With Halloweekend in the books, what do we have to look forward to? Three words: Election Day 2014. Sounds fun, right?
Alright, so maybe Nov. 4 doesn’t have the same ring that our favorite college holiday does. But there was a time when the annual vote for American political office was a bash of its own. It was long ago—somewhere between the time Hillary began her campaign for 2016 and the day the dinosaurs went extinct.
In the age of Jacksonian democracy and spoils system politics, elections meant community feasts where merriment and libations were enjoyed. I’m not saying politicians of that era weren’t using these Election Day “funtivities” to win hearts, but who says a little 19th-century bribery can’t be fun?
So in the spirit of a bygone era in American electioneering—and for the sake of cheering up our post-Halloween blues—I’ve come up with a few ways we can put the “party” back in politics.
Election Day Songs: You can’t spell “holiday” without “songs.” Here are three universal facts about holiday music—1) everyone likes it, 2) it reminds you that you better get yourself to Hallmark to buy some cards, and 3)it creates the perfect excuse for a Celine Dion-Andrea Bocelli musical special. How pumped would you be to vote after listening to a sing-along of “Charlie Crist is Coming to Town”? President Barack Obama’s favorite, “Silent Right,” goes a step further to capture the holiday’s religious meaning. Another great thing about holiday songs is that they can be leveraged into hour-long TV shows, preferably aired on ABC Family. Looking for sentimentality and some good old-fashioned fun? Turn on Dr. Seuss’s heartwarming classic The Day Mitch McConnell Stole Christmas (From the Tea Party).
Call-Ins and Result Shows: Admit it, you still watch American Idol. That’s fine, because like most other people aged 10 to 85, you find everything more interesting when a popularity contest compels you to pick up the phone, and you’re subsequently rewarded with a results show. So how about we do the same for our elected officials? What says “upset victory” better than Republican Charlie Baker winning the governorship in America’s bluest state? Watching him hug it out with opponent Martha Coakley on national television, with Ryan Seacrest standing by. Plus being the loser in a race would be so much more palatable when there’s a post-defeat video montage involved.
Free Food: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It also hits close to home, considering I currently have $1.50 worth of Eagle Dining Bucks left on my Flex plan. I’ve been spending like a Democrat.
All jokes aside, it’s easy to forget that Election Day is the annual expression of our fundamental democratic right as Americans. It is a liberty that many have fought to protect. We can easily grow too cynical to care from the gridlock we see in Washington everyday, and how it’s encouraged by cable news demagoguery.
But before avoiding the polls or throwing away your mail-in ballot, think of the millions of men and women who sacrificed so that you can have a voice. If you vote for anyone tomorrow, vote for them.
Featured Image courtesy of J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo