Election 2016

Horrible PSA: It's Okay to Bully Kids If Their Parents Didn't Vote?

Woah, your dad didn't vote? Is he some kind of loser nihilist?

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Civic Innovation Works

Schoolyard bullying: it's never okay. Unless, of course, the victim is the offspring of a non-voter. Then the kid probably deserves it—or should at least blame his dad for not caring enough about politics.

That's the confusing message behind a new get-out-the-vote video produced by Civic Innovation Works, a mysterious organization without much of an online presence. The video recently appeared on my News Feed: here it is.

The best part is the bully shouting, "your dad sounds like a total nihilist," as if that's some kind of put down. In reality, any politically-informed human being who isn't flirting with nihilism as a result of the 2016 campaign should have his head checked.

Of course, not voting is a perfectly responsible thing to do, for reasons outlined by Reason Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward: your vote has virtually no chance of influencing the outcome of a presidential election (even if you live in Florida and are using a time machine to travel back to the year 2000), the time it takes to vote is almost always better spent doing something else (if you value doing something else more than voting), and casting an ill-informed vote is almost certainly worse than not voting at all.

What makes this video so disturbing—and funny, if we're being honest—is all the other PSAs about how terrible bullying is for kids. There's something so self-righteous about the act of voting that it causes people to take leave of their senses.

Related: Who Will Get Our Votes? Reason's 2016 Presidential Poll

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  1. That is so disgusting.

    1. At least there wasn’t a magic red button they could press to blow the dad to smithereens.

    2. I wish we had more data. Whenever I see something like this, I can’t help but think that there are two distinct possibilities.

      * The producers knew exactly what they were doing and the people who respond to an ad like this will vote in some way that favors a candidate, per market research/focus groups, or not vote in defiance and end up skewing results towards some candidate by staying home.
      * It’s a big waste of money commissioned by idiots to funnel cash into (possibly to disguise where it actually ends up). In any bureaucracy, you spend the budget you have – even wastefully – or someone will reduce your budget later.

      The second choice is what Ockham’s razor favors, but we should all be well aware of how manipulative people can be when it comes to politics. I don’t trust anyone’s motives when they’re spending a lot of money to keep the duopoly propped up.

  2. Are you bullying us, or the makers of this propaganda?

    Am I bullying you by asking?

    Will other commentatortots bully me, or will they join in bullying you?

    1. *pushes scarecrow into sandbox*

      Nihilist!

      1. +1 ferret in bathtub

    2. Gimme your lunch money or I’m gonna kick you in the groin so hard that your balls are gonna come out of your mouth and hang there like a couple of castanets!

      1. I thought it was going to be a photo of Elizabeth Warren.

        1. If I post a link it is usually pleasant. There is enough … disturbing images round here.

          *glances at sugarfree*

        2. Don’t you mean “Sitting Bully”?

  3. The law of the conservation of assholery.

    The excuses change. The assholes adapt.

  4. This is more disturbing than anything Trump has said thus far in the campaign.

    1. Its more disturbing than everything he’s said put together.

  5. for reasons outlined by Reason Editor in Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward: your vote has virtually no chance of influencing the outcome of a presidential election the time it takes to vote is almost always better spent doing something else

    While there is a distinction to be made, I am reminded of the sorities paradox. At what point does a set of votes become a heap where your vote does not matter? How many votes can be left uncast before the votes make a difference? The only justification you have for claiming that any given person’s vote does not have a chance to influence the outcome is that so many people vote. It’s akin to “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”. It is the weight of the aggregate made up of the grains of votes that do influence the outcomes of elections. Just because you can claim “my grain removed from the heap does not stop it from being a heap” does not mean this will continue to hold true when extrapolated out to a greater proportion of the voting populace.

    1. In a winner take all system, as soon as there are two people who vote differently from you.

      1. But how do you know beforehand how the others will cast their ballots? Aside from extrapolation and guesswork, it’s still not rational to assume that you will never end up in the winning aggreagate. Also, in less polarized times, the margin of victory/failure was as much a message as the victory. So there is or was value in attempting to message the elected officials.

        1. I live in MA, my vote at any level doesn’t count. How do I know beforehand? I watch the news. In these political times, the only post election message is “we won, you lost”.

        2. In any case, the fact that my pick won’t win is not why I don’t vote. I don’t vote because I no longer have faith in the system or the country. I refuse to voluntarily support something that will never align with my beliefs on the role of government.

    2. Apparently Ms Ward is unfamiliar with the notion of downballot races.

      WA 2004.

    3. Step 1. Convince others who would vote the way you’d want that voting matters.

      2. Don’t vote.

      Of course, this requires more misanthropy and faces than I can muster, so I just tell people I’m not voting, that I think voting, viewed on an individual level, is obscene and senseless, and then listen to those people (wealthy leftist burners in SF, which makes it all the more absurd) tell me about my civic duty and that I should just kill myself.

      (Then I almost start to muster the misanthropy.)

      So maybe the video is closer to reality than I initially thought.

      1. They did apologize later, which I appreciated, but this attitude is extremely common, and it’s atrocious even with less suicide-beckoning rhetoric.

      2. Of course, this requires more misanthropy and faces than I can muster, so I just tell people I’m not voting, that I think voting, viewed on an individual level, is obscene and senseless, and then listen to those people (wealthy leftist burners in SF, which makes it all the more absurd) tell me about my civic duty and that I should just kill myself.

        I didn’t vote in 2004, and while I didn’t have anyone tell me I should kill myself, I did get a lot of self righteous sermons about how it was my “civic duty” and that since I didn’t vote “I’d have no right to complain later” and all that horseshit. Arguments that I proceeded to destroy, which resulted in a lot of sputtering indignation, but at least no one told me to kill myself. If they did, I really don’t think they would have liked my response. People really get upset over being flipped off to their face and told to fuck off.

      3. Indeed! I’ll go ahead and tell other people how to vote, but won’t vote myself. Best of both worlds.

    4. This is all very interesting. But it remains true that no one individual’s vote will matter. And you only control your one vote.

      1. I think this is a contributing factor to why libertarians do so poorly at affecting elections, because too many of them are myopically individualist and cannot grasp concepts that involve collective action (which is funny, since they often are better at noticing such concepts on economic issues). No individual vote matters in and of itself; votes only matter as part of a greater whole. It’s just like no individual purchase can move the economy, but a mass of people purchasing the same thing will direct where investment and production goes. Without collective action, in which any individual action won’t make a difference on its own but the sum of many such actions makes a difference, there could be no such thing as a self-regulating system or emergent order.

        1. We need collective action, comrades.

        2. Markets aren’t winner takes all systems.

        3. Yes, that’s why libertarians haven’t triumphed at the polls: a bunch of us don’t like to vote.

          Otherwise we’d be a real powerhouse!

          1. Yes, that’s why libertarians haven’t triumphed at the polls: a bunch of us don’t like to vote.

            Otherwise we’d be a real powerhouse!

            OMFG! You said ‘us’ and ‘we’!!

        4. The problem is that Republicans and Democrats are more responsive to nonsense appeals about collective action.

          Libertarians can do math.

        5. If you live in a state that you know is going to vote one way or the other (the majority of states), then your vote really doesn’t matter to the actual outcome … at least if you spend it on one of the “major” candidates for president. They don’t care if they win by 100 votes or 100,000 votes. They still claim a mandate. At least if you vote for whom you believe in you encourage more of the same to try the next time.

          My personal policy is that if I can’t vote *for* a specific candidate then I don’t vote in that race. So a lot of times I only place a couple of votes in any given election, but I think if it was a widespread practice that would send a stronger message to future potential candidates than simply voting for someone in all of the races. NOTA may not be formally on the ballot, but if the precinct reports 700 voters yet only 100 in a given race, future candidates know there’s a big group willing to make the effort to vote that doesn’t like the options they got before.

      2. But it remains true that no one individual’s vote will matter

        This is, without a doubt, one of the stupidest things ever expressed.

        Votes are meant to be placed together and tallied. One vote can, most definitely, be the margin of victory in any election–and, in recent years, we’ve seen that this can be true.

        Yet this idiocy persists.

        In every election, it is one vote that puts the winner permanently ahead of the loser(s). One. There may be more after, but it is a single vote that is the one that means the difference between winning and losing?

        And who casts that vote?

        If you voted in that election, you did. Why? Because if you hadn’t voted, they might not have won. Your vote is every vote past that moment of victory–whether it’s one or one million.

        Because, you see, if everyone truly believed this–

        But it remains true that no one individual’s vote will matter

        –and stayed home, there would be no votes and no one would get elected.

        1. I’m sorry to hear that you don’t understand math or statistics, and choose to advertise said ignorance.

          That is all.

    5. “does not mean this will continue to hold true when extrapolated out to a greater proportion of the voting populace.”

      And you can file that under “shit that will never happen.”

    6. It makes no sense for me to vote.

      It does make sense for me to ask other people to vote.

      It’s a simple matter of leverage, assuming I can influence more than one vote at a time.

  6. “What about our system of checks and balances?”

    Kids and their imaginary friends.

    1. I laughed.

    2. It makes government inefficient and has been an out of favor anachronism at least since Obama has been in the White House.

      1. Inefficiency is a virtue when done by those who wish to do you harm.

        You do not want the people, such as FDR, running concentration camps to be extraordinarily good at accomplishing that evil goal.

  7. “Your dad probably hates bald eagles!”

    Are you sure this isn’t some sort of avant garde satire?

    1. This is exactly the kind of video I’d make if given a heap of money to produce get-out-the-vote content. Subtle mockery of the entire premise.

    2. Okay, everybody, don’t use this line. It’s mine. From now on it’s MINE, I tell you.

      1. Claiming ownership of words? Hmmph your dad probably hates bald eagles.

  8. The State is the biggest bully of them all.

  9. Old-school childhood bullies are nothing next to an SJW mob. The SJWs run in packs, and they hit in areas where you can’t legally leave a half-dozen of them bloody on the sidewalk. (that’s how I ended my personal issue with bullies).

  10. Of course, not voting is a perfectly responsible thing to do…

    Blast from your car stereo at those little kids the purity of truth from Rush:

    “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

    1. Or the Pretenders:

      “Everything touched is my political choice
      The life you take is your political voice”

  11. I guess we found out what Tony’s been up to in the real world – advocating the bullying of children.

  12. Nihilists? Fuck me, Dude. I mean, you can say what you want about the tenets of national socialism – at least it’s an ethos.

    1. Are these the nazis, Walter?

      No Donny, these men are nihilists. You have nothing to worry about.

  13. Thus is probably just the nihilist in me, but I hate all the people that come out the woodwork every 4 years to talk about how Important it is that I vote. I’m sure if I told them I was voting for Trump (which I’m not, to be clear), they suddenly wouldn’t be so gung-ho about getting me to the polls.

    1. Exactly. All the “Everyone NEEDS to vote!” people really mean “Everyone who’ll vote for MY preferred candidate NEEDS to vote!” And whoever loses, their supporters will say it’s because too many people didn’t vote (or voted 3rd party). It’s never because, well gee, maybe the other candidate was more popular.

      1. Right, the same people who say “don’t forget to vote” are tge same people gleefully saying “remember Trump supporters, go out and vote on November 25th!”

    2. I hate that too. And I get the feeling that most people who do that sort of assume that I would vote the same way they would.

      I try to encourage people who don’t vote not to feel bad about it. If you don’t care about politics, you shouldn’t. It’s about as good for you as starting a heroin habit.

      1. If poliics were addictive, wouldn’t I know it? After all, I’ve been commenting here for years!

        /apologies to Tullulah Bankhead

      2. What’s funny is that this is the whole message of South Parks’ “turd sandwich vs giant douche” episode, but thousands of progressives think it’s about how their side is just as bad as evil W.

        …Just a pet peeve of mine. As I’ve gotten back into the show, I’m more and more annoyed (and amazed) at how many people get some of its preachiest episodes so wrong.

    3. I think it was Jeffrey Tucker who recently wrote an article about that. His advice was to tell the person that you’re going to vote for their favored candidate’s closest rival, and you’d like to catch a ride with them when they go to the polls. See if they’re really interested in you voting because it’s your “civic duty”.

      1. Better — tell them that you are, without any exception, going to vote the opposite of them on every race and ballot issue.

        And then say that if they don’t drive you, you won’t vote.

  14. Yes I am. Please save us, SMOD!

  15. Um. I hate to break it to you but this video was funny and actually ridiculed bullying as it gently ribbed non-voters. Of course, voting is still for chumps. But still. Get a sense of humor it won’t kill you.

    1. Teach me how to laugh with joy, AddictionMyth.

      1. You sound like a total nihilist, Brian.

          1. Now – you’re starting to get it. Keep up the good work.

  16. What would Chairman Mao say?

    1. Well, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone.

    2. Ching chong something something?

      1. LACIST PLICK!

    3. “Sweet potato tastes good. I like it.”

      1. Too bad there aren’t any more sweet potatoes left – and what bad timing, just as I’ve started my Great Leap Forward!

  17. Schoolyard bullying: it’s never okay. Unless, of course, the victim is the offspring of a non-voter. Then the kid probably deserves it?or should at least blame his dad for not caring enough about politics.

    That’s the confusing message behind a new get-out-the-vote video produced by Civic Innovation Works, a mysterious organization without much of an online presence.

    Clearly the intent here is to get kids to go hector their parents voting so that they won’t get bullied over it at school. In which case I hope the people responsible for this all get Lou Gehrig’s disease and then die in a fire while being fed feet first through a woodchipper.

    Seriously, this is about the lowest thing I’ve seen this entire election cycle. I didn’t think things could get any lower than “grab ’em by the pussy” but congratulations, Civic Innovation Works. Bra-fucking-vo!

    The best part is the bully shouting, “your dad sounds like a total nihilist,”

    “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos.”

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  19. what Kim replied I’m startled that a student able to earn $4912 in 4 weeks on the internet
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  20. We’ve defined bullying a little too far down-a bully punches you in the mouth and takes your lunch money. The kid is being a prick though.

    1. Yeah. Reading;

      What makes this video so disturbing?and funny, if we’re being honest?is all the other PSAs about how terrible bullying is for kids. There’s something so self-righteous about the act of voting that it causes people to take leave of their senses.

      Personally, I don’t automatically think people’s messages about bullying was very sensible to begin with.

  21. Lord of the Flies 2 = Return to Election Island

  22. Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
    Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw
    Had two big horns and a wooly jaw
    Wooly bully, wooly bully
    Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully
    Hatty told Matty, let’s don’t take no chance
    Let’s not be l-seven, come and learn to dance
    Wooly bully, wooly bully
    Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully
    Matty told Hatty, that’s the thing to do
    Get you someone really to pull the wool with you
    Wooly bully, wooly bully
    Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully

    OK, kids…what does L-seven mean ?

      1. Grab a couple kudos out of petty cash.

  23. “I don’t vote. Two reasons. First of all it’s meaningless; this country was bought and sold a long time ago. The shit they shovel around every 4 years *pfff* doesn’t mean a fucking thing. Secondly, I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around ? they say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain’, but where’s the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.”

    -George Carlin

    1. At the end of his career, he became an honest-to-goodness nihilist.

      1. There was a level of sincerity when he said the human race is fucked up.

    2. I voted for someone who didn’t win.

      My right to complain > *.

  24. You know when ever an ad has children in it, proggies are usually behind it. So what they really are saying to the kid ids “Your dad is a nihilist loser because he didn’t vote for Hillary.” Had an argument with my wife this morning bc our 6 yr old told her not to vote for Hillary because she will raise taxes. She asked him who told him that and he said I had. I did mention it because he asked me why I am not voting for her-that was perhaps the most benign reason I could give that I thought he might understand.

    1. “Mommy, I learned a new word today, about what Hillary Clinton is! You wanna hear my new word?”

      1. IS THE WORD CUNT? THE WORD IS CUNT, ISN’T IT?

    2. Imagine if the kid had told mommy not to vote for Hillary because she took money from foreign governments while secretary of state.

      1. I tried to explain to him too that the Hillbeast had done things that would have landed me in jail, but he is really taking an interest in money right now, so I thought the tax reason would make the most sense to him.

  25. I didn’t read the whole article, but I did see the bawdy pie chart.
    I just assumed the large red portion with 55.6%, represents S.F.bay area / Oakland Law enforcement officers.

    1. CRAP! Wrong article.

  26. The First Amendment gives me the right to complain. Fuck you if you don’t agree with the Bill of Rights.

  27. I’m a huge fan killing Hillary supporters

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