In preparation for the upcoming midterms, my employer requested I send employees a link to the county website holding links to a complete list of voting information, including polling hours, locations, sample ballots for each district and early voting.
Later that afternoon, a young coworker emailed. “Why is voting so important? Much of it is predetermined and your vote doesn’t count.”
After work, a group met for drinks. Annoyed, the young coworker interrupted and complained I hadn’t responded to the email.
“I don’t answer political questions at work. Management provides the county website only as a frame of reference, and should you choose to vote, willingly provides several hours.”
Scoffing, the young employee snorted, “I suppose you’re voting?”
“Because I’m not a wild pig.”
Truthfully, I could have stated that in a democracy, we get the government we deserve, and this means we get even those governments we never voted for, meaning by our failure to participate. Instead, we get governments by the few, for the few. As such, these outcomes are often abysmal.
I did not say any of the above. Instead, I told my young coworker the parable of ‘wild pigs.’
“One day, a Political Science student from a foreign country asked the professor a strange question. “Know how to catch wild pigs?”
Thinking the question to be a joke, the professor replied, “What’s the punch line?”
“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put fence down one side of the place where they’re used to eating. When they get used to the fence, they continue to eat the corn again. You put up another side of fence. They get used to that and continue to eat.
You continue the routine until all four sides of the fence are up with only a gate in the last side. The pigs, being used to free corn, come through the gate and eat. You slam the gate and catch the whole herd. Suddenly, the wild pigs scream in panic as they try to escape. It’s only then they realize they’re caught.
In essence, they’ve forgotten how to think for themselves. That’s how I see American voters.”
So, under the current administration, who’s the farmer and who are the pigs? Do I have to hit you over the head?