Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s show Dirty Jobs took to Facebook to answer a fan’s request to “encourage your huge following to go out and vote this election.”
Jeremy Schneider writes…
Hey Mike, I have nothing but respect for you. Your no-nonsense outlook and incredible eloquence have really had a profound impact in my life. Can you please encourage your huge following to go out and vote this election? I would never impose on you by asking you to advocate one politician over another, but I do feel this election could really use your help. I know that there are many people out there who feel like there is nothing they can do. Please try to use your gifts to make them see that they can do something – that their vote counts.
Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. I also share your concern for our country, and agree wholeheartedly that every vote counts. However, I’m afraid I can’t encourage millions of people whom I’ve never met to just run out and cast a ballot, simply because they have the right to vote. That would be like encouraging everyone to buy an AR-15, simply because they have the right to bear arms. I would need to know a few things about them before offering that kind of encouragement. For instance, do they know how to care for a weapon? Can they afford the cost of the weapon? Do they have a history of violence? Are they mentally stable? In short, are they responsible citizens?“I would need to know a few things about them before offering that kind of encouragement,” he told the reader. “For instance, do they know how to care for a weapon? Can they afford the cost of the weapon? Do they have a history of violence? Are they mentally stable? In short, are they responsible citizens?”
And responsibility is what it all comes down to.
“Casting a ballot is not so different. It’s an important right that we all share, and one that impacts our society in dramatic fashion. But it’s one thing to respect and acknowledge our collective rights, and quite another thing to affirmatively encourage people I’ve never met to exercise them. And yet, my friends in Hollywood do that very thing, and they’re at it again,” he observed.
He said that liberal celebrities urge their fans to “get out and vote” during every presidential election cycle, calling it our “most important civic duty,” noting that “they speak as if the very act of casting a ballot is more important than the outcome of the election.”
Calling those pleas “somewhat hysterical,” Rowe said there’s an ulterior motive behind them.
“Does anyone actually believe that Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ed Norton would encourage the ‘masses’ to vote, if they believed the ‘masses’ would elect Donald Trump?” he asked.
He described voting as “a right, not a duty, and not a moral obligation,” which carries with it a responsibility on the part of the voter. But even the irresponsible are allowed to cast a ballot.
“If you believe aliens from another planet walk among us, you are welcome at the polls. If you believe the world is flat, and the moon landing was completely staged, you are invited to cast a ballot. Astrologists, racists, ghost-hunters, sexists, and people who rely upon a Magic 8 Ball to determine their daily wardrobe are all allowed to participate. In fact, and to your point, they’re encouraged.”
Rowe reasoned that encouraging everyone to vote — regardless of their mental state or knowledge of issues and current events is crazy.
“When they tell us that ‘everybody in the country should get out there and vote,’ regardless of what they think or believe, I gotta wonder what they’re smoking.”
Read more: BPR