Volume 74, Number 22 | September 29 - October 5 , 2004

Talking Point

Get out the vote; whatever it takes

By Andrei Codrescu

Here are some suggestions for getting out the vote.

Plaster an old coat with “Vote!” stickers and go to work in it.

Write “Vote” with a magic marker on your whole body and stand naked in a public place after calling the TV stations.

Put “Vote” stickers on people’s backs in line at the bank.

Serve hot coffee and donuts from your car and then drive people to vote. Tailgate party for democracy — starting today.

Break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend if they don’t vote.

Wives, Lysistrata your husbands if they don’t vote!

Husbands, prepare to Lysistrate back if your wives refuse to exercise their citizenship!

Plant a Soviet or Cuban refugee in your living room to tell horrible stories about places where they don’t vote and how dictators rule with impunity and kill your family. You can plant me; I used to live in one of those places. Our dictator always got 99 percent of the vote and he put your mommy in prison if she complained. Now my mommy lives in Florida where they stole her vote in 2000 and she’s not too happy; she sees shades of the old country sprouting up right around here.

Teachers, dentists, and nurses are in a very good position for relating such stories to captive audiences and making them vote. A dentist bent over an anesthetized patient is in an ideal position to shout “Vote!” in his ear. You don’t have to go as far as to anesthetize people or to get them drunk to vote. That kind of thing killed Edgar Allan Poe and he was going to vote anyway. But if people are anesthetized or drunk in the first place, it’s O.K. Just warn them about throwing up in the voting booth: that’s a no-no.

Be sure that you paint “Vote” on your pets and take them for a walk. Use fluorescent paint — it brings out the eyes in pets.

Leave those fliers that look like dollar bills in conspicuous places. When people pick them up, they say “Vote.”

Train pigeons to fly “Vote” banners (if you can’t afford airplanes).

I’m not giving candidate advice here. Just vote, please.

I voted for Eldridge Cleaver in 1968, so you definitely don’t want my advice. On the other hand, my mommy is neither stupid nor confused: She knows her way around a bowl of spaghetti and in 2000 they stole her vote. So, Vote for my mommy.


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