Oct 7th, 2008 by ravi
Don’t vote!

This a “PSA” from various movie and sports personalities (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen Degeneres, Dustin Hoffman… even Sarah Silverman who otherwise has built a career out of anti-establishment behaviour, albeit with obligatory “radical” bra removal tricks and reference to herpes):

It is split into two parts. The first part has the personalities urging you to not vote, since it doesn’t matter. The second and longer part turns this around: well, if you care about [insert issue here] then may be you should vote?

This advertisement highlights the danger and possible self-defeating nature of this sort of cleverness, for unfortunately, the first part, taken seriously, makes its argument much better than the second one does. During the first part, the actor Leonardo DiCaprio exclaims “This is one of the greatest financial disasters in American history” closely followed by, I believe, the tennis player Andy Roddick asking us, “Why would you vote?”. Then come a range of voices:

Who cares? The economy is in the toilet!
Who cares about your children’s education?
Reading? Literacy?
Global warming?

Well played (if unintentionally)! Indeed we are in the midst of one of the biggest financial disasters in history. How do your representatives and candidates for PotUS act? They ignore the majority of you who were against this bailout and support it and pass it, including in it such wonderful measures as waiving federal acquisition regulations favouring minority and women owned businesses. Would your vote for McCain or Obama matter? Not really, since they both support the same action in response to the “one of the greatest financial disasters in American history”. Global warming? Both men support “clean” coal and off-shore drilling for oil. Children? McCain has battled all his congressional life against “quotas” and affirmative action, while Obama is worried about the excesses of 70s civil rights and is more interested in lecturing to black fathers.

Where the PSA shines (in the first part, that is) is in pinpointing exactly why your vote doesn’t matter: Who cares? Certainly not most of the candidates you will be permitted to choose from.

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