I'm too lazy to look up the exact numbers, but about 40 or so percent of Americans vote. So generally, I make the assumption that the True American Voting Population comprises of the following.
A) Those who are very very smart.
B) Those who are very very dumb.
C) Some sort of special interest group.
Group C is where I would put the single-issue voters, as well as the one guy who votes for Kucinich every year (even non-election ones). Generally, unless there's a really pressing issue (like say, an ongoing, incompetently-run war against islamist extremists), I safely ignore Group C when analyzing political votes and crap. The only time Group C is really important is in the primary season, because they're the only ones who give a fuck. The subset of Group C you have to really keep an eye on this year would be the anti-illegal-immigration people (though I think it's pretty obvious where they're going to vote this time). My favorite drinking game thus far is to take a shot whenever a Democratic candidate waffles on the issue during a debate. My 2nd favorite drinking game is Beer Pong. Or taking a shot whenever Tom Tancredo looks really pleased with himself. And I don't mean the "oh, I'm reasonably concerned about illegal immigrants and their effect on public services" people. I'm talking about the people who squawk about the dilution of the American way of life, the people who complain when their McDonalds cashier doesn't seem to speak English very well (Is your McDonalds order SO ADVANCED that you can't just point at what you want? Or use your fingers? Really?). The people who you know are only a few beers away from going off on how the white race has gotten the big ol shaft ever since that commie MLK got shot. Those people, I'm calling it.
Which comes down to my main point I suppose. Group A, the really smart people, are hopelessly outnumbered by Group B, the really dumb people. For every one person who meticulously goes through each candidate's health, tax, and foreign relation plans; there are 100 people who are going to vote based on some irrational criteria, like you think the candidate has a really weird smile (Hillary Clinton), or the candidate's voice is just way too high pitched for their body-type (Mitt Romney. Seriously, the dude is built like a linebacker but he talks like a castrated hobbit). Group B is the kingmaker of American Politics. I'm absolutely convinced this is why Gore and Kerry lost. Because let's face it, Gore (at the time) was a humorless blob; and Kerry couldn't even give the effort to pretend he believed the bullshit coming out of his mouth. Oh, and for all purposes, I'm including party diehards in Group B. Voting right down the party line regardless of candidates is dumb, people. That's how incompetent racist assholes become judges.
But that's not a bad thing, per se. You see, I'm a member of Group B. AH-HA! You thought I was going to crack on dumb people again, weren't you? Since most people here are probably of Group A, listen up, I'm about to give you insider information into how a typical American votes. Prepare to be horrified.
I've only voted in two elections thus far. Gore/Bush and Kerry/Bush. Each time I went in assuming basically two things:
– Everything a candidate says is bullshit.
– Every promise they make will not be fulfilled, either at all or only partially satisfied.
-70% of what a candidate says about the other candidate's background/past decisions is either a total falsehood or the work of an "overzealous staffer".
I had no intentions of hearing about proposed plans that have no realistic chances of going through as promised. Health, tax, environmental. Whatever. In my opinion, the most common mistake a candidate can make is to answer the "he/she gives no specifics!" criticism, with… well… specifics. Then all the other candidates can nitpick the specifics with specifics of their own. So now you have candidates dissing other candidates on proposals that have no remote chance of passing in it's current form. It's the real-life equivalent of two 12-year olds arguing about hypothetical patch changes in World of Warcraft. In a debate, it's unbelievably asinine to listen to. Both on the forums and in political debates.
So, I've established that I think nearly everything that comes out of a candidate's campaign is garbage and shouldn't be paid attention to. The obvious question is now, "Derrick, how the hell do you figure out who to vote for?"
I ask myself a few simple questions.
- "Is this guy smart enough to personally understand the issues surrounding him?"
- "Do I trust this guy's finger on the button?"
- "How much experience have they had with True Executive Power?"
- "Can I bear to look at this guy's smiling face for the next 4 years?"
So, I voted for Gore and Kerry (ugh). I'll show you what I was thinking when I did so, as much as it shames me to do so.
- He can be a really big douchebag about it, but yeah, I can trust that he knows what's going on.
- I think he would be really hesitant to use the button, but probably would use it if obviously appropriate.
- He was Vice-President. It was the Bill Clinton show during those 8 years, but I'm giving him benefit of the doubt.
- Looks pleasant enough I suppose.
Bush (00 election)
- He's an idiot.
- He's an idiot.
- He's an idiot.
- He's an idiot.
- He could possible be the biggest double-talking, waffling, won't-shut-the-hell-up, political douchebag I have ever met, but he probably knows what's really going on.
- He would probably be really hesitant to use it, and will probably hesitate even when it's glaringly obvious it's appropriate. But he'll push it.
- Senators don't count as Executive Experience. Plus, you know, douchebag.
- Oh God no, but see below.
- He's the most dangerous idiot I've ever known.
- I think sometimes he just sits there and STARES at the button, imagining what it would feel like to push it. Would it click? Would horns blare out? Would the White House transform into a giant robot he could pilot (That would be awesome, btw)?
- He can't even control his own cabinet.
- His smile is vacant of all thought.
So there, I've exposed myself as a typical Dumb American Voter. Now granted, I'm not judging candidates by accent or tie color, but it's certainly not a particularly deep, educated analysis. But you know something that's awesome? You can research your candidates all you want, but it'll count exactly the same as mine. As my vote will count the same as the guy who votes for Jerry Springer. Or the guy who can't read. Or the dude who wears a shirt with a Bald Eagle fighting a Snake and pounds Bud Light like there was no tomorrow. Well that just depressed me. So hopefully my post depressed you!
Last 5 posts by Derrick
- POPEHAT 2016 POST-ELECTION GUIDE - November 9th, 2016
- POPEHAT 2016 ELECTION DAY GUIDE - November 8th, 2016
- Ask PopeHat! 11/4/2016 - November 4th, 2016
- Whether in a car or on a horse / We don't mind using excessive force - April 23rd, 2013
- No Shit - March 28th, 2013