Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rant #1,307: Vote ... For Privacy

This would have been a great blackout sketch on the old "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" show, or perhaps on the current "Saturday Night Live," but it did happen, it doesn't appear as if it were staged, and I must say, I found it quite amusing.

President Barcack Obama voted early in the Chicago mid-term elections, and he actually showed up at a polling place to vote.

As in many states, the place where you vote is open. You go up to a podium-like structure, place your vote, and leave. It isn't like it used to be, where you go under a curtain and do what you want without anyone seeing you.

Anyway, the President makes his vote, and he is doing so next to a young woman who is also making her vote.

The woman's boyfriend sees this, walks past both of them, and basically tells the President, "Don't touch my girlfriend."

The President does not seem totally amused by this, but he takes it good naturedly, pretty much telling the boyfriend that he had no intention of doing anything to the man's girlfriend.

It is a pretty funny exchange, and you really have to see it to get the full thrust of it. I have provided it below so you can watch it yourself.

At the end, the President actually does give the woman a peck on her cheek, saying something to the effect that "Now he really has something to say," with the kiss and all.

This encounter made me laugh, but also made me think a bit.

Why were any cameras turned on the President as he voted to begin with?

Votes are supposed to be private, and as I said, used to be done behind a curtain.

Why was he recorded making his vote?

Sure, you can't see who he is voting for, but would a camera be turned on him if he were in the old fashioned voting booth?

Perhaps, but you would only be able to see his legs and him emerging from the booth. Here, you actually see him making his vote.

And what about the girlfriend of the man? You actually see her making her vote, too?

Is this right?

And I am sure it also makes some people believe that the whole thing was staged, which I don't think it was, but it could have been.

The President's approval rating has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, with his handling of the ISIS and Ebola crises highly scrutinized.

Could this episode have been staged to make him appear more human, more next-door neighbor-like, more appealing to the American public?

I don't think so, but you know what?

Videotaping people making their vote in polling places really should be banned to begin with, especially now that they are so open, without that curtain.

It really is no one's business to see someone voting, and it is bad enough that you record the President doing so, but what about a supposed innocent being recorded doing her civic duty?

What happened to privacy?

So yes, it was an amusing episode, but it should be the last such episode of its kind.

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