doesn't know how to exercise their rights. They do a wonderful job with voter registration but they treat their registration like membership to a gym. Once they join, that's the last time you'll see them at Bally's. Simply, there's far more registered voters than registered voters who vote. It's acting on that registration that seems to be the problem.
Here's where we borrow from America's hottest two-day-a-week event. On Idol voting days, contestant campaign workers arrange voting parties. The party goers show up at the designated location and amongst friends, food and cocktails, sit for hours dialing their favorite's 866 number over and over until their fingers are joyously bloodied.
Obviously, short of living in Chicago, you wouldn't be able to vote more than once in a political election, but if you can get the voters to the polls, at least you're getting them involved in the process they signed up for.
I'm advocating that on political voting Tuesdays in November, campaign workers create celebrations, not after the polls close, but while they're still open. Maybe that'll give the voters a reason to party when the polls do close.
This isn't to say that you need to get the voter drunk to get the right person in office, but it might be better than getting drunk afterwards when you realize that your dereliction of duty caused (place your worst case scenario in the last two presidential elections here) to get elected.
To date, it doesn't seem that registered voters have yet to grasp the concept that democracy works much better if you actually participate or so says the ever-deepening pockets of Simon Cowell. Perhaps registering for the party and then actually having a party might be enough of an incentive to drive a bit of interest into selecting the best people to do the job in November.
All that has to be done to deck out a bunch of mass transportation party vehicles with a nice champagne brunch and drive the folks to the polls. It could actually make the constitutional process fun and we might be able to put those abandoned New Orleans busses to work at the same time.
It's just an idea but with incumbents just about handing the election over to anyone who wants it, it wouldn't hurt to do everything to assure some new blood doesn't drop it. Otherwise, Rush, Sean and O'Reilly will be handing it to whom they're lying for.
Ah, Democracy awaits but it'll have to wait one more week. I have to get my McPhee Rocks hors d'voures ready for Tuesday night.
Steve Young, author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" can be read every Sunday in the LA Daily News Op-Ed page (right next to Bill O'Reilly)
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May 19, 2006 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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