Jonas Brother Tells me to Unplug

Photo on 2009-12-14 at 01.46

I was watching TV the other day when one of the Jonas Brothers told me it’s very important that I unplug my cell phone charger when it’s not being used. “You,” the kid said, “can make a difference. It’s really important.”

I admire Junior’s commitment to making a public-service announcement, even though it appeared he was wearing a jacket that almost certainly led to the death of three animals; even though he probably arrived for the PA session in a 14-mpg limo after flying in a private jet.

What I find interesting—and depressing—is the reality of such announcements: Namely, they are 100% untrue. Whether I, Jeff Pearlman, keep my cell charger unplugged makes literally zero impact on tNB07_head_smhe country’s/world’s energy supply. Hell, if 100 of my closest friends keep their cell charges plugged in for the next year, it probably makes no difference. Sad, but true.

It’s the same thing with the whole EVERY VOTE COUNTS movement. Though I consider voting to be an extremely important act, at no point in my life has my vote actually mattered. Meaning, whether I voted for, oh, Hillary Clinton or Rick Lazio mattered not—the election was decided by far more than a single pull. Even Bush-Gore ’00—the closest big-time election on record, wasn’t decided by a single vote. Hell, in my little town, I enthusiastically voted for our mayor, Noam Bramson. Had I written in JIM HENSON, Noam still wins. Big.

Yet we utter this nonsense over and over—You make the difference; Your vote is vital; etc … etc. It’s a dishonest way to inspire a movement. Do 100 votes count? Sometimes, but rarely. Do 1,000 votes count? Possibly. Do 1 million votes count? Almost always.

As for electricity and global warming, well, I refuse to dump my garbage in the Long Island Sound. Yet were I to do so it probably wouldn’t make a big dent. Were everyone to do so, however, the impact would be earth-altering.

It’s 1:45 am. I’m going to bed …

2 thoughts on “Jonas Brother Tells me to Unplug”

  1. Agree with the Every Vote Counts argument especially in states that are traditionally one side or the other. If you were a Republican in New York, why would you vote in the presidential election if you knew the state was going to the Democrats? The vote is essentially worthless before the guy steps in the booth.

  2. If everyone thought the way you did, and in turn didn’t vote, wouldn’t somebody’s vote matter then?

    Logically speaking, singular votes do count, and just because elections typically aren’t decided by one vote does not mean a single vote does not matter. It is something of an imperfect moral responsibility — the moral responsibility for elections falls on everybody, as they are part of a collective, but at the same time not on any one particular person, creating a weird kind of paradox.

    So even though as an individual you don’t have the singular moral responsibility for voting, as a member of a society who bears a collective responsibility for an election you have a duty, as it were, to vote.

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