The pathetic apathetic


Story by Eric Christenson, Editor in Chief

The easy thing to do in the months before a presidential election is to zone it all completely out. The ads, the campaigns, the debates, the gaffes, the empty chairs, John Boehner’s tears, all of it.

I’m asking you not to do the easy thing.

I think you should take the time, sift through newsreels, look at the issues, find out which ones you care about, educate yourself on the candidates, pick one that suits you and vote in November.

Again, it’s not easy.

But it’s not supposed to be. The only way we get better as a country and as a people is by doing the work and knowing our stuff. Not by asking our friends, “Hey, who should I vote for?” or, “Wait, who are the candidates?”

Saturday Night Live’s been pretty hit-and-miss the last couple of years, but on September 22, they had an excellent pre-taped sketch about undecided voters that satirized them as being completely juvenilistic, hyper-naïve goofuses.

It starts with a voiceover that says, “ … this election will be determined by the undecided voter” and says that before the election, the undecided have a few questions.  The first is innocent, with Taran Killam politely saying, “When is the election?”  Then Nasim Pedrad with “What are the names of the two people running, and be specific.”

Slowly, it divulges into “Can a woman have a baby just from French kissing,” and “If you burp, fart and sneeze at the same time, will you die?” The humor comes from the complete innocence of each of the actors as they deliver absurdity after absurdity. It’s not that they don’t care, they just are entirely uninformed about not just politics, but everything.

I’m asking you to not be like this joke.  I understand that it’s obviously an exaggeration and that it’s obviously satire, but the definition of satire is that it stems from and is rooted in reality.

I see the laments from political apathetics every single day on my Facebook news feed that they’re fed up with political ads, that they hate the candidates, that they aren’t going to vote.  This, to me, is giving up. This, to me, is chronic laziness.

Every single one of your views might not line up with 100 percent of a candidate’s platform, but that’s not enough reason to write the entire democratic process off.

If you’re that moderate, that puts you in an excellent position to be unbiased and make perhaps a better informed decision than the 96 percent of voters that are already mindlessly voting down party lines, because you took the time to weigh
out the options.

So be responsible; don’t be lazy. Be informed; don’t be cynical. Be educated, not frustrated. Do your research and make history.