Opinion

If Voting Is Mandatory, Can We At Least Pick The Candidates?

Patrick Howley Political Reporter

President Obama this week called mandatory voting “a better strategy” than the voluntary voting system that America has now.

Obama is still a sad sack about low voter turnout in the midterms, which Nancy Pelosi chalked up to nobody knowing that there was a midterm going on (does anyone still dispute that Democrats are the low-information voters?)

Mandatory voting is a completely undemocratic idea, but whatever. So is mandatory health insurance and regulating the Internet and seat belts and stoning people to death for making gay jokes and most other things that progressives are in favor of. Before this plan becomes official policy — and Melissa Harris-Perry marches us all to the polls with hard finger-pointing jabs to our backs — I have only one request: Can we at least pick the candidates?

In November 2016, voters will decide between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. I know this because I get the exclusive email blasts from the [Redacted] Foundation Institute Inc., a Washington-based progressive think tank that brings together corporate and government stakeholders for important bipartisan policy decisions and which might or might not actually exist (don’t tell anyone I mentioned them). Anyway, they’re going with Jeb and Hillary as the names they’re going to put on your ballot.

Logo of the [Redacted] Foundation Institute Inc.

eye animated GIF

First of all, who is Jeb Bush? I remember Dana Carvey and his son, the cowboy hat guy who made the war in Iraq. But Jeb? Who the hell has thought about Jeb Bush for more than a passing minute in their entire lives? He hasn’t been governor in eight years. How does he even get on the news? Why is “Jeb Bush Thinking About Running For President” a more newsworthy headline than “Patrick Howley Thinking About Dating Emma Stone”?

That Bush is the front-runner before anyone has even voted just makes voting seem all the more ceremonial. People just kind of look around and wonder, “How do they come up with the candidates? And who are ‘They’?”

I mean, really, how do they pick these people? A handful of guys named “Kenneth” rent out a hotel ballroom in Anaheim, compare Andover class rings and divorce lawyers, and put the names “Bush” and “Rockefeller” into a bowler hat like the handbook tells them to? They can pull up in their Japanese cars at 10:30, choose the next president, send their pick to the Washington press corps, grab a salad from Chop’t and be home to their blonde wives before “House Hunters.”

And then months later we’re all going to be forced to go pull a stupid “Bush” lever?

Here’s the last son of George Bush, eight years before we had to elect him president. That worked out great.

Making people show up to vote for candidates they didn’t pick is literally a human rights violation.

As for Hillary Clinton, NOBODY likes her. Nobody. How can someone be president if 100 percent of the country hates them? Here’s the thing about Hillary …

Excuse me? Who are you? Why are you touching me? Why are you grabbing my arm? Stop. HELP! HELP! Where are you taking me? Oh my God. Oh my God, no! NO! Let history remember me as an above-average but rarely-acclaimed alternative news reporter. (muffled sobbing)

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