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Apathy/Disinterested 2012: Comedy’s Political Platform

While the entire nation, or at least, certainly, the Internet is caught up in this presidential election, it’s not clear as to why people are tuned into Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney. At least, that’s what the comedy world would have you think. As an experiment, I watched my main Twitter feed following hundreds of people that are involved in comedy in some capacity, many of whom were live-tweeting that first debate last week. Unlike what some might suspect of the leftward slant of most comedians, their vote seemed to be not for Romney or Obama, but apathy.

@matt_dwyer: This debate is like the super bowl. I’m excited rooting for a team but when its all over we go back to our dumb lives and nothing changes.

Last week’s presidential debate was the most tweeted about event in U.S. politics, and many of the tweets through which I sifted only focused on the faults of both candidates, not to mention picking on moderator Jim Lehrer non-stop. Granted, it’s in the DNA of comedy to find the flaws to pick at and the dirt to expose, and bring all to light for laughter and ridicule, but, through it all, there didn’t seem to be a solution to any of it. It’s a divisive election, but no matter how poorly the debates go for Obama or how well they go for Romney, few minds seemed changed.

@toddbarry: It’s not a good sign when Romney is the funny one. #debates

Loyal watchers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report hardly get any other political news elsewhere. So much promotion goes out to get that demographic of young people to vote, but what effect is that supposed to have on the effectiveness of the U.S. Government if there’s an entire generation of people voting for whomever Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert mock less?

@alisonagosti: I’m not watching the debate and neither are you, really.

It’s not a new issue being made by hundreds of people that make a living off of dishing out snark for a living that a two-party system is disappointing. However, it just gets more apparent when jokes and other humor, at least in this election, seem to take less of a slant on either end of the political spectrum and just step out of the circle altogether.

While some of you may be wishing that Young Republicans were funnier, that still won’t solve any of the problems described here. If anything, it would be a step back to political entrenchment as far as the zeitgeist of political satire and discourse are concerned. If our government is supposed to work as one “by the people, for the people,” not to be ridiculed as being less important than whatever else is on cable TV opposite a debate between candidates for the so-called leader of the free world, and if young people are supposed to vote as informed citizens rather than manipulated into whatever ideology they feel more accepted in, then maybe there should be more than two people to choose from for President of the United States.

@scharpling: Now two robots are arguing in the desert. This movie is gonna suck. We’re done here. Next. #StarWarsLiveTweet

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  1. Andrew Martin says:

    Well put. I agree that the overwhelming feeling recently is apathy. It’s a shame that so many in this country don’t care about this election and the state of the country in general.

    I think voting once in a while and jury duty is a small price to pay for what this country gives to me in return. Even today I think the United States is the greatest place to be born and raised, albeit with some problems that could using fixing.

  2. Tristan says:

    There will never be more than two people to choose from as long as the USA uses first-past-the-post voting. The countries with more than two political parties are the ones that use other systems such as the alternative vote.

  3. Mike says:

    “Loyal watchers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report hardly get any other political news elsewhere.”

    Horrendously false, as well-documented elsewhere. Also, fuck you.