The election is over.
It’s safe to watch football games again without being bored by candidates’ attack ads trying to convince you a vote for their opponent plunges us into the apocalypse.
We can go back to the good commercials where Flo dates Jon Hamm in insurance commercials, AT&T deals on the latest iPhone detailed by LeBron James, and testosterone supplements hawked by former star athletes Frank Thomas and Doug Flutie.
Even if she likes it, too, Frank, was it worth your dignity?
I am as glad as anyone sane to have the latest campaign end.
It’s not the attack ads that get me, though; it’s the “I Voted” stickers.
Good heavens, America.
Is this all it takes to lure you into action?
America, we’ve got to set our standards higher.
These stickers aren’t even scratch-and-sniff.
What would you do for an “I Voted” sticker that also smelled like hot, buttery popcorn?
My sixth graders would at least demand candy and chips before being dragged into something like voting.
Let me be clear: I’m not discouraging voting. I’m not encouraging it, either.
If all you want is to get a sticker and post something self-aggrandizing on social media about how crucial voting is, maybe you shouldn’t be voting.
Some people who do this will inevitably cry, “How dare you, sir! I post that sticker as but a humble reminder that it is Election Day and encourage their participation in their democracy.”
I don’t believe that for two reasons.
First, people who wear stickers after they voted are like people who post grumpy columns to their blogs They want attention.
Second, if there are people that didn’t know Tuesday was Election Day, they definitely shouldn’t be voting.
My old Drake University journalism professor, Herb Strentz, recently wrote on the lefty website Bleeding Heartland: “Every election in a democracy — from township to presidency is threatened by voters who are ill-informed, misinformed, and/or uninformed.”
Now, of course, in a free country, people with dumb, bad, or no ideas are allowed to vote.
Sometimes it seems like they’re the only people who vote.
Or maybe it seems like those are the only people who get elected.
I posted a picture of me throwing my absentee ballot into the mailbox.
I didn’t encourage anyone to vote.
The only reason I mentioned I voted was to be able to other people who asked me if I voted that I did and to please not talk to me about the election.
I’ve done all I can.
I’m not going to tell you who I voted for.
I don’t want to know who you voted for.
I absolutely don’t want to talk about what the election results mean for the next two years.
What I want is for Americans to take their democratic participation seriously.
Stop selling out for stickers.
And don’t roll over for candy and chips, either.
Hold out for money.
Cold, hard cash.
The very rich have already bought and paid for the politicians.
If we’re going to go through this charade of pretending politicians are swayed more by voting results than cash donations, we, the voters, ought to get paid for our role in the play.
I figure an individual vote for a local election — city, county, and school boards — is worth about $50.
Random ballot issues are about $25.
State elections are $75, $100 for the governor.
National elections: $150 for the House, $200 for the Senate, and $500 for the president.
This is all tax-free and in cash, of course.
You’re not going to get rich off this money, but you’re not going to get rich anyway.
You might as well have a few extra bucks in your pocket to bet on the football games.
At least we can watch them now without those damn ads.
Daniel P. Finney wrote for newspapers for 27 years before being laid off in 2020. He teaches middle school English now. He writes columns and podcasts for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating $10 a month to help him cover the expenses of this site.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
I just commented on Facebook something to the effect ‘everyone no matter how smart or dumb is entitled to vote’. I am waiting for the ‘You fascist..!!’ comment notifications to roll in.
Nice to see someone share a similar thought, if only tangentially.
P.S. I picked up a sticker …but only to give to the little kid next door …so they can ‘stick’ it somewhere totally inappropriate.
Life is good.
Good column. I don’t think they are handing out the In Voted” stickers any more and all’s the better.
Dan’l — My sticker came in very handy to cover the fudgsicle drip I got on my sweatshirt while waiting in line.
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Global warming. Back in the day, you wouldn’t have considered a fudgsicle to have dripping on you in winter.