Vote Early, Vote Often
With a big mid-term election coming up, here is a short political primer for you, excerpted from my upcoming book, “TAYLOR MASON: IRREVERSIBLE.”
“Vote early, vote often” used to be a punch line. Now it’s campaign platform for every election in the USA.
The elephant as a mascot for the Grand Old Party (emphasis on “OLD”) is perfect: a big, slow-moving beast that can make a lot of noise, likes to follow others in line and is often found in a circus (i.e., Washington, DC). Not to mention that it’s often frightened of the littlest things (the “mouse-in-the-room,” as it were, like a 1% tax on corporate profits).
Whoever made the mule the mascot for the Democratic Party could not have known how prescient that choice is, because it represents them brilliantly: stubborn, braying, and a creature doing its best work while wearing blinders. Not to mention its lack of brainpower.
I’ve always taken the attitude that whoever is in power is “wrong.”* That’s not always right, politically or literally, but it is the mode that works best for writing jokes. Er… at least it used to be. Starting sometime in 2003 or 2004, it became impossible to be “go after those in power.” We are a partisan, divided, angry, narcissistic bunch of people here in the United States, and we will not listen to ANYTHING that doesn’t adhere to the party we’ve chosen.
Up until 2008, the Republicans bore the brunt of most of my jokes. On occasion I was asked, and more often I was told (loudly and forcefully), in person and online, to “stop making fun of conservatives!”
After the election of 2008 when the Democrats took over, it became very difficult to write jokes about the president or the liberals in the USA. I still find it hilarious that the people who now ridicule me for making fun of “progressives” (what a misnomer that is! Progressive? If we follow the plans for the future that “progressives” want to instill in our country, we’re going to
REGRESS!) said NOTHING while I was making fun of President Bush and the GOP.
*NOTE: I took that comedy writing position (whoever is in power is wrong) after reading an interview with the cartoonist Gary Trudeau, of “Doonesbury” fame - one of my favorite comic strips from the 80s and 90s. He’s since changed his position – he’s now anti-conservative only - which is fine. He’s still brilliantly funny, just one-sided and myopic.
Here’s an example: for years I have been listening to House Republicans crow about the “laws we have sent to the Senate, all of which have been rejected!” As if that is something to be proud of! Because the job of representative or senator is to PASS LAWS. To do that you have to work. You have to find common ground with people who have no interest in dealing with you or your ideas.
You have to be a great communicator, an inspirer, a motivator and a leader. In short, YOU HAVE TO WORK REALLY HARD. Instead, what we get are a bunch of lawyers and rich businessmen throwing stuff against the wall and saying “we tried, but THE OTHER GUY won’t go along.”
That’s like me writing a monologue of jokes that nobody laughs at. “Hey, I tried, but nobody laughed.”
Here’s the difference: if I do that, I can’t pay the taxes, bills and outrageous Obamacare fees our legislators throw at me every other week. But when nothing happens in politics? Nobody takes responsibility. They fail and then go on vacation! AND VOTE THEMSELVES A RAISE!
Fewer than 45% of us will vote. I vote for the best reason there is: it means I’m part of the process and I can have my say. Because if you don’t vote you don’t get to complain. That is the ethical truth. If you’re not part of the process, then you have no right to share your opinion. Close to 60% of the people reading this never cast a ballot. They whine and moan about government as much as anybody else - which is just as hypocritical and insincere as the awful politicians we elect.
I said above that we are a partisan, divided, angry, narcissistic bunch of people. We are. And we get the government we deserve, which is a partisan, divided, angry, narcissistic bunch of men and women in Washington, DC; in state capitols; and in big city governments.
So someone has to ridicule their stupidity and inability to accomplish anything. That’s where I come in!
NOTE: in this upcoming election on November 4, 2014, there is a chance that Republicans will take over the House of Representatives and the Senate.
WARNING TO DEMOCRATS: this is what happens when you are really oppressive and you do an awful job.
MOTIVATION FOR DEMOCRATS: don’t worry! The people who are replacing you are just as dumb, insincere and worthless as you are! You’ll be back in power in no time! GUARANTEED!