What: A fiery takedown of a certain genre of get-out-the-vote advocacy.
Why we care: In 2016, voter turnout in the U.S. hit a 20-year low, with only 55% of the voting-age population getting out to their polling stations. Considering all that was at stake in that particular election, and how consequential it turned out to be, that statistic is rather depressing. Surely, there must be some way to activate more nonvoters this time around. Democrats would like to make voting day a national holiday, but for some reason the party of Donald Trump seems opposed to any measure that would make things easier for the kind of person whose child-rearing and/or work schedule keeps them from making it to the polls. (Mitch McConnell even called the proposal a “power grab” for Democrats, without further unpacking what that statement means for just who is fueling Republican power.)
Reaching nonvoters is a difficult, important task, and one that lots of seemingly well-meaning groups tend to botch on a regular basis. Whether it’s the star-studded Funny or Die efforts or the comedic stylings of the Pod Save America folks, most voting advocacy videos address the viewer as someone who has never considered voting before and might not even know what it is. Who exactly is the audience supposed to be here? Probably not the leagues of disenfranchised potential voters who feel that nobody speaks for them. Instead, they seem positioned to make people who spend 15 hours a day on Twitter feel good about “doing the work” as they RT a video starring Andy Richter to influence their plebe followers.
In the spirit of skewering these videos, and the byzantine organizations that sometimes fund them, comedians Nick Ciarelli and Brad Evans have created Blue Up the Vote. The video finds the pair—whose satirical grasp of internet culture may be unsurpassed—asking viewers to look into this whole voting thing, in the most casually contemptuous way possible. It’s a hilarious exaggeration of how these kinds of things usually go, and a little scary when you consider that this might be how those videos actually sound to the people they’re targeted toward.
Have a look below, and make sure to watch all the way to the end.
Blue Up The Vote pic.twitter.com/Kue1zjVSHa
— Nick Ciarelli (@nickciarelli) February 20, 2020