This election, just roll the dice

We Americans couldn’t be more protective when it comes to casting our secret ballots.

Crouched over in the voting booth we make sure no one is peeking over our shoulders, or whispering directives or expletives into our ears, while we make our “X.”

This type of personal-as-it-gets, secretive voting remains one of our most appreciated and guarded inheritances that dates to our colonial roots.

But, we have a problem America – we just can’t keep our secret ballot, a secret.

Instead, we deface and devalue our automobiles with silly stickers that hype hope and help for our so-called secret candidate.

We place colorful, cartoonish signs in our yards that tout and trumpet who’ll be on the receiving end of our otherwise secret handshake.

We boisterously pronounce the marvelous merits of our chosen one in our coffee klatches – one of which I’m a willing and cheerful participant of every Wednesday morning – while at the same time we denounce the sins of his or her opponent.

And as if all our unremitting babble isn’t enough, we then go on Twitter, Facebook and other internet follies to tell the world who we believe should be elected, all the while we debunk and sometimes de-friend anyone who disagrees.

Yet by golly, gee and gosh almighty, come election day we want – no, we demand – that our right to cast a ballot in a cloak ‘n dagger, under wraps, hush-hush, for our eyes only manner, be honored and respected.

It should come as no surprise that our secret-ballot election system has become our greatest capitalistic prize, bought and paid for by those who can do just that, and in which our worst-kept secrets – and that would be the candidates, themselves – become entertainment fodder for the tabloids, faux pas news/entertainment channels, late-night comedy shows, and again, for our very own and much anticipated breakfast blather.

Our national election system has become so poisoned with ridicule and redundancy, and has become so cynically confusing – popular vote versus electoral college, Democrats versus Republicans, headache versus heartache, lots and lots of money versus even more money – it’s a wonder we don’t keep our secret ballot, even more secret.

After all, why embarrass ourselves? Aren’t those we so often elect, embarrassment enough?

Yet we have to elect someone, don’t we?

I wonder.

Do we really have to vote for the “lesser of two evils?”

Can’t we just put our check mark in a box that reads, “None of the above?”

Must we be suffocated by partisan political puppets who superficially support their party’s candidate, no matter how long their candidate’s nose grows whenever he or she talks, how long their criminal record is, or how many millions and millions of dollars they spend on themselves, “to make a better America” for the rest of us?

And this one demands a drum roll, can’t we get through just one election season without slapping bumper stickers on our cars, jamming yard signs into our lawns, or spilling and even soiling our souls on the internet, all in the guise of keeping our secret ballot a secret, come Election Day?

As for me, it’s a moot point. I won’t know who I’m voting for until I walk into the polling booth, pull the curtain tight behind me, and take out a pair of dice.

Because if our presidential elections have become anything, they’ve become a crap shoot. Never more so than this time around, say some.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the last time I rolled a Natural, or a Big Red – winning rolls. Instead I’ve rolled Snake Eyes and Boxcars – I crapped out, just like those I’ve voted for crapped out.

But here and now, and with the cast of characters we have running for president this November, do you have any better way to choose one, over the other?

Roll the dice, my friends, just roll the dice. Because either way, I suspect well all might be crying, “oh, crap,” before all is done and said.

My name is Dave Barber, and I approve …

… of keeping my ballot a secret.

Which, of course, is nothing more than a much ballyhooed disclaimer that magically makes everything a person says to be truthful, and factual.

And besides, I have to keep who I’ll vote for, a secret. I’d be too embarrassed to admit otherwise.

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He will be contributing columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

avatar

Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply