I may not be the first person to suggest that democracy has jumped the shark, but I think I am the first to report that democracy, having successfully jumped one shark, recently attempted to jump 100 sharks set on fire, crashed and is now in a persistent vegetative state in a teaching hospital in New Jersey. It may never recover, and sadly, I'm not so sure it should.
The problem isn't necessarily with democracy itself, it's with the people who use it. Namely, us. Democracy in our hands is like a fabric-softened washrag in the hands of a teenage boy... we won't stop using it, ever.
Don't believe me? Think about all the votes we cast in this country: American Idol, Philly vs. New York style pizza, Diet Coke vs. Coke Zero, whether or not that rabbit gets to have his Trix, whether or not we think Lady Gaga's meat dress had maggots in it, all things Levi Johnston-related, who we think will win a Grammy, who we think should win a Grammy, what we think of who did win a Grammy, whether President Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya or in the test tube of a scientist who likes to play God, and so on. Everytime a chirpy anchor on a 24-hour news network says the phrase, "We want to know what you think, America," another never-forgetting freedom-patriot gets his bumper sticker.
The fact that we all feel entitled to weigh in on any subject, big or small, is the reason that real entertainment and real discourse (two things that should be kept separate unless Stephen Colbert is involved) have both suffered. We have to break our addiction to voting before "The Situation" makes it to Congress (mark my words it will happen).
So how do we end democracy without, you know, ending democracy? That my friends is super simple. First, we have to break the Internet. I mean, like, seriously, you're going to be grounded for forever break it. Too many people vote for too many stupid things online... if you just rated a video on youporn.com, step away from the computer, Mr. or Ms. Part of the Problem.
Second, we make it illegal to advertise on 24-hour television news channels, which will make 24-hour news channels go away forever. And since the Internet will be broken there won't be anywhere for television pundits to go, so they'll all start writing memoirs, the proceeds from which they'll use to buy organic farms where they'll make preserves. We will then buy the preserves for kitsch value and that will solve the economic crisis.
Third, all voting for everything -- president, congress, mayor, America's Got Talent -- will take place only one day a year, St. Patrick's Day. This is for two reasons: 1) We'll all have to prioritize our votes because there are only so many hours in the day. So if you vote on seeded buns vs. non-seeded buns at McDonald's before you voted on Prop 8, you'll know that about yourself. 2) Drunk people are just more honest, you know?
In my opinion, this is our only course for saving democracy. Otherwise, we might as well pull its feeding tube out right now. I'm prepared to do my part by opening every email I get that has a .exe attachment.
And now, I want to know what you think America.*
*No, I don't.