Back in November of 2008, I stepped into a voting booth made of brown wrapping paper, masking tape and what appeared to be rat shit and smacked My 3 vari-colored table-cloth-sized ballots on the narrow ledge, made from splintery cast-off wood that might have been used to build temporary huts for the Viet Cong during the War.
I grabbed the first ballot, the one where We as happy-go-lucky residents of My Island get to vote for the person who will take his shit and shits to La Fortaleza and the person who will get on an airplane, fly his skanky ass to Washington D.C. and there proceed to do everything possible to act without dignity or self-respect and beg like a krocodil-addled street turd for money.
I pulled out a Sharpie--black, medium-tip if you have to know--and wrote in "Spongebob Squarepants" for governor and "Pepe Le Pew" for Head Beggar. (That We tend to call that skank in D.C. "resident commissioner" is willful denial of reality on Our part...)
As for the other two ballots, I wrote "Mierda" on one and "Más Mierda" on the other. Didn't care which one had which phrase. Still don't. Capped My Sharpie, gathered the three sheets, stepped out of the paper box, crumpled the ballots into wads and shoved them into their respective boxes. Got dirty looks from several people. Pretended to spit to make them look away.
You can take this description as My definition of utter and complete contempt for the wretched refuse We have as political vermin and you'd be right. You can also take it as My not-too-subtle vain chest-thumping of flicking My nose at the system. You'd be right. I'm not above petty symbolism if it tickles My fancy. But you must take this anecdote seriously, because it will be repeated--with a minor variation--in 2012.
To some people, My votes for Spongebob and Pepe Le Pew were "wasted." My thoughtful response to that is that those people are shitheads. To people like that, who think a vote is "wasted" unless it happens to be for the winning party/candidate/societal chancre, the whole democratic process is too complex for them to ever understand. A vote for anyone--anyone--in an election is just as valid as a vote for anyone else. Why, shitheads? Because a vote is a tally, a marker that says "I think this." And it counts.
Believing that a thought concretized as a vote is "wasted" is like believing that a donation to a cause is useless unless it is "big." But unlike donations, which come in different values, a vote's value is level across all such choices. (Or should be, except when Republicans fuck around with the system. Right Florida? Right Ohio?)
So: voting for Spongebob and Pepe Le Pew were perfectly legitimate, and I might add, perfectly accurate votes. You see, in modern democracies, and We barely have one, voters are often choosing an "image," a carefully-crafted bunch of lies meant to galvanize the already-convinced to get their asses out there and vote, while trying to lure "independents" (actually, the "indifferent") to make a mark under a certain name or symbol. Despite tons of lip service by lots of My Brethren that they are "voting by candidates and not by parties," the evidence is that they are lying: straight-party line voting still dominates Our wretched excuse for elections, which means We are electing a monolithic herd of disease-addled cooties every time around.
My vote for Spongebob was because of his image as a hard-working, caring, optimistic, generous and fun-loving character who incidentally still has more backbone than either Aníbal "The Jellyfish" Acevedo and Luis "The Larva" Fortuño. (Clarifying for statehooders: sponges do not have spines. That's the joke, see? Fuck it; have your dog explain it to you.)
My vote for Pepe Le Pew was also based on character, the eternal romantic, always optimistic, who will do whatever is in his power to woo his paramour, no matter how obvious and desperate said paramour's rejection becomes. When you consider that since 1898 We have been trying to "woo" the U.S. of part of A. to "make Us yours", and that their treatment of Us amounts to the same "Buzz off! You stink!" acrimony We see with Pepe Le Pew, then who else should We send to D.C. if not someone who knows exactly what that's like and soldiers on anyway?
"But Jenius," one of you will say, "You voted for cartoon characters. Cartoon characters can't hold public office!"
Yes they can. Are you going to tell Me that The Larva, Gluttonny, the Mad Dog and the whole fucking menagerie of parasitic vermin We have in government are actually better than cartoon characters? Hell, for one thing, cartoon characters would be smarter and cost Us far FAR less than these walking pusbags.
I deliberated for a few hours (yes, hours; like you've even come close to thinking seriously about your voting choices for 10 minutes) and decided that this year, I'm writing a big bold "Pepe Le Pew" for governor. For one, it's time We had an openly-defined skunk in La Fortaleza. For another, We need his kind of obsessive attention focused on Us, on wooing Us away from the endless waves of supercilious and incredibly pestiferous caca We endure daily and charm Us into believing that (A) La Fortaleza actually does care about Us and (B) that life with Pepe will be an improvement over dealing with hyenas, rats, snakes, weasels, cockroaches, silverfish, fleas, ticks, lice and tapeworms.
I haven't decided on My vote for Head Beggar except that I'll change his title to "Ass-Kissing Beggar" from now on. "Head" is too good a word to waste on offal.
As for the other two ballots of elected officials and the 27 or so other pieces of wasteful turd-baskets The Larva is tossing into the mix to create the biggest possible election shit stew in Our history, I'll cover each one with a choice insult, crude, sarcastic and aimed to insult anyone who reads it.
And that's how you make a vote really count.
The Jenius Has Spoken.