I was very excited to hear from Mitt Romney, in the wake of the election, that President Obama had been liberally bestowing gifts or even “big gifts” on key demographics to assure their votes. I love gifts. This is, after all, the season.
If Mitt Romney is to be believed, President Obama went to all the houses of the good swing state boys and girls from relevant demographics bringing them free contraception and free health care and Dream Acts and even tossing down the occasional lump of coal subsidy to the Very Good. And that was why, Romney said, they voted for him.
I love gifts as much as the next human.
But is this what I was supposed to be doing? Vote now! Get a free gift! I thought we had all voted based on the issues we considered most important. Is the “gifts theory” of voting really the going theory? Is that what the Magi were really after? When people warned you about Greeks bearing gifts, was it because you would suddenly be compelled to vote Agamemnon? Look, if I voted instantly for whoever offered me free contraceptives, I would have voted for the weird plastic bowl in the Community Health Center at college for four years running.
Besides, if Romney really thinks this is how voting works, where are the Romney gifts? Where is my jar of Brylcreme and my Groupon for riding lessons? He didn’t even give me any coal. And my list was modest. All that was on it were “specifics” and “consistency.”
Still, I went dashing downstairs to see what President Obama had brought down the voting chimney. But all I could find was the same thing I get every election: years of debt and costly entitlements my generation is expected to deal with on our own time. And he didn’t even do anything to stop the fourth Twilight movie from coming.
Something was amiss.
Frankly, President Obama didn’t do remarkably well on “specifics” and “consistency” either. But at least he sent me this nice lamp! No, I’m sorry, I take that back. It was here before. I got excited. Maybe this is what comes of living in DC, a state whose electoral vote is largely decorative.
No, after the vote fairy had come and gone, all I could find was my usual furniture, plus the promise of a future in which my lifetime earning potential as a Millennial was severely limited. Er, thanks. Does this mean I was good or bad? Or maybe it’s the thought that counts.
Look, I am not saying that the electorate was not swayed by gifts, but Santa Claus was quite literally on the ballot in certain states. And look who won.