Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 02.02.04


Dear Voters

Two things on NPR radio recently gave me some insight into the American voting public. The first is a bit obscure but bear with me.

Over lunch I listened to an interview with a young woman who was selling herself as an "imaginary girlfriend" on Ebay. Apparently there are people out there who are such incredible losers that they would pay money to talk on the phone with some flea-brained, bubble-gum popping twit and pretend that they are girlfriend-boyfriend.

She is selling this service to the highest bidder. It lasts for four weeks. The interviewer didn't ask the most interesting question; i.e. "how much?"

I went on Ebay and found that there were 72 imaginary girlfriends available to anyone with a healthy disposable income and the self-esteem of a sneeze guard scraper at a TB clinic.

The highest bid for one of these surrogate babes is, drum roll please, $505.00! I'm not prone to using exclamation points but this bid blows me away. Why hasn't our civilization been overthrown by primates? Probably too cold.

Having listened to the issues that voters deem important, I find that the war is very low on the priority pole. People seem to be interested in finding out the war record of the candidates but not much about the actual war that we have going on right now.

If I hear Kerry tell his story about hauling his buddies out of a river in 'Nam again, I'm going to plotz.

He's probably doing the prudent thing by beating his drum over and over again. The voters in this country are morons, apparently. They are just like those bidders on Ebay after a phony girlfriend.

They value appearance over substance. They like the tinsel but ignore the tree. They don't want someone who can lead and advance our society; they want someone who looks like they might be good at it.

Take our former governor, for example. He showed a bit of humanity in Iowa and had a giant kibosh lowered onto his campaign. Now he's firing people left and right trying to become just another clone of Kerry, Gephardt, and Edwards.

He actually hired a Washington insider to replace campaign manager Joe Trippi, in order to help him defeat the Washington insiders. How can you give people a different choice if you hire someone to transmogrify you into a doppelganger of all the other stiffs?

I know that the "I have a scream" speech was likely a deathblow to his campaign but I found it, well, maybe not endearing but certainly edgy.

Did I want him near the button? Maybe not.

So, maybe it's not the politicians that I have the problem with, it's the voters. The politicians are just the parasites of life that keep mutating into different forms to keep their hosts happy. Ergo, if all those mouth-breathing simpletons hadn't voted for Bush we might still have a democracy around here.

It doesn't seem to matter how much you squawk about the tax cut for the rich that has increased the deficit by gazillions, or the Patriot's Act which effectively turns us into a pseudo police state, or the blatant monstrous lies that have lead to this murderous war and at the same time alienated all our allies.

We can raise hell about packing the judiciary with zealots right wing enough to make Limbaugh puke or faith-based charities or the no child left behind that leaves more children than ever behind or the clean air initiative that guarantees the worst air ever.

We can rail until our lungs collapse but the voters don't care.

Our American voters care about how good the President looks in a flight suit and how avuncular Dick Cheney appears to be.

They care that the President doesn't lie about boinking the interns.

Never mind that the one we have now lies about things that cause soldiers to come home in body bags. That appears to be just business as usual. But if he jumps one of the congressional aides he better prepare for impeachment.

OK (deep breath) I'll admit that the Tijuana School Air Conditioner Repair and Column Writing would probably give this rambling rant a "D" but screw it.

I know what I'll doI'll send this column to papers in South Carolina and Michigan and Oregon and New Mexico and Missouri and TEXAS and GEORGIA and then I'll send it all the way to WASHINGTON D.C. YEEEEEHAAWWWW!