"I Voted" Stickers are the New Joe Camel

"I Voted" Stickers are the New Joe Camel

By David Himmel

It’s 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

“Have you voted yet?” he asks me.

“No.”

“What!? Why not?”

“Haven’t had a chance to.”

“You’re going to vote, right? Right?”

“Yes.”

“Why didn’t you vote early?”

“I don’t like to.”

“What!? Why not?”

“I find voting on Election day to be… romantic, I guess. Makes me feel my most American. That feeling that I absolutely must complete my duty as a citizen of this country within the allotted 13 hours makes me appreciate the magnitude of what it means to live in a free, albeit struggling, society.”

“But the lines.”

“Eh. My polling place has never had lines. I think I’ll be OK. Otherwise, I’ll wait in line. I’m going at the end of the day anyway. Probably the least busy time.”

“But don’t you want to get your vote in?

“Yes. That’s why I’m voting today.”

“But you’re procrastinating.”

“I’m not. I had a lot of things to do today — voting being one of them — and I’m going to do it. There’s a reason the polls are open until 7 p.m.”

Everyone should vote. But that’s my opinion. People can do whatever they want. At the very least, everyone should have the ability to vote. Voter suppression is an egregious crime. Voting is a right that I don’t think should be taken lightly. When modern patriots talk about soldiers dying for our freedom in Iraq, I don’t buy it. Our freedom has not been threatened in hundreds of years. What’s been threatened is the ease in which we can expand our empire. But hey, maybe that’s tomatoes/potatoes. But there were men and women who died so that we could cast our votes and have the wonderfuck that is the Electoral College. That’s not lost on me. It’s also not lost on me that the same kind of struggles and deaths are still occurring in countries all over this warm orb. The People should have a voice.

 Apparently,  this  is what democracy looks like.

Apparently, this is what democracy looks like.

Voting matters. Voting is not something to brag about.

All day yesterday, and, to a smaller degree, the last two weeks or so with early voting, I saw posts on social media of friends I love and respect, and assholes I hope get cancer and lose their health insurance posting photos with their stickers or wristbands that said, “I Voted!” Often accompanied by words like: “Did you?”

It started to bug me just as too much of anything bugs me. I’m such a goddamn contrarian malcontent that if $100 bills were blasted into my home for 30 straight hours, I’d probably grow annoyed with being rich. So I avoided social media for the day. But then the emails came. Emails from my eye doctor offering 20 percent off an eyeglasses purchase for anyone who brings in their “’I Voted’ sticker” on Election Day. Where I reached my limit was when I got an email from J. Crew encouraging me to vote. And yes, offering a discount by showing proof I voted.

First of all, if you’re in Chicago and you use the word “sticker” when discussing a voting receipt, you’re talking nonsense. Chicago doesn’t get sticker. Chicago gets wristbands that aren’t much different than the ones you’d get at Burning Man. And that’s because no one from the Daley family ever got into the adhesive business.

But back to this J.Crew thing… Incentives to vote is great but here’s the problem. There’s an overabundance of self-righteous pride that has become undisguisable when it comes to voting. Yes, let’s all vote. Voting should be simple. Registering should be even more simple. But if you’re trying to inspire those who wouldn’t vote, you may want to consider your audience. The J. Crew audience are made up mostly of liberal, white assholes. I know this because I am one and I see all those fuckers just like me in the store when I’m cashing in a birthday coupon six months later on a new cable knit sweater. We’re voting.

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Thanks for the discount but I don’t want the places I occasionally shop at to get involved with my politics. Even if they remain 100 percent neutral, when the company I buy underpants from and Submittable, the dumping ground for writers to send stories they want rejected, is hounding me to Vote! Vote! Vote! Then we’ve gone too far. Politics has metastasized into every single daily event we participate in. It’s exhausting. I’ll still find porn featuring Sarah Palin look-a-likes. Enough already.

Good for you. You voted. Yay. You’re lucky that your right to express your democratic voice wasn’t suppressed. (Sounds like privilege to me.) And, OK, you did something responsible. It took all of part of one day of your entire life. You’ll do it again in a few months for local elections and again in two years for the national stuff. It’s pretty basic. Pretty routine. It’s an important thing to do but it’s a really easy thing to do if you’re one of the privileged who can vote and shops at J. Crew.

Voting is easy. If you can do it, that is. Holding the swine you elected accountable once they get off the campaign train and settle into their new digs is where the real work begins. A true patriot’s day off is Election day. Every day in between election days are working days.

“I Voted” stickers are the new Joe Camel swag. Everyone wants Joe camel’s stuff but few comprehend what sporting a Joe Camel windbreaker really means.

 Hey, dickface! You vote yet? Cool!

Hey, dickface! You vote yet? Cool!

Because here’s the thing… and this is strictly for my Illinois people… You’re so proud of having voted, great. I bet most of you voted for J.B. Pritzker — k.d, lang’s less talented, uglier and more crooked twin. I bet you an actual “I Voted” sticker that within three months of being sworn in as Illinois’ governor, he bends over to either a) kiss Mike Madigan’s feet, b) bend over to kiss Madigan’s soggy mushroom cap or c) bend over to let Madigan power blast J.B.’s pampered behind to shreds as he’s done with every Illinois Democrat since becoming Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Yeah, Rauner was a bit of a bum, but he wasn’t Madigan’s bitch. Not like the 53.9 percent of you who voted for Pritzker are. Just wait and see. Things aren’t going to get better. I’d say that Illinois is in the toilet and that we ought to prepare for the big, loose McDonald’s dump about to rain on us. But this is J.B.’s Illinois now. He’ll probably have all the toilets removed and leave the hot, gooey shit form puddles up to our ankles. 

I voted late in the day. I didn’t accept a wrist band after I voted. Doesn’t matter. Who cares? I also didn’t use a privacy sleeve because the hired hands at my polling place, exhausted from a day of interacting with self-aggrandizing rubes kept losing them.

“I have nothing to hide,” I said. “Besides I have other things to do tonight and I don’t have time to wait to hide my opinions.”

I’m glad you voted. I hope more people voted yesterday than in 2018. I hope the majority voted with some foresight and research under their belt. We’ll see. The results are (mostly) in. Now it’s time to get serious. Because we have two years to change course and prepare to elect more lesser than however many evils. And J.B. has two years to legalize marijuana and pump money into Illinois and CPS schools. If he doesn’t, I might become even more disaffected and not vote next time around.

Unless Chicago finally gets actual stickers so I can be an insufferable braggart in J. Crew’s latest fashions.

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