The NFL kicked off its 2020 season, and amidst the crashing and crunching of helmets, the NFL implored me to vote. PSA after PSA, the NFL talked about how we should all do our part. It was all very feel-goody, and the players all locked arms for “unity” with those fighting for social justice. And it wasn’t just as a way of celebrating the opening game of the new season, either. All summer long on the NFL network, the viewer was constantly bombarded with PSAs about athletes speaking up for “change,” whatever that means. I doubt even they know.
Probably worth noting that the ratings were down double digits over last year’s opening game. And the crowd at the stadium, rained boos on the “uniting” players. The sports talkers feigned confusion as to why the crowd would boo such a gesture. I have a guess: why should we care one whit what these multi-millionaire athletes (Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs just signed for a cool half-bil), many of whom likely needed tutors to get past high school civics, have to say about politics?
And one more thing: what does the NFL care whether I vote or not?
Everyone should vote, we’re told by celebrities hoping to assure themselves they do Important Work, and it’s supposedly shameful only 60% of eligible voters voted. From Rock the Vote in the 1990s to the NFL today, we are told we need to vote. And politicians frequently propose new measures to make it easier to vote, and there are even some who argue voting should be available online.
Are these people nuts? Have they ever taken a good look at some of their fellow citizens? I wouldn’t mind if fewer people voted, to be honest. And by no means should voting be made “easier” or “more convenient.”
Everyone’s seen those staples of late-night television, where a “man on the street” interviews “average Americans.” And we all laugh, as these idiots can’t name the current Vice President, or find France on a map. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fine if these dimwits stayed home on election day. If you pay so little attention to the news, you draw blanks when asked who lives in the White House, trust me, it’s cool if you sit this election out.
And likewise, if getting off your couch and making it all the way to the polling station a couple of blocks away is too much trouble for you, then buddy, take a load off and stay right there on the couch. The election will get on fine without you.
There’s a reason that many pet rescue organizations require that adopters pay a small fee to adopt a pet. They know when you invest in something, you take better care of it. When becoming a pet owner is too easy, the pets tend to suffer.
And if you can’t invest in an hour or two of your day to vote, you’re really not that invested in the vote. And the election – and eventually, the people – suffer.
Haven’t we all suffered enough this year already?