Sale: One Slightly Used Vote
by Mad Dog
Since politics is
turning into a bidding war, why not actually let them bid on it?
That’s right, we should post the presidency on eBay
and let the candidate with the deepest pockets get the job.
||I used to think anyone
could be president. This concept was put in my brain by my parents who
told me that, this being America, anyone can grow up to lead the
country. Even me. What they neglected to tell me was that if I wanted
the job I’d have to buy it. And it doesn’t come cheap.
This is borne out by George Bush,
who’s been raising as much as $4 million a night trying to reach his
goal of having $200 million to spend on the 2004 election. To put that
in perspective, it’s enough to buy two Jim Carrey Pez dispensers with
the candy coming out the butt for every man, woman and child in France,
which would definitely teach them not to mess with us again. It would
also buy 55.7 million Big Mac combo meals, 4,000 H2 Hummers (the car,
that is), or Bill Gates’ garage. Okay, half of it.
Political purchases aren’t confined
to the presidency. In California, Representative Darrell
Issa just shelled out $1.5 million of his own money to collect
the signatures that brought about the upcoming gubernatorial recall
election. Amazingly—cough, cough—Issa is vying for the
job should the governor be recalled. Talk about trying to buy a
certainly isn’t the first time this has happened. In 1994 Michael
Huffington spent $28 million of his own money—a full third of his
fortune—trying to buy a Senate seat. And lost. Next time maybe he’ll
remember to check the guarantee before he spends his hard earned cash,
and that next time may come soon since, along with Issa, he’s one of
the 1,278 people who say they might run against Governor Gray Davis.
It’s a shame Steve Forbes doesn’t live in California since he once
spent $30 million of his money trying to become president, so you know
he wouldn’t have a problem forking over a measly few million to not
become governor of a state.
The election would
not only be shorter, sweeter, and more honest, it would be beneficial to
the economy since the money collected from the winning bid could go
directly into the Treasury to offset the federal deficit.
politics is turning into a bidding war, why not actually let them bid on
it? That’s right, we should post the presidency on eBay and let the
candidate with the deepest pockets get the job. eBay, in case you’ve
been too busy watching The Real World to pay attention to the
real world, is the online auction site where you can bid on toys,
collectibles, cars, plane tickets, clothing, and broken Elvis ashtrays.
Pretty much anything you can think of and a lot you’d rather not think
about. Best of all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home
while naked, eating cold pizza, and trying not to think about why you
haven’t had contact with another live human being in over a week.
The process would start when Supreme
Court Justice Rehnquist posted an auction advertising the presidency.
Maybe something like: “Looking for fame, fortune and
interns? Become President of the United States. This exclusive position
has only been offered 43 times in 227 years and will allow you to join
an elite group which includes George Washington, John F. Kennedy, and
Millard Fillmore. Generous salary, free housing, world travel, and a
good retirement program after as few as four years. Bonus title of
Commander in Chief included at no extra cost.”
would be simple, clean, and have many advantages over the current
method. For one, since eBay auctions can run for a maximum of 10 days,
it would shorten the length of the campaign by, oh, about two years.
While this might not actually save any money, it would certainly spare
us from having to watch the snippy commercials, listen to insipid
out-of-context sound bites, and best of all, not waste our valuable
guilt because we’d rather watch reruns of Pink Lady and Jeff than
It’s time to
make the “e” in eBay stand for election by posting an ad that reads:
“For sale: one vote. Original
owner. In excellent condition. Only used once every four years.”
|| The election
would not only be shorter, sweeter, and more honest, it would be
beneficial to the economy since the money collected from the winning bid
could go directly into the Treasury to offset the federal deficit. This
is not only a much better use for it than handing it to the three media
conglomerates which normally receive it for running all those political
commercials, but it would mean the winning candidate would have done
something good for the country before he or she was even inaugurated.
Possibly the last good thing they’d do, but hey, at least they’d be
off to a good start.
The only problem is this takes us,
the people, out of the process. Not that we’re actually in it, but
it’s nice having a more realistic delusion than thinking we have a
shot if J.Lo and Ben break up. That’s why it might be a better idea to
auction off the presidency vote by vote. Think about it, in the last
election Bush spent $186 million and received 50 million votes, meaning
it cost him $3.72 per vote. That’s more than a Big Mac Combo meal. Why
not cut out the middleman and pay that money directly to us, the
American voters? Instead of wasting it on silly things like bumper
stickers, political consultants, and traveling around the country
pretending they care about us, they could just pay us directly.
why I’m putting my vote up for auction. Yes, it’s time to make the
“e” in eBay stand for election by posting an ad that reads: “For
sale: one vote. Original owner. In excellent condition. Only used once
every four years.” Let the candidates bid. Or big corporations for
that matter. It’s all the same to me. This will cut out the middleman
and, as anyone who ever pretended to understand economics or has seen a
Circuit City ad knows, that means we all save. It’s what the
candidates would call a win-win situation. And hopefully I’ll call
seven glorious days and six wonderful nights in Cancun.
Now all I need to do is sit back and
wait a year or so until the last days of the campaign, when the bidding
will really heat up. In the meantime, though, I still need to make a
living. Maybe it’s time to post an ad for that broken Elvis ashtray
I’ve had sitting in a safe deposit box for the past five years.
©2003 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them waiting for the auction to end.