Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So much for that stereotype

Joel Stein, the only columnist in America who manages to be both an elitist snob and an apathetic slacker, recently explored the outer fringes of the electoral process. In this era of expanding the franchise, Los Angeles County set up last-minute voter registration booths at several Wendy's around town. Assuming that only the irredeemably lazy would take advantage of fast food and voter registration, Stein expected to find people who had not bothered to register and were only now making up for their procrastination. Not quite.

The first person I saw, to my shock, was someone I knew -- publicist Julia Cohen. I immediately started to make fun of her for registering at the last minute, but she told me she had registered a long time ago but feared that her forms were lost because she didn't get a voter information guide in the mail. She'd spent 25 minutes on the phone and then tried to confirm her registration on a website, but the city's computer server was overwhelmed. She even stopped by the Barack Obama campaign office for advice. Cohen wasn't a slacker. She was an anal-retentive geek.

It turned out that almost everyone I talked to at Wendy's was an incredibly responsible citizen.

. . .
My attempts to pick on procrastinators quickly turned into political conversations I was not nearly informed enough to handle. No, Doug Amaturo (had to update his address), I still don't know why the L.A. Times is against Proposition 2.
I love it when stereotypes clash with reality, and reality wins. I particularly like it when the stereotype in question is the lack of intelligence of the average American voter.

I went to high school in a suburb of Detroit. There was one class that was required by the State of Michigan for graduation: everyone had to take a class in American government. Maybe that actually worked.

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