Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Off-Year Election Day

   A sticker? What are the activities where they give you a sticker upon completion? Cleaning your room? If you're under the age of 8, that is, or other chores? Doing the dishes. Picking up your room. The sticker affixed to the charts that organized parents create to try to instill some kind of personal responsibility in their children. 
     We didn't do those for those boys. It seemed beneath the dignity of a child. 
     What else? A well-done paper, again in elementary school. The proverbial gold star. Or a smiley face. I haven't done a survey, but my guess is that by middle school stickers are gone or ironic, the flourish of those teachers who instruct with a smirk of self-knowledge.
     And voting. I already felt silly, heading over to early voting at the Northbrook Village Hall Monday. I had tried to read up on what was involved—be an informed voter! The Northbrook Tower, a surprisingly readable little weekly, took the effort to talk to the school board candidates. But there were three running for three openings. It seemed pointless to care.
     "It's my right and I want to do it," I explained, slightly abashed, to the poll volunteer, who asked if I was the Neil Steinberg.
     "Well, I'm a Neil Steinberg," I said. "There's another in Skokie. Sometimes he gets my mail."
     For some reason that got me a provisional ballot. Something about my signature. Either way, I got to vote. 
     Turns out there were more candidate than positions for Oakton Community College Trustee. I voted for the Jewish names ("I ain't no freakin' monument to justice," as Nicholas Cage says in "Moonstruck").
     The sticker was the icing on the cake. It couldn't have seemed more ridiculous had they given me a lollipop. Maybe the radicals are right. It's all a scam. The illusion of control, of democracy.  Not meaningless, for sure—Donald Trump being elected over Hillary Clinton certainly had meaning. But some kind of joke nevertheless, one we participate in, yet aren't really in on.  The joke is on us.
     I wasn't too upset about the Mueller squib over the weekend because, frankly, the damage is done, and whether Mueller offered a laundry list of dead-to-rights criminal behaviors of Donald Trump, or the document as it stands—and we don't know what's in it, just the attorney generals' big thumbs up—hardly matters. The system groans under the offense being committed hourly against it.  Will it hold? Is this the bottom or is there worse to come?  Maybe this whole voting thing will be done away with, eventually, along with the free press, and we'll miss the ritual, symbolic though it might have been. The next meaningful election is a year from November. At least I hope it's meaningful. Either way, we get a sticker.


  1. Glass half empty this morning? Dump it out and find something more satisfying.

  2. Mr. S, it sounds like you haven't voted much...until now. Here in Ahia, or at least in Cleveland, they've been giving out black-and-white "I VOTED" stickers for years and years. Ours are only in English, however--guess we're more whitebread (pun intended) than cosmopolitan Chicago (the state is, after all, 85% Caucasian).

    The coolest ones say "I (heart) voting"...and there's a little chevron-shaped thingie instead of a heart. It's Ohio-shaped. This state's shape lends itself to all sorts of artistic creativity...especially T-shirts. If you tried that in Illinois, you'd need one helluva long and narrow sticker...or shirt.

    Wish we had more Jewish names to choose from here. In Cuyahoga County, it's mostly a lesser-of-two-evils pick among the Hibernians, especially for county officials, and nearly all of the judges. Sometimes there are a few Poles and Italians, to spice up the mix.

    1. I've never missed an election. And we've gotten those stickers for YEARS. It just never struck me before.

    2. Oddly enough, this very day is the day the State of Ohio announced a plan to change our long-established stickers, in an effort to get young people excited about Ohio's voting process. There will be a new voting-sticker design competition, exclusively for teens in grades 6-12. Yes, our "I (Ohio-shaped-heart) Voting" sticker will soon be replaced with a new image, created by someone who most likely is not yet eligible to vote.

      The state will choose the "best" designs. They will be placed online for all Ohioans, regardless of age, to see...and will allow them to decide the winner. How? Why, by voting for it, of course.

  3. At times voting can be disappointing when your choice is between a douche or a turd sandwich. We could do something to make voting more interesting, and eliminate some of the bickering that divides America. There is precedence for my idea in the private sector, like you can ban yourself from gambling in a casino. So separate from voting at the polling place, every two years you could choose not to have your equal rights under the law be abridged because of your sex, or you can choose to allow the government to pass laws restricting your rights. Or if you like you can choose to allow the government to neutralize your internet service, or choose to prevent the government from regulating your internet. A woman can elect to have the right to an abortion, or decide she can't be allowed to have an abortion. It is conceivable a woman would regret her choice if she is raped by a big ugly albino hairy tard, but choice was made, to bad for her.

  4. I've always enjoyed the story of the 2 foreign correspondents, who would drive a couple hundred miles to vote, even though they both knew that their votes would cancel each other out.


  5. Can't spend the time to find your Carlin clip but last thing I saw of him on utube was his claim that voting was a waste of time, that all candidates were basically crap. I don't believe that, maybe George would have changed his mind had he lived to experience president Trump.But I do fear the American electorate. I would not advocate violence, but if you cannot get to the polls in 2020, slash the tires of a Trump voter on election day.

  6. Won't help. Republicans can still vote by mail, just as easily as Democrats do. That's the future. In Oregon, all voters will be mailing in their ballots. Other states will probably follow suit, especially the Western and Midwestern ones with fewer voters. But the big Eastern and Southern states will eventually do the same.


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.