The Michigan GOP is accusing Michael Moore of election chicanery for offering gag prizes to college-aged slackers in exchange for promises to vote. They’re asking prosecutors in Michigan to roundly rebuke the rotund rabble-rouser.
I tell them that I may have been the original slacker, and that I do not want them to change their slacker ways. Keep sleeping ’til noon! Keep drinking beer! Stay on the sofa and watch as much TV as possible! But, please, just for me, on 11/2, I want you to leave the house and give voting a try — just this once. The stakes this time are just too high.
If they promise me that they’ll do this, I give the guys a 3-pack of new Fruit of the Loom underwear, and the women get a day’s supply of Ramen noodles, the sustenance of slackers everywhere. I then close by having them repeat the 2004 Slacker Oath: “Pick nose! Pick butt! Pick Kerry.”
“We want everyone to participate in this year’s election, but not because they were bribed or coerced by the likes of Michael Moore,” asserts Greg McNeilly, executive director of the Michigan Republican Party on behalf of the government’s monopoly on force and bribery.
The law expressly prohibits individuals from contracting with one another for something of value in exchange for agreeing to vote. If Sean Hannity took to the stage out in Red Country and started handing out free Jiffy Lube certificates in exchange for Bush votes, he’d be strung up in a minute, but Moore will, most likely, be strongly urged by his own legal team to desist from any further exchanges of gifts for promises to vote. Whether or not the government, which Moore so loves and would wield against others on his own behalf, will cite Moore for blowing off the Law, remains to be determined.
Still, as much as I’d like to see Moore’s head on a pike for general purposes, he shouldn’t be jailed or prosecuted for his violation of the statutes anymore than Martha Stewart should have been. Stewart was a savvy investor. Some would consider that to be a crime, but I don’t. Moore’s only infraction, in my book, is that he overpaid his slacker zombie army. A year’s worth of Tostitos is worth at least $150. A 3-pack of Fruit of the Loom underwear is worth about $5. That’s far more than the value of an individual vote, much less the promise to vote.
The law is wrong in it’s exclusive claim on the bribes-for-votes market. Where is the harm in opening up the votes market? How would life, as we know it, disintegrate if the GOP or any other individual or entity were allowed to distribute $100 bills, gift certificates, or free beer tokens for votes?
The benefits of a vote market would be quickly realized if the ban were lifted. For one thing, it would muzzle the tedious affirmations of mysticist, lever-wanking airheads who flounce about proclaiming “Every vote counts!” It wouldn’t take long for them to finally be shown the exact worth of an individual vote on the open market.