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Let me tell you a little story. Perhaps it won’t be very compelling or important, and perhaps the opinion of one slightly unhinged free lance writer means nothing, but the truth is I never voted in my life until 2008.

Everyone at the polling place knew who I was voting for, due to my age and demeanor. There were a shit ton of us, all there to put a vote in for Barack Obama, which really rubbed the old folks raw. These were the people who voted every election cycle without fail, and now had to contend with a wave of urban hipsters and other artsy types. A man walked in behind us and barked ‘Bliss, Republican!’ at the little old ladies working the polls, all of whom puffed up their chests and yelled back that he needn’t be such an ass about it.

Come on, we were all excited. It’s not that I thought racial harmony would dawn or that Obama was anything other than a politician. I just thought that his election was a sign of things to come, i.e. people finally abandoning all the nonsense ideas about the completely bullshit concept of race. Also, Sarah Palin scared the fuck out of me.

So I did it, and I only felt good about it for a little while. Because things went bad soon after. Obama was about as predictable as any other politician, meaning he sold out everyone who put him in office almost instantly, which is depressing enough without taking into account the way most people reacted to him.

He’s a Muslim socialist. He’s a Muslim and a socialist, say the people who have no fucking idea what either word means. He’s in a sleeper cell! I saw him snort a whole baby off a hooker’s ass! He’s making Lil’ Wayne Secretary of State!

Anytime you support anything it becomes your problem. Now, just because I voted for Obama (also, please consider that a working class atheist with psychotic tendencies has no business voting republican), suddenly it’s like we’re talking about sports; ‘your boy’s really tanking in the play offs, your team sucks.’ Everything he does is my fault.

They’re not my team, OK, I don’t have a team. I’m trying to affect that whole lone wolf, out on my own image, and it doesn’t help when I have democratic fundraisers calling my house asking me to help them out again. Seriously, it was just that one time, I was drunk, he told me all kinds of nice things and I foolishly believed him. My voter registration card says ‘no affiliation’ which I am irrationally proud of. It doesn’t say democrat or republican or independent (which actually means ‘democrat or republican who has pissed off their respective party’).

But as the presidential election swings around again, I’ve begun asking myself what I should do this time. I stayed away for the midterm elections, because I wouldn’t elect most of those people to municipal dog catcher. But this time I feel obligated, if only to prove everyone wrong who claimed that those who voted for Obama last time will stay home the next. So I’m voting for the dead guy.

Not Aleister Crowley, thought it’s tempting. I’m writing in Hunter S. Thompson. He has prior political experience, he’s progressive, he’s a doctor of divinity. Did I mention that he’s dead? Oh who gives a fuck, republicans would posthumously nominate Ronald Reagan if they could, and he was dead for most of his two terms.

We need a man like Hunter to sort us out. Someone who can espouse the level headedness of progressive principles while also not taking any shit from anyone. Because, let’s face it, while democrats most often are on the right side of the argument, they tend to lose ground to the mewling hordes of conservatives and their well practiced indignation. We need a man with an elephant gun and a machete on his hip, a man who takes a cattle prod to a casual setting and isn’t afraid to use it. We need a man who says things like, “Play your own game, be your own man, don’t ask anybody for a stamp of approval,” (from Fear and Loathing in America: The Gonzo Letters, Volume II, 1968-1976) which are words to both live and die by. We need an artist who also appreciates high power weaponry and fortified compounds, a patriot in the true sense of the word.

Thompson didn’t espouse that stupid ‘my country, right or wrong’ brand of patriotism that is so popular in this one note world. He despised the government and figures like Richard Nixon, whom he considered repellant. But he recognized that those of us who are lucky enough to be birthed on American soil have a responsibility to uphold the principles of the democracy. Which are sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Well, they should be.

This opens up a whole new world of voting. My spouse and I have considered voting for each other. I could write in Bill Hicks or Socrates or Rowdy Roddy Piper. I could write you in. What about it, would you like to be president? If enough of us get together we could vote in a table lamp or a hunk of cheese. Surely this would be preferable to whomever the tea party picks.

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Stacie Adams STACIE ADAMS is a drinker with a writing problem. She's currently working on a novel and hopes to complete it before the world ends in 2012. When she's not reading or writing she's at the bar telling people about the time she saw Queens of the Stone Age in a fortress in Germany. Her alter ego can be found at The First Church of mutterhals

20 Responses to “I’m Voting for the Dead Guy”

  1. Becky Palapala says:

    One of my Libertarian friends didn’t vote at all in our most recent state elections–it was the first time in his life he didn’t vote. I spent what I felt to be the obligatory amount of time & energy yelling at/arguing with him about it, but frankly there was a large part of me that sympathized in a big way and continues to suspect (uncomfortably) that there is, in fact, considerably more moral integrity in what he did than in what 90% of us do when we go to the polls to get our little red sticker.

    Because, as you remark, politics are depressing, politicians are depressing, and the way people who aren’t politicians think and talk about politics and politicians is depressing.

    You can totally make me President, but I’m just going to fire the whole government, move to Graceland, and make my 9 week-old Aussie/Blue Heeler mix my co-empress. I will defer to her on all matters.

    • stan chaz says:

      While the debate over the debt limit may have discouraged his supporters, particularly progressives, the president said during his fundraising events that the struggle proved just how important the next election is.
      I agree with President obama’s recent remarks:

      “We’ve already seen over the last week just how different the two visions are in terms of which direction we should take the country,” Mr. Obama said in a video teleconference with supporters. “This is really important moment in our history.”

      The 2012 election, he said, “in some ways may be more important than the last one.”

      In the future, Mr. Obama said, he wants to take on immigration, energy policy, tax reform, and continue to work on building up the economy and reducing the deficit and debt in a responsible way.

  2. Brian Eckert says:

    “I saw him snort a whole baby off a hooker’s ass!”

    Killer line.

    Cool piece.

    I once was a die hard news head/political junky who would shuttle my hesitant-to-vote friends to the polling stations. Now, I kind of don’t give a fuck. Being, or trying to be my own man, I’d like to think that no matter what’s going on out there, it’s what’s going on in here (points to self) that matters.

    But then I think, if the fuckers have me abandoning all hope in the political process, then the insidious forces have won.

    I don’t think voting for dead people will help, even as a vote of protest. It’s not like anybody is going to say, “Hey, HST got 5,000 votes…Donald Duck got 10,000…holy shit…what does this say about our country when dead and fictional characters are drawing numbers like this.”

    Still, you make a good point…that we’re even thinking of voting for dead people due to the real lack of choice for candidates that actually express populist will and common sense.

    Beavis and Butthead in 2012.

  3. Greg Olear says:

    Great piece, Stacie.

    I like to believe it’s less Obama than the pressures of the office itself…his (read: our) Bilberberger overlords have made it clear to him that, if he actually attempted to fix any of the obvious problems — pulling out of the various wars, slashing the Defense budget, mending the odious corporate tax rate, exposing the fraud of the Fed, investigating the causes of the recession per INSIDE JOB, hauling Bush and Cheney to The Hague — he’d wind up like the Kennedys. But then, I’m a conspiracy guy.

    I will say this: all things considered, we’d be better off with Li’l Wayne in the Cabinet.

    As for my dead guy vote? 2PAC in 2012. Tell me that won’t look nice on a bumper sticker.

    • pixy says:

      ah greg, we have more to talk about than i realized!

      when i lived in austin, there was a great bookstore there called brave new books and they had all these free dvds. my roommate and i would have “terror thursdays”. it was awesome.

      the thing that skeeves me the most is the food thing. hence my yen to start a compound.

  4. dwoz says:

    There’s actually a long and august history of voting dead guys into office in the US.

    Ask John Ashcroft about it, next time you run into him down at the 7-Eleven.

  5. This piece would be funny if it were, in fact, funny.

    Sorry enacting health care reform, repealing DADT, nearly ending the combat portion of the Iraq, staving off a full-blown economic Depression and keeping the U.S. auto industry afloat weren’t enough for you.

    I don’t mean to be unduly acerbic but you’ve voted in *one* election in your life, got your feelings bruised and that’s it? You and I fit the same demographic and I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18. Being an artist or hipster (used ironically or not) isn’t an excuse. Too many of my family members lived under Nazi occupation or monarchist rule for me to take such matters lightheartedly.

    Apathy, ostensibly humorous or otherwise, only makes things worse.

    Jesus.

    • dwoz says:

      I think the problem is that most of the federal government stuff seems abstract and far away to many people, like it’s a television show or something that isn’t happening RIGHT HERE.

      And I think that’s the case, because we’ve actually had, until the year 2000 or so, a fairly decent, working government.

      Most people don’t quite know how absolutely dire the situation became by January 2009, that we were literally to the point where millions of people were going to be out in the street without housing, the stores weren’t going to have food in them, the banks were going to close, and the compassionate conservatives were going to be just fine with that, papering their nests with shredded parchment paper.

      Most people don’t realize just how absolutely fed up the rest of the world was with the USA. I mean, they were getting PISSED OFF. It got to the point where US travelers had to be “situationally aware” just about everywhere except Canada and Australia and England. I mean, like if you’re on a street in Istanbul or Guadalajara or Rio or Cape Town or Barcelona, watch your ass. That’s unbelievable.

      The real problem with it is that it’s slow motion poison. We will be unraveling the damage of the last 9 years for a long time. During that convalescence there will be many unavoidable faustian bargains made.

      However, I also think that if you can’t laugh at it, there’s no other available response than to cry. That’s a tough one.

  6. I didn’t vote in the general election last year, not out of choice, but because I had been out of the country so long that I simply wasn’t aware of what’s happening. I’ve always been more interested in American politics than UK politics, anyway.

    American politics is scary, though. It’s like wrestling. People should know it’s fake, and perhaps deep down they do… but it doesn’t show. The rhetoric takes over and you get the feeling that something awful is just about to happen. Sarah Palin is one example. The fact that she even exists in the public mind is terrifying to me.

    I’d vote for Hunter. I always was a big fan of his Freak Power ticket. I imagine that Republican corpses would be rising across the land, though, to vote against him. But hey, he wouldn’t exactly have a tough act to follow, would he?

  7. wordpress is being stupid says:

    this is high-larious!
    i came from conservative, chrisitan, right-wing, republicans who urged me from a young age to vote early and vote often lest i be without “the right to complain”.

    little did my parents know that they unleashed onto the world someone who is smart and likes to investigate and research things, not someone who would blindly vote as they do simply because they do. so i have voted in every election since i turned 18. until 2009.
    after the 2008 presidential election – in which i did not vote for obama or mccain, rather i wrote in a viable candidate, even though i knew my vote would be counted as “none of the above”, and i was actually kinda proud of that – i became a little (understatement) disenchanted with the whole thing. so now i choose to worry only about governing myself.

    and i choose tom robbins:
    “What is politics, after all, but the compulsion to preside over property and make other people’s decisions for them? Liberty, the very opposite of ownership and control, cannot, then, result from political action, either at the polls or the barricades, but rather evolves out of attitude. If it results from anything, it may be levity.”

    selfish? definitely. but i know the world would be a very different place if we all strove for liberated attitudes. :)

    ps – i think i typed up and submitted this comment 14 times. and it still didn’t show on the page. boogerfaces.

  8. pixy says:

    i really tried to comment on this post. like 14 times. i said awesome things and included awesomer things like:

    this to show where i came from.

    and this to show where i went.

    and the following to show where i’m at now:
    i choose tom robbins:
    “What is politics, after all, but the compulsion to preside over property and make other people’s decisions for them? Liberty, the very opposite of ownership and control, cannot, then, result from political action, either at the polls or the barricades, but rather evolves out of attitude. If it results from anything, it may be levity.”

    it all made sense in my notepad.

  9. [...] Adams writes on the Nervous Breakdown: Let me tell you a little story. Perhaps it won’t be very compelling or important, and [...]

  10. pixy says:

    i’m an ahole. it only took 2 days for those comments to show up. sorry to poo all over your comment thread. :P

  11. Nick Meador says:

    “We need a man with an elephant gun and a machete on his hip, a man who takes a cattle prod to a casual setting and isn’t afraid to use it. We need a man who says things like, “Play your own game, be your own man, don’t ask anybody for a stamp of approval”… We need an artist who also appreciates high power weaponry and fortified compounds, a patriot in the true sense of the word.”

    What you’ve just described sounds like a combination of Nazi Fascism and “Cowboys and Indians” Imperialism. Thompson did embody those things, but always with an ironic grin. That was his strong point: taking the ideas of freedom and the American Dream to absolute extremes to show how absurd they really are.

    The lesson: we are domesticated apes. But we can evolve. One way to do so would be to boycott the current electoral system. Or write in “the dead guy.” I for one am glad that Thompson failed in the Aspen mayoral run. Politics consists of mammalian anal-territorial power struggles. Trying to play along can only result in irony and hypocrisy–in other words, more of the same disappointment.

    The fact that Thompson never quite understood that may have been his downfall.

  12. [...] Adams writes on the Nervous Breakdown: Let me tell you a little story. Perhaps it won’t be very compelling or important, and [...]

  13. Mary Whyte says:

    This is another classic example of why I spend most of my workin day trolling this site. I am in complete awe of Stacie and all the other talented free lancers that you have. They strike me with an Acme size mallet of awesome on a consistant basis.

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