I'm biased toward laughter. My life is a recipe with equal parts Halloween, democracy, fun, and getting out the vote. That's just what happens when you work for a program like Trick or Vote. When other people are attending conventions in suits and ties, I get to dress up as a ghost or a vampire. What do ghosts want out of democracy? Transparency. What do I want? A little fun.
Making an impact in any community is hard work, but does it have to be so damn serious? There's plenty of things to be uptight about: the economy, student loans, unemployment, and the entry-level math requirement that made my senior year drag on forever. In times like these it can seem difficult to laugh at yourself or anyone else. Here's our chance.
We're young, smart, and painfully funny. We are the generation of Colbert Report and Daily Show, Funny or Die, and The Onion. We're here not just to laugh, but to change the world. Organizations from Rock the Vote to Campus Progress, Headcount to local programs are seeing the need to talk to young people on their terms. These guys are bridging the large deficit between what politics used to be (boring, negative and for old people) to what it's becoming today (still smart, but funny, young and positive).
I'm not saying politics isn't serious business. The decisions made by our elected officials can make or break people's lives. But when we make politics dry, boring, and elitist, we end up excluding a lot of the people who need to be reached the most.
Real impact is made when people get involved. More people will get involved the more fun they have. That's why I love hearing about organizations registering people to vote at concerts, bars, and outdoor events.
Not only are youth-focused organizations fun, they're framing things differently. A lot of people are focused on how much they hate each other, themselves, and all of the political obstacles. Young people are focused on opportunities and results. Alan Gerber did a study out of Yale finding that more people will mobilize to positive messages about voter turnout than negative ones. The culture of hate and negativity is dying and we're going to be the first to stand up and laugh about it (and everything else).
Wednesday, September 1st is the official video launching day for Trick or Vote. Why do I love it so much? It's freaking silly. A get out the vote campaign that takes the side of monsters instead of political parties, calls their biggest national partners "headless honchos", and releases ridiculous videos centered around politically incorrect monsters? Yes, please!
But like I said, I'm biased.