Mike Rowe said he doesn’t think celebrities would encourage “the masses” to vote if they thought it meant a conservative would get elected.
After a reader asked the 54-year-old host of “Dirty Jobs” to encourage his fans to vote in the presidential election this November, Rowe politely declined with a brutal response.
“I share your concern for our country, and agree wholeheartedly that every vote counts,” Rowe responded in a lengthy Facebook post. “However, I’m afraid I can’t encourage millions of people whom I’ve never met to just run out and cast a ballot, simply because they have the right to vote. That would be like encouraging everyone to buy an AR-15, simply because they have the right to bear arms.”
“I would need to know a few things about them before offering that kind of encouragement. For instance, do they know how to care for a weapon? Can they afford the cost of the weapon? Do they have a history of violence? Are they mentally stable? In short, are they responsible citizens?”
“Casting a ballot is not so different,” he continued. “It’s an important right that we all share, and one that impacts our society in dramatic fashion. But it’s one thing to respect and acknowledge our collective rights, and quite another thing to affirmatively encourage people I’ve never met to exercise them. And yet, my friends in Hollywood do that very thing, and they’re at it again.” (RELATED: Mike Rowe Uses Simple Logic To Shut Up Critic Who Didn’t Like What He Said About Orlando)
“Every four years, celebrities and movie stars look earnestly into the camera and tell the country to ‘get out and vote.’ They tell us it’s our ‘most important civic duty,’ and they speak as if the very act of casting a ballot is more important than the outcome of the election. This strikes me as somewhat hysterical. Does anyone actually believe that Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ed Norton would encourage the ‘masses’ to vote, if they believed the ‘masses’ would elect Donald Trump?”
“Regardless of their political agenda, my celebrity pals are fundamentally mistaken about our ‘civic duty’ to vote. There is simply no such thing. Voting is a right, not a duty, and not a moral obligation. Like all rights, the right to vote comes with some responsibilities, but let’s face it — the bar is not set very high.”
“If you believe aliens from another planet walk among us, you are welcome at the polls. If you believe the world is flat, and the moon landing was completely staged, you are invited to cast a ballot. Astrologists, racists, ghost-hunters, sexists, and people who rely upon a Magic 8 Ball to determine their daily wardrobe are all allowed to participate. In fact, and to your point, they’re encouraged.”
“So, when a celebrity reminds the country that ‘everybody’s vote counts,’ they are absolutely correct. But when they tell us that ‘everybody in the country should get out there and vote,’ regardless of what they think or believe, I gotta wonder what they’re smoking.”
“Remember — there’s nothing virtuous or patriotic about voting just for the sake of voting, and the next time someone tells you otherwise, do me a favor — ask them who they’re voting for,” he added. “Then tell them you’re voting for their opponent. Then, see if they’ll give you a ride to the polls.”
“So no, Jeremy — I can’t personally encourage everyone in the country to run out and vote. I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it would benefit my personal choice. Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process.” (RELATED: Mike Rowe Was Refreshingly Humble When Asked Why He Didn’t Serve In The Military)