By Paige Carswell
Watching the Facebook newsfeed after the 2008 presidential election, it’s amazing that there are still so many people going to Southwestern College. Statuses proclaiming the intent to jump the borders came in by the thousands, expressing their distaste in the newly named president.
“You can keep your change!”
“is moving to Canada.”
It may have been a little bit excessive, and it may have been a little bit annoying.
But, at least people—even the usually politically unaware college students— cared.
Usually, the anticipation near election time reaches higher and higher. We’re researching, looking at candidates, hoping for change that matters. But, a Harvard University poll of people under 30 years old says that this year, we aren’t.
Only 27 percent of the under-30 age group said that they would even vote at the midterm elections. Last year, that number was 36 percent.
Whether that number has dwindled because of a lack of education, a feeling that our votes don’t matter, or just a disregard for any kind of politics in general, is debatable.
The most hilarious fact of the matter is that campaigning is a million-dollar industry. As newspapers put together a product day after day, we can all only hope that someone will pick it up and read it. As we post a status on Facebook, we secretly hope that someone will “like” it or comment on it. After working for hours and hours on a set, musicians just have to sit back and wait to see if there is an audience for their compositions.
So, as these men and women are putting together their ads stating that “Joe Blow is the worst candidate ever, because he wears short shorts in the privacy of his home” and “Nancy Lancy dons straw hats while she’s cooking,” it turns out none of that matters for 73 percent of the people who are painfully watching it.
What’s the solution?
This dwindling number of people who are showing up at the polls is telling us that those ads are not working, and neither is Brad Pitt coming onto television and saying, “Hey, kids. It’s cool to vote. Be like me and get an ‘I voted sticker.’”
So, the best thing to do is just stop.
If no one votes, then no more money is going to be wasted on trying to get people to vote. We’ll have to come up with a new way to find the people to represent us (see the “Strange Women Lying In Ponds and Distributing Swords as a Government System” group on Facebook), but that should be easy enough.
The most efficient way would be to put everyone’s name in a hat and draw it, but that may cause problems if the winner’s name is “John Brown.” Then, several people would just have to duke it out for the seat they didn’t know they were seeking, and it isn’t a good test of their people skills.
A better way to test people for government seats is to play “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” It would only take around a month for everyone to be done, and for someone to be crowned King or Queen.
There are several other ways, including, but not limited to, “King of the Mountain,” “Monopoly,” and “Red Rover.”
Depending on whether we wanted the biggest person, or the most cunning, we could also use a television show dubbed, “Survivor: Senate Seat Edition” or “House of Representatives Gladiator.”
As great, or not great, as these systems may seem, this is where we’re heading. We can go out and vote, or (this writer’s preference for everyone), we could not, and come up with a new, fun way to elect those people who we would like to represent us in the years to come.
It’s our choice.
Or, we could all play “Red Rover,” instead.
Paige Carswell is a senior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at email@example.com.