I’m just a middle-class, middle-aged, middle-management, middle-of-the-road, virtually invisible and inconsequential American Joe. I love my God, and when I sometimes order the most depleted flavor in the ice cream shop just so the bosomy counter girl has to lean over more to scoop from it, I beg His forgiveness.
But dammit, my vote is just as valuable as yours, Mary-Kate (or Ashley) Olsen. We both count as “one.” That’s something one of you forgot last summer when you snubbed me at the Indianapolis International Airport.
Well guess what: in this country, the voting booth is the ultimate equalizer. Out in the world, you may be one-half of America’s Sweethearts from fifteen years ago, running multi-million dollar fashion brands and production companies, but when we step into that partitioned desk and face that confusing-as-hell democracy apparatus, we’re ALL America’s Sweethearts.
It doesn’t matter that whichever one of you snubbed me was a Hollywood producer at age 6 while I’m just in charge of running the WebEx for our quarterly budget reconciliation meetings and making sure the Northwest printer (by the mailroom, Cannon1568) stays full of paper. In America, one vote is one vote no matter who casts it.
Now, I’m not sure exactly which one of you I saw ducking into the Sky Club as I was shouting both your names across the Delta terminal (I’m pretty sure it was the one with the dead eyes and sunken cheeks), but come Election Day you can’t just steal away into some elitist lounge to avoid the plebes. You will be forced to figuratively stand side by side with even the most mediocre, uninspiring and so-so citizens like myself, AS EQUALS.
I was never the backbone of ABC’s blockbuster TGIF lineup, but by God’s grace I was born in this country over eighteen years ago, and as far as voting qualifications go, that’s where the list starts and ends. So you can check your holier-than-thou attitude at the polling station door, Mary-Kate (or Ashley), because on November 8th, you are no better than a guy who’s thrice been escorted out of an ice cream shop for baseless accusations of loitering/leering.
I’m sure you’ll vote in an air-conditioned ballroom in some fancy Bel-Air hotel wearing bug-eyed sunglasses and a thousand-dollar burlap shawl while I’ll wake up extra early to get to my polling station before work, but it’ll be too crowded, so I’ll try again at lunch, but it’ll be too crowded, so I’ll go after work, but it’ll be too crowded, so I’ll grab a quick ice cream and come back and just wait—but in the eyes of God and this country, we’re both still the exact same “one.”
And that’s what’s so goddamn great about America. All the money in the world won’t make your vote count more, and all the restraining orders in the world won’t make my vote count less.
Maybe you should remember that the next time you’re in the mood to snub a fellow citizen. Because on Election Day, I will relish poking my finger on that voting touchscreen, and in doing so bursting the bubble of your illusions to status, privilege, and superiority.
Let THAT be a lesson to you, Mary-Kate (or Ashley).