The Low-Information Voter's Guide to Politics
Personal responsibility is hard. We're here to help.
Are you typically lost when co-workers discuss current events around the water cooler? Do you have trouble figuring out the national debt or who that Ben Ghazi dude is, but you know what's on Kim Kardashian's grocery list?
If you think you only deserve fun answers to all life's questions … you're right! This primer will help you look smart and morally superior in any political discussion. Just memorize these big words, explained in easy terms you already know from TMZ and The Daily Show:
BIASED: If you have a weird friend who goes to church and her parents are still married, that's what they are.
ELECTIONS: These are like the Teen Choice Awards: the coolest and most popular wins. Democrats always win because they are cool and popular. Republicans are more like your weird friend's parents.
DEBT CEILING: This is like Lindsay Lohan's probation: by law, she should go to jail if she gets arrested, but we all know she won't.
PUBLIC EDUCATION: Think Memento. Remember how the guy in the movie learned to go through life and fight enemies by relying on snapshots, notes, and tattoos? Public education does that on a national level as a free service.
IM-MI-GRA-TION: Whew, that's a long word – just like that velvet rope outside nightclubs. When really fun people arrive, you just open it right up.
QUAN-TI-TA-TIVE EASING: Remember Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, and how he printed his own checks? Well, that's what the Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, does. It's really cool.
TRILLION DOLLARS: This is a silly number. If someone says: “The U.S. national debt has topped 16 trillion,” take it easy. Remember how Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to fifteen life terms while having only one life?
Once you owe more than you can pay, numbers stop making sense. Anything above that is free money; spend it fast so you can get more.
ECONOMIC STIMULUS: It's like Whitney Houston upping her dosage to get the same high, always needing to use more and more to “chase the dragon.”
SE-QUE-STRA-TION: This is just a made-up word that Republicans say to make you feel stupid.
FAIR SHARE: Someone you know has three Louis Vuitton handbags and you only have one. As many as you can get somebody else to steal from them and give to you – that is your fair share.
ENTITLEMENTS: This is like celebrities getting a $30,000 bag of goodies for showing up to the Oscars, so that the givers get more street cred and respect. And votes.
FOREIGN POLICY: Think Lady Gaga's world tour: it's totally awesome but can also get weird – like, she's hot in places like Europe and Japan, but gets booed and canceled in places like Indonesia.
IRAN: Think Robert Downey Jr. – he may be calm at the moment, but if he gets his hands on the wrong stuff, he could trash his neighbor's house and pass out naked on the lawn.
MUSLIMS: These are like the blue people from the movie Avatar – they live in a magic tree and don't need human technology or any of our laws like gravitation, because they have a miraculous energy source inside their planet. Humans must respect that, and send them humanitarian aid. But instead, an evil corporation from Earth brings drilling equipment; that's why all humans get killed.
ISRAEL: This is like the evil corporation from Avatar that landed on the blue people's planet.
OIL: Think magic energy source on planet Pandora that humans want to steal. Get over it, humans!
OCCUPY WALL STREET: People in this movement are fighting greed by forcing Michael Douglas' character in Wall Street
MEDIA: The good media are like paparazzi and E! Entertainment who keep it real by telling us all the truth about interesting people. The bad media are like bullies who make good people look bad. Nobody listens to them except for your friend's weird parents.
HIGH-CAPACITY MAGAZINES: These do not contain expensive perfume samples that you can rip out while waiting at your hair salon. See GUN CONTROL.
GUN CONTROL: If Naomi Campbell had a gun, she would be shooting at her maids all the time. Without a gun she just beats them with a cell phone and then gives them compensation. Everyone is alive and happy. As long as the government keeps guns away from the citizens, Rihanna and Chris Brown will always be together.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Think Brad Pitt, dashing A-lister who can't do anything wrong.
FIRST LADY: She is like Kim Kardashian, only with other people's money.
VICE PRESIDENT: Think Steve Carell, a lovable nincompoop who likes to make others laugh.
WHITE HOUSE: This is like Cribs, a really fancy pad where celebrities hang out and party instead of working.
MIDDLE CLASS: These are like the extras in movies – kind of important but nobody cares who they really are.
CON-STI-TU-TION: It sounds almost like Cosmopolitan, except it's really old and has no make-up ads or sexy pictures, but some people are really into it, like Antiques Roadshow.
Oleg Atbashian, a writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, currently lives in New York. He is the creator of ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square. He is the author of recently published Shakedown Socialism.