Politics

‘Rock the Vote’ should be called ‘Mock the Vote’

'Rock the Vote' should be called 'Mock the Vote'

Have you all seen the latest video put out by “Rock the Vote” aimed at “building political power for young people”? Count your blessings if you haven’t. For one thing, it features a flabby Lena Dunham jiggling her pasty body in what appears to be an adult onesie (which is ironic, considering she’s “turning out” for the right not to reproduce).

The opening scene of the video sums up the theme of Rock the Vote, that is: It is important to make your voice heard no matter what, even if what you have to say is nonsensical, contradictory, and/or wrong.

The rapper Lil Jon (not to be confused with Robin Hood’s right-hand man) is shown talking on the phone with a person later revealed to be Whoopi Goldberg. Lil Jon tells her he is going to go vote in the midterms, and he repeats “midterms” many times over, as Whoopi repeatedly responds, “What?!”, echoing one of Lil Jon’s famous, inquisitive catchphrases.

Whoopi cites the service on her phone “breaking up” (where in the U.S. outside of rural Wyoming does that even happen anymore?) as the reason she is unable to understand the word “midterms” (maybe Lil Jon’s grill obstructs his pronunciation?), but I suspect the reason Lil Jon is made to repeat the word is because most young people, for whom the video is intended, have no idea “midterms” are coming up. They might not even know what “midterms” refers to (perhaps assuming the rapper is anticipating university exams?), let alone who’s running or on what platform.

But no matter. Rock the Vote makes voting cool and fun. It turns a civic duty into a catchy hashtag (#turnoutforwhat), and employs the star power of ditzy celebrities to endorse voting. They all look half-stoned, if not crazed- jumping around and dancing like overgrown children separated from reality. Another word for a group of such people is “psychos.”

Rock the Vote also makes a joke of the voting process. Lil Jon interrupts Dunham in a voting booth where she is with her celebrity trainer- a joke in itself, as those who witness Dunham’s body later on must realize. Lil John then has the celebrity trainer sign his ballot before he goes off to cast it. These silly violations of the Democratic process – they matter not.

What does it mean to “rock” the vote, anyway? The verbiage is likely an allusion to rock and roll. This would make sense since that particular genre of music and the RTV organization share the same reputation for careful deliberation and any semblance of a moral compass. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.

Except that it isn’t all right. It’s all left. RTV calls itself a “nonpartisan” organization, yet every spokesperson on the latest video promotes voting for liberal causes. “I’m turning out for marriage equality,” says one, “reproductive rights,” says Dunham. One girl dopily says she’s turning out for “human rights,” while another says she’s turning out for “women’s rights.” Perhaps there is a difference I don’t know about? Alec Baldwin’s daughter says she’s turning out for “global warming awareness.” BAH! You’d think if it were so warm we’d be aware. Lil Jon surprises us all by revealing he’s turning out for “the legalization of marijuana,” being too high to realize that’s it’s a libertarian cause, too.

The video also shows a gun with a lock on it, promoting more gun control. Not a single person on the video advocates “turning out” for “Second Amendment Rights,” “unborn babies’ rights,” or “limiting government.” Maybe it’s because people in favor of such causes know better than to encourage anyone who would be inspired by such a video to vote.

Rock the Vote appears to encourage people to vote, seemingly by any means necessary, for whatever cause they choose, and for whomever they choose. That’s like encouraging people to go to war and to fight for either side.

And we wonder why democracy has gotten us where it has.


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