To: Federal Election Commission
From: Black Guy
Re: People who should be disenfranchised
I am 28 years old and I’ve never voted in a single election. Not one. As a young college student, I came to believe that electoral politics were a plot orchestrated by capitalists to keep the working class blind to the corrupt machinations of the capitalist machine. After I left school, I jettisoned that theory and promptly joined the machine, but still could not bring myself to join in on the plotting part. Not because of morals, it’s just that when Election Day rolled around, there always seemed to be a Deep Space Nine marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel.
But alas, having suffered four years under the tyrant Bush, I have come to understand the responsibilities of citizenship. I now can grasp the solemn trust that all Americans are charged with, and that includes voting. What accounts for my conversion? I suspect that like many first-time voters, I never grasped the importance of the ballot until I watched a man who brags about not reading the newspaper take the reins of the most powerful country in the world. Nothing compels you into the voting booth like the mental image of a baffled George Bush with his finger on the button.
But therein lies the problem; the idiocy of Bush has driven my lefty compatriots insane with rage. Some seriously assert that Dick Cheney is actually a robot, while others craft intricate arguments for why a ferret would make a better president than Bush. People used to tell me that if I didn’t vote, I didn’t have the right to complain. Now that I plan to vote, I’d like to complain—about other people who plan on voting.
I’m sorry commissioners, but I can’t stomach the idea of being lumped into a broad electorate of folks who’d actually elect a ferret. Sending Bush back to Crawford should not be a right but a privilege. It is with that thought in mind that I humbly demand that this honorable commission immediately sanction the following decrees.
1) At his recent White Party, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs claimed that he would make this election “the hottest, most sexiest thing ever.” Voting is a sacred ritual that should only be undertaken by those who are responsible, informed, and completely bored. Thus I demand that anyone who cast a ballot because it’s “cool,” “sexy,” or “hip” be disenfranchised for a period of not less than one year.
2) Be it left wing or right wing, propaganda is still propaganda. Thus anyone voting because they saw Fahrenheit 9/11 shall hence be forever disenfranchised. The very presence of Moore-ites at the poll demeans democracy.
3) It’s been recently reported that Republicans are actually registering voters to get Ralph Nader on the ballot. The writing is on the wall. Thus anyone planning to vote for Ralph Nader should be allowed to do so—and then publicly flogged whether Kerry wins or not.
4) And just to show that my demands aren’t just aimed at socialist pinko bastards, people who believe Saddam Hussein planned 9-11 shall be summarily disenfranchised for life. It matters not that this could equal half the electorate.
5) Getting back to the socialist pinko bastards: People who believe Bush planned 9-11 shall be summarily disenfranchised for life.
6) People who get their information from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Saturday Night Live, The Onion, or Fox “News” shall be subject to a poll tax, grandfather clause, literacy tests, and failing all else, “reeducation” camps.
7) People who complain that media is censoring “the truth” about the war—be it the slaughter of innocent Iraqis or the construction of day schools—shall be disenfranchised and sentenced to interrogation in Abu Ghraib.
8) People who believed Bush would restore dignity back to the White House shall join them.
9) People who voted for Al Sharpton in the primary shall be forced to vote for Ralph Nader in the general election—and thus be publicly flogged.
Should my demands go unmet, I shall be forced to once again withhold my vote in protest, and spend that November day wandering the streets in search of missing back issues of X-Factor, or better still, at home on the couch eating bowls of Fruity Pebbles. The choice is yours.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2004