Election 2013: Robocalls & Democrabombs

Mayoral candidate Bill del Blasio has a New York kind of family.

New York City mayoral candidate Bill del Blasio has a New York kind of family.

Rather than simply reminding you all to vote today, I offer one observation and one suggestion that might enrich your election experience. That said, don’t neglect to vote!

The Robocall
My number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. Yet they still call. And lately it’s been “robocalls” for various political candidates, as if a blatant willingness to overlook these regulations for their own personal gain would somehow endear me to one of these particular candidate.

But what I’d really like to know is how effective these calls are. For starters, what percent of those calls get listened to – both in part and in entirety? The robocall service providers certainly track that data, though I’m sure they are reluctant to share it – in part or in entirety – with their clients because that would likely be bad for business. After all, who listens to a recorded phone call that paints some candidate like a saint?

It’s like tuning in to a channel that only has commercials. Who would watch? Especially when these intrusive calls tend to come in the middle of something more important, like dinner.

Besides, you either already like the bum, or you already loathe him. Either way, I can’t imagine a robocall is going to be the first and most influential vehicle for introducing you to political candidates.

With that in mind, even if people did listen to these calls, what evidence is there that they actually impact a voter’s decision? For me, I tried to adopt a policy of not voting for anyone who robocalled me. I quickly realized that there was going to be no one left to vote for, so I tried to limit the elimination criteria to anyone who repeatedly robocalled. But even then my choices were meager.

So I decided to stick to the old standby of basing my vote on the candidates’ views, comparing them to see which professional liar promised to support the most views that mattered to me. Sadly, though, none of them have taken a firm stand against robocalling.

The Democrabomb
Do you want to have some fun this election day? Try this on for size. When some zealot approaches you on the street with political advice, as they tend to do on the way to your polling place (sort of an in-person robocall), stop and ask them what candidates they recommend voting for. Be sure to play it up, saying you have been so swamped that you haven’t had time to do your due diligence.

These vermin will be more than happy to tell you who and what to vote for. They are out there all day, trying to tell other people what to do.

Why vermin, you ask? Because these people think you’re an idiot…that we’re all idiots. They assume that none of us has the good sense to review the candidates and issues at hand and make an intelligent decision for ourselves. Instead, they feel that they are the only ones qualified to make such decisions, and that it is their god-given duty to tell the rest of us saps what to do.

So be sure to keep that in mind as you quickly write down the list of candidates they name, because I then want you to ask them if these indeed are the people for whom they voted. They’ll undoubtedly say yes, already smugly reveling in their little fantasy about how they convinced one voter to vote their way, thereby single-handedly winning the election for the candidate they adore.

Be sure to thank them for their advice before looking them squarely in the eyes and saying that you are now going to walk into that polling station and vote the exact opposite of what they did, just to cancel out their votes. Yeah, that’s what I call a “democrabomb.”

It doesn’t matter who you actually vote for, as long as they think you’ve canceled out their votes. You can even snap a photo of them before dropping that democrabomb so you can include it with your social media posts about your good deed.

Or should I say deeds? After all, you can do this to several people on your way to vote.

I assure you, it’s great fun. Nothing is better than telling a political activist, someone who has likely volunteered months of their time, that their vote has been canceled, that it didn’t count, doesn’t matter, all for naught!

And, in the end, you get to vote for whoever you were going to vote for, and the people who think they know far better than you will start to realize that maybe they’re not as smart as they assumed they were. And that maybe they should just keep their mouth shut and, in the future, let people decide for themselves.