The waves are crashing. The skies are dark. The volcanoes are ripe for a virgin sacrifice. The meteor hurtling toward the Earth is now considered an act of mercy. This may sound like just another day in the Michael Bay production of 2020, but it is much more than that. Election time is near, and the insanity is approaching as surely as a fly to shi- Mike Pence’s head. As the whole nation readies itself for what I am lovingly referring to as UFC2020, there is no better time to go out and speak to the wide and varied masses of this great country. But as I am currently locked in the Vassar bubble (think NBA bubble but with fewer athletes; same amount of drug use though) I have to settle for the populace here. Luckily, I am sure there will be a wide array of informed political opinions on both sides of the table.
OK, so surprisingly there are a lot more Democrats than Republicans on this campus. Like, I am pretty sure Vassar Democrats is considered a varsity sport at this point. The Vassar Republicans, on the other hand, have a hard time even affording Zoom calls. Thanks to the Democrats, however, they always have pizza at their meetings, as long as they accept it under the name I.C. Weiner. Current political leanings on campus aside, the one thing all students do seem to have in common is election fever, and it is spreading quickly—so quickly, in fact, that Vassar is developing a new app for it. So expect to ignore two daily notifications from now on.
With an increasingly loud political conversation happening on campus, it is important that we address all pressing matters not just through conversation, but meaningful actions as well. So I decided to go around and approach random students and ask about everyone’s favorite topics: politics and personal action. As I roamed around campus ready to bother any innocent bystander who just wants to study for midterms, I found my first victim: Colby Beef ’21. Beef is Vassar’s only strictly carnivorous student, and after seeing his lifted Hummer truck, it is also safe to assume he is the reason why Vassar is now not projected to be carbon neutral until 2300. With his beautiful barbed wire tattoo and a collection of red baseball caps that would be the highlight of any Pawn Stars episode, Beef hardly seems like the typical Trump supporter, but he is here—and proud of it.
I decided that the best way to cook this Beef was to get to the point, so I just asked him straight up if he planned on voting in the upcoming election. Frankly, he seemed a bit shocked.
“Well of course I plan on voting,” started Beef. “As someone who is lucky enough to have his constitutional rights and be able to use them, not voting would be simply idiotic. Regardless of whether or not I find myself particularly interested in the policies of either candidate, it is my duty as an aware citizen to weigh both of the candidates and then ignore one side for the one I decided I’m voting for long ago. But yes, everyone should vote. Just go out there and spend one afternoon in a line of people. No big deal.”
“Well, actually you could just mail in your ballot—”
“MAIL FRAUD EXISTS. The USPS is a broken system and absolutely no one should trust it!”
“Doesn’t the President mail in his ballot?”
Though brief, my interview with Beef was very enlightening, as he brought up exactly the point I wanted to get to: the importance of voting. So I was very lucky to have next stumbled upon a group engaged in that very topic, and I decided it would be best to jump right in.
“So what did you guys think of the debate?”
“Oh, it was absolutely fantastic. Jim Carrey’s version of Biden really nailed what I assume he looked like. Baldwin as Trump is great as always, of course,” said S. Heep ’24, the “leader” of the group.
“The SNL debates are hilarious, but I meant the actual debate itself.”
“Oh yeah, of course, there were so many great TikToks of phrases I assume were said at the debate.”
“Okay…but did you actually watch any part of the debate itself?”
“Yes of course I did, the TikTok parts. Are you even listening?”
“Apparently not. But this passion is good at least. So you plan on voting right?”
“Oh I hate Trump, he needs to be voted out ASAP.”
“So you will be sending in a vote? Or going in person?”
“Oh, probably sending it in. I’m busy election day.”
“Mail-in ballots are totally valid, but don’t forget to request it by the 27th.”
“Oh…that’s so early. Well, it’s fine. He’s a horrible person, I’m sure he will get voted out.”
I had to stop the interview shortly after this interaction as I felt there was a 50 percent chance I would have a stress-induced aneurysm.
After enough interaction to last me a few elections, I felt dejected. But as I continued to walk through campus, seeing all the voting signs and receiving alerts on my phone reminding me to register, I felt a bit more confident that people would actually get out there and vote. Now please, don’t become a mocking caricature for some old ass college student to exploit for laughs. Just vote.