09
Aug
12

Election 2012

The 2012 American Presidential Election will occur about three months from now*.  It is becoming difficult to ignore.  This is despite (1) not watching television except through the glorious filtered lens of the DVR, (2) almost solely reading Google News headlines, reading ArsTechnica, and listening to NPR as news sources, (3) not owning a landline, and (4) not living in a “swing” state.  Point number one is great because I don’t have to watch political ads.  (Oh no!  How will I become ‘informed’ about the candidates and their positions!)  Point number two is important because it doesn’t involve the 24-hour news networks, which are tools of Satan.  Point number three allows me to avoid all but the most determined political pollsters.  …and point number four is a nice coincidence that means less money gets spent trying to shout at me and everyone else in California.  If you’re reading this, and you live in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, or a couple others, well, I feel for you.**

Now I realize that the Supreme Court has enshrined political speech of almost all types as free speech under the First Amendment, but around election time, particularly Presidential election time, I find myself wishing for the powers of a despot.  You know, so I could make an arbitrary set of rules like the following:

  1. No money or time may be spent advocating for a particular candidate or candidate’s position unless specifically called for in these rules.
  2. There shall be three Presidential debates.  Questions can be submitted by anyone, and the questions asked during the debate by the moderator(s) will be chosen by a committee made up of three representatives of each candidate and the moderator(s).  The debates will be held during primetime, begin three weeks prior to the election, and will be weekly.
  3. The candidates will be responsible for accurately stating their positions on various key issues.  This information will be included in the voter information pamphlet given to every eligible voter.
  4. In addition to the three debates, each candidate will have the opportunity to make two twenty minute documentaries: one about themselves and one about their opponent(s).  These will be fact-checked by a non-partisan panel and will be televised once per week for three weeks prior to the election.  Documentaries must be factual in content, but give the opportunity to comment on candidates’ voting records, character, background, etc.
  5. Election day will be a national holiday.  Every employer must allow employees time to vote.  Every citizen that is eligible to vote must vote unless they pay a small fine.

Now as a despot, I’m sure my lust for power would eventually cause me to abolish these silly election things altogether and write lots of other rules granting me all sorts of cool titles: “Supreme Lord of This That and The Other Thing”, “Grand Master of Chess, Checkers, the Internet, Water Polo, and Chili Cookoffs”, etc, etc.  Still, it might worth the risk.  I kind of like these five arbitrary rules.  Can you imagine not having to listen to candidates and their talking heads say the same things over and over again with only the occasional break to talk about some ridiculous phrase they managed to parse out of the other candidate’s speech?***  It would be glorious.  Like nothing else on this Earth.  Vote me in as despot, and I promise those are the only five rules I’ll ever make.

I’m Matt Fairbanks, and I approved this message.

*Forewarning: I’m not really sure where this bit of writing is going, and it may not end up anywhere in particular.  Just so you know.

**Unless you’re employed by a network affiliate in one of those states, in which case you’re probably doing well since all your advertising spots are sold out from here to the election.

*** “I like firing people…” and “…if you have a business, you didn’t build that…”, I’m looking pissed off at you right now.

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1 Response to “Election 2012”


  1. 1 Brianna
    08/14/2012 at 10:55

    I am Brianna Fairbanks, and I approve of your proposed rules.


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