Myth of the American Idle

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Sunday’s presidential debate featured a room full of undecided voters asking the candidates questions. Well, I have a question for them: What the f**k?!??

Are they the most diligent people on earth, poring over The Economist and Foreign Policy for nuances? Or, is their existence more mystifying than the big bang. Or, a 10th season of The Big Bang Theory.

In an election with two of the most polarizing, public candidates in history, it’s more work to stay ignorant. Every screen explodes with information. Especially, the Samsungs.  The slightest movement on Facebook will expose you to something resembling knowledge. Not to mention co-workers, friends and family.  Yet, somehow, we choose to glorify these American Idles.

We never stop lowering the bar in this Battle for the Befuddled.

I have to show a photo ID to buy liquor, cigarettes and chips at Trump Taj Mahal…oh right, RIP… But when I vote, Nixon’s nanny only asks for my name, signature and if I’ve seen her glasses. (They’re on her head. They’re always on her head.)

Yes, we need to work towards more seamless registration, as Oregon has. But how did showing ID – something every major democracy requires – become too taxing?

r305322_13325822[4]That’s the least of it. Only 50% bother voting!!

I can respect if someone willfully abstains. But millions are spent on “get out the vote” campaigns. Celebrities can’t stop courting these clods.

And poor Puff Daddy, P-Diddy, Diddy and Sean Jean has to practically scare people to death before they’ll consider voting. Vote or Die! Please choose the latter. (Yes, it’s the thing you climb.  Shhh…they don’t know.)

Why are we so eager for dunces to seal our fate? But not for dalmatians to drive? Or, raccoons to perform c-sections?

Because it’s is all a sham.

As Mike Rowe observes, “Does anyone actually believe that Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ed Norton would encourage the “masses” to vote, if they believed the “masses” would elect Donald Trump?”

Similarly, Republicans try to trick “the masses” away from the polls like it’s a Roadrunner cartoon. They know low turnouts favor their team.

Herding sheep to the polls does for democracy what sacks of saccharine do for the malnourished. It’s cynical and cancerous. Millions of uninformed voters don’t strengthen our republic. Engaged, critical-thinking citizens do.

Arab Spring created many democracies. For five minutes. But limping lambs always attract wolves. Our wolves already walk among us.

Still, people in Afghanistan risk their lives to vote. We beg boneheads to do it. Or, trick them not to try.

If typing “tariffs” into Google is too much work, stay home, Citizen. We’ve got this.

We might get the government we deserve, but our Idles deserve to live with it.


(This is an updated excerpt from my original Forbes piece, 7 Ways to Detox American Politics. Also read Mike Rowe’s more diplomatic take on this topic & my related viral classic, Fire. Them. All.

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