Wednesday night America voted and chose their next singing superstar. A spasmodic gray-haired man who dances like he’s just dropped a radio into the bath with him. Over 63 million votes were cast. As has been widely reported, that number is more than any President in history has ever received. American Idol is so popular that the Fox network has run it two nights a week for the last 4 months and won the ratings time slot every time. “Idol,” as the fans call it, is talked about in every workplace, reported on in every newspaper, and mentioned on every news program. America feels passionately about their right to choose. There has been nothing since World War II that has united Americans the way that Idol has. Even if you don’t watch it, you know it exists and most likely you know the names. This next statement is supposition on my part, but I defy anyone to find evidence to the contrary: More Americans can name Simon, Paula, Randy and Ryan than can name the Vice-President.
Technology has made Americans lazy. Unless we can see it on a little, glowing screen “it” makes little impact upon our lives. There is a very real possibility that newspapers, books, and magazines will be something our grandchildren will only read about on history websites. Equally obsolete is the American electoral system. We’ve elected the head of our country, the so-called leader of the free world, by the same method for 150 years. My question is, how do we get voters interested and motivated in our political system again?
The answer is simple. Why not make our Presidential election more modern? Why not choose our President the way we choose our American Idol? Let’s make it a t.v. show where voters can call, I.M., or text message our votes as many times as we want as we narrow the field down to two candidates. With our current system Americans have very little say in who the final two Presidential candidates are. I want the choice back! The t.v. show, American President, could have auditions in several cities with a panel of intelligent but entertaining judges weeding out the obvious losers. Sure, we’d have a few William Hungs or Crazy Daves, but after our last few Presidents whose to say we didn’t already elect the equivalent? If politics were more entertaining, more people would be informed and invested in voting. And yes, I am proposing that people get to vote more than once if they want to. Why not? If you care that passionately about your candidate that you’ll spend two hours a week text messaging then you deserve more say in the outcome than the lump who sits on their couch eating cheetos and won’t lift a finger except to lick that orange stuff off. I can’t imagine anything more entertaining and suspenseful than to hear Ryan Seacrest say, “America voted and I’m going to tell you who your next President will be….after the break.”