Ah, South Park. I really like it most of the time. Have since the beginning, through the inevitable merchandising explosion, fallback and reinvention. These days though, the show’s just a bit off politically.
If it was out-and-out right wing, it’d lose its audience. It’d lose some of it going left too. As it is, they claim to not support anyone and throw their mud wildly. Last week, they had a thick “the immig’ants took our jobs” character become suddenly knowledgeable, claiming that global warming is a myth. Matt and Trey, the creators, claim in interviews that anyone who gets their opinion from a cartoon is an idiot, but they’re clearly trying to push their own opinions. That one they’ve sucked up from the Republican propaganda machine and spat out whole.
This week there was a vote between a giant douche and a turd sandwich for school mascot, a direct reference to the recent US elections. Stan becomes disillusioned with the non-choice offered and is banished for refusing to vote. Kyle is pissed off when he votes for the “wrong” side.
They’ve missed the whole point, and America’s election system helps every citizen to miss the point. A vote shouldn’t be about one President. The person doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t. It’s about the values that person stands for. Personification of the process means that one sweaty brow or one poor wardrobe choice screws up a country or maybe the whole planet for some length of time.
The presidential system means that one person, to some extent, actually wields that power, and that’s wrong. At least in Australia and the UK, the party is seen to have a fair amount of power and cabinet members each have some autonomy and responsibility.
If everyone who voted did so for a party and not for a person, there would be less apathy. Every person who says it doesn’t matter, that they’re each the same as each other, has missed the point. Look at the policies; assess who’s actually supporting people who need that support. The parties (all parties) may appear similar, but that’s because they are trying to appeal to the centre-leaning swingers. All large parties try to appeal to the widest groups; look at their under-publicised policies and decide there.
John Safran summarises well. He said: “Right wingers are basically evil, and left wingers are basically good.” By all means choose within the shades of good and evil, but their figureheads are unimportant.
I guess I write this as much for myself as for anyone else, and I have a sense that I’m preaching to the converted. Nobody else is reading. If I’m wrong, let me know. Email my name @ this site.