Tag Archive for vote

I Rocked That Vote

And I hope you did, too.

Many years ago, I used to be one of those “both options suck so why bother?” people, but I’ve come to a few realizations since then.

Decisions, decisions... #ElectionDay

Hey, where’s the “Shit Sandwich” option?

For one, there’s more at stake than the presidency. There’s U.S. Congress and there are state legislature and local seats. While the politicians and the media are loathe to admit it, several of these will have a far greater impact on my way of life than the guy sitting in the Oval Office. For example, the county board here was in great contention over whether or not to allow wind farms to be constructed in our county, and a number of seats were turned over.

Then there’s the question of state and local decisions. Today, Illinois had a question about amending our state’s constitution which will directly affect the pension of teachers and other state employees in the future. In the past, several Illinois counties have voted whether or not to allow concealed carry of firearms. School districts have referenda that can drastically impact our property tax bills and the education of our children. Federal government decisions are slow and cumbersome; state and local decisions can hit us immediately.

Don’t like either candidate? That’s fine. Vote Green. Vote Libertarian. Give a third party a voice. Show the Big Two and the media that you’re sick of the bi-partisanship. Don’t think it can happen? We did it in the Illinois governor race a few years ago by giving the Greens 14% of the vote, if memory serves. Voting for third parties is not throwing away your vote because you’re still raising your voice.¬†Not showing up is throwing away your vote.

Finally, there’s the issue of voice. I agree the First Amendment guarantees us all the right to bitch whether or not we cast our vote, but by staying at home, it shows we just don’t care. Poor turnouts show the politicians it doesn’t matter what they do, because we’re not going to stop them. The Electoral College may be a dated, questionable process, but everyone examines the popular vote just the same. One vote may be irrelevant in a county that will lean hard toward red every time, but it reminds the locals that there are still different opinions out there.

So you’re damn right I voted.

Walked there in the rain, had a fine-point pen for filling in ballot bubbles, but I did it. #ElectionDay

All done. Do I get my shit sandwich now?

I’m fortunate it didn’t take any time at all in my precinct. I didn’t have to deal with electioneers, I didn’t have to deal with a confusing ballot or a potentially rigged electronic system, and I didn’t have to jump through crazy oops and show five IDs to obtain my ballot and fill it out.

A number of my friends in larger precincts are dealing with long lines. There are reports of hassles and electioneering. There are stories about voter ID problems and questions. Videos like this one out of a Pennsylvania booth aren’t helping:

There are going to be cheats. There are going to be assholes. There are going to be corrupt officials trying to influence the vote in every way they can, whether or not their parties or candidates are directly aware of it.

This makes it even more important to show up. Keep these bastards honest. In a day when half the people have cameras in their pockets, it’s a lot harder for the people in charge to get away with shady dealings. They’re going to be a lot more intimidated by a recording device aimed their way than they will somebody complaining.

“All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

— Edmund Burke

Don’t be that good man (or woman) doing nothing.¬†Stop making excuses.


About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Would You Elect These People?

I think I solved the mystery of why the media doesn’t list third-party presidential candidates: a lot of them are unelectable whackjobs.

Let’s start simple, shall we? Consider Gene Amondson. Judging by his website, Gene’s primary goal is to promote his web designer. Nothing says you’re a valid presidential candidate like a front page that has absolutely nothing to do with you or your platform. And look! Gene’s also a wood carver and pie cook. Isn’t that swell? Wading past all that crap, we finally discover Gene is running on the Prohibition Party ticket.

Yes, it’s exactly what you think: ol’ Gene wants to ban alcohol. Because, you know, Prohibition worked so well the first time around.

Fortunately it appears Gene’s more interested in making a point and promoting his Billy Sunday impersonations than actually becoming president, so let’s move on.

Meet Da Vid, the candidate fronting the Light Party. Mr. Vid is full of love. He thinks peace and love will save the world, and wants to replace “liberty and justice for all” with “health, peace and freedom for all.” He’s even going to build a snazzy Global Peace Center that will be a shining beacon for all humanity to embrace his message of love.

The guy’s a frickin’ Care Bear. Maybe he can team up with Gene up there and replace booze with pot and patchouli. Then we can all hold hands and head for the Global Peace Center (complete with prerequisite pyramid) where we’ll all drink the Kool-Aid and catch the next ride to Heaven.

Think I’m being too harsh? Behold The Metacube. Tell me that’s not the result of a three-day acid binge. Now he wants to share his vision with you. The Metacube will use its wondrous holographic imagery to teach you things, and you will enjoy such “Artaining” artifacts as The Violet Flame Initiation and A Comic Christmas Celebration (ooh! Parts 1and 2!). No more bombs, bullets and boobs to harsh your mellow.

You know, this guy just may have a shot. Because as well all know, everybody loves brainwashing.

Last but not least, we have my favorite candidate, Jack Grimes. I’ll let his picture do the talking:

Jack Grimes and his wicked cool Spartan helmet

Looking at the head of the United Fascist Union, I think we finally know what became of Ogre following the events in Revenge of the Nerds. How is Jack an unelectable crackpot? Let us count the ways.

First, he’s even less web-savvy than Gene Amondson. Jack can’t even be bothered to register his own domain name, and has instead co-opted somebody else’s Tripod account. I didn’t even know Tripod still existed, but there it is, powering the web for crackpots who can’t spring for three bucks a month.

Second, just look at that helmet.

Third, nothing endears a candidate to the people like touting the political ideals of Benito Mussolini and Saddam Hussein.

Fourth, just look at that helmet.

Fifth, snazzy matching uniforms for himself and his intended First Lady. Yeah. That’s sexy.

Sixth? You guessed it! Just. Look. At. That. HELMET! Only one man’s is more awe inspiring.

Okay okay, so he looks like a douchebag. Let’s at least give his issues a chance. I’ll start with the FAQ. It says I can make big bucks if I click on… oh, wait. That’s the Tripod pop-up ad. I’ll try again.

Ah, here we go. Blah blah blah… fascism… yadda yadda… class struggle… blah blah… Saddam Hussein… Wait! What’s this? “I would also halt urban sprawl by reviving center cities across America & enacting rules of public conduct that police would rigidly enforce.”

Ooh, Thoughtcrime! I can’t wait to see how that would work. I wonder if it will involve snazzy helmets?

Then he tells us what he’d tackle first in his Presidential Priorities.

Numero uno? Abolish paper money and replace it with a work point system. Apparently you get credit for the work you do, which you can then use to buy things. How novel! Screw salary, I want work credits! His second priority is to make things cheaper. No, really, that’s it: make things cheaper. I’m guessing work at the Chuck E. Cheese hasn’t been very fulfilling for Mr. Grimes.

Finally (yep, that’s right, three whole priorities), he intends to “create a league of nine or ten nations that would form a Confederacy of States to create a global government.” Nine or ten? Thanks for being specific. Dare I ask which nations? I get the feeling Chavez and Ahmadinejad will be numbers 2 and 3 in his Fave 5SM. Maybe Jack will bring helmets to their first summit.

So I get it now. The mainstream media isn’t going to give lip service to crackpots, even if it would be worth a few laughs and might jack up ratings. I say we force the media to give people like Grimes the attention they so richly deserve! On election day, I’ll be wearing the following button on my lapel:

“Vote Grimes 2008. Just for spite.”

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.