Friday, February 6, 2009

Why I Never Got Into Politics...

When I was a senior in high school, I was one of a handful of people in my history class who didn't do model UN. Since those people got extra credit, the teacher offered to give us an extra credit project. I made the suggestion of comparing the electoral college to one man-one vote. We would have the whole school vote by homeroom and each homeroom would be weighted. I thought the best way to do this so as not to ruffle any feathers would be voting for a color. Red and Blue would be the main party with White as the independent party or the Ross Perot as it were. Red and Blue would have multiple people helping while White would be alone to show the power of having support from the parties.

I ran the White campaign. This was announced right before spring break so I spent my entire break making slogans and posters to go on every persons locker and then made buttons to pass out plus posters for the wall. I figured that since it was just me I needed to do a lot more work.

I got into school about 2 hours early the first day back from back and did my decorating. This was about 450-500 lockers or so to get to. I had 4 different slogans one for each class. I don't really remember any of them now. I think one was for the seniors "The future is bright. Vote White!"

Apparently, out history teacher didn't think anyone would really go above and beyond on this and never mentioned it to the principal, but more on that later.

So the campaign lasted two weeks. I campaigned my heart out and all the other teams did was one poster saying "Don't be blinded by the White. Vote Red." Clever, but nearly close to the nuclear level I took my attack.

I started talking to people and realized no matter what I was screwed. They weren't deciding on the level of the campaign. They said stuff like "My favorite color is blue so that is who I am voting for." I was pissed. I realized that no matter what I did there was no way to win people over to vote for a non-color in a color campaign.

When we totaled the votes, I did win...barely. Red and Blue were close and I squeaked past on both the electoral college and the individuals. I realized that I could never get into politics because people would vote for whomever they wanted despite have no good reason for voting for them.

It wasn't until years later I realized why the principal was pissed. It didn't occur to me that "voting white" might be taken the wrong way if you don't know there is a mock election over what color to to vote for. Reminds me of what Stephen Colbert says "I'm color blind. I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because I put mayo on everything."

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