Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Democracy and its discontents

More people voted for the winner of American Idol this year than have ever voted in a US presidential election. My spin on this is that people are more interested in entertainment than in fixing the serious problems the world faces.

Of course, the choices in terms of candidates that voters are presented with are often less than appealing with the candidates revealing few real differences and basically asking the voters to pick the winner based upon who has the cutest family. And after two hundred years of gerrymandering, the vote is essentially rigged at the structural level and the vote is all but a foregone conclusion.

But if we want to leave a better world for our grandchildren, if we don't want civilization to collapse under the pressures of climate change and the end of cheap oil, then we must demand more from our elected representatives. We must demand leadership and not photo ops, we must endeavor to make difficult choices in a complex world.

Which is why our grandchildren are totally screwed.

1 comment:

trp0 said...

If voting for president weren't so difficult for so many people (eg. polling places not located within walking distance, short polling hours, incomprehensible ballots, etc) and were as easy as voting for an America Idol, maybe more people would do it. Plus, you can vote as many times as you want for your Idol pick, so they may have gotten that many total votes, but was that how many unique individuals actually voted? Also, Idol was unlike our presidential races where the most telegenic candidate is typically the winner. Katharine is way hotter than Taylor.