The Jerk Has an Intriguing Proposal

Reader “The Jerk” holds forth at various places around St. Blogs, bringing his own unique perspective to things. The other day, to my delight, he favored me with an email. I now share it with you in preparation for Election Day. He writes:

Do you think it’s OK if I sell my vote? I can’t really bring myself to vote for either of the major party candidates, and I was planning to vote third party, (or maybe Joe Schriner’s lower, like fifth party.)

Anyway, the other day I figured, “I’m an American, damnit, so why not get something for this stupid vote?”

It would be OK in terms of not voting for either candidate in order to support grave intrinsic evil, right? By voting for Romney or Obama, I’m not voting for the man, but the stuff I’m getting in return. Me getting stuff is a good. So, I’m actually doing a good thing with this scheme. Um, offer. No, no, it is a scheme.

I’m not sure how this works Constitutionally speaking, but when you think about it, I’m simply making myself a one man special interest group. I’m like the AARP, except there’s just one of me and I don’t smell like pee and apple sauce.

So, if you think it is OK to sell this vote, could you let people know? Keep in mind, I am registered to vote in an actual swing state.
My vote could be the difference. Can either candidate afford to NOT buy my vote?

Here’s a price list for any of your reader’s interested in doubling his or her vote:

One case of scotch. (But we’re talking at least Johnnie Walker Black.
Cutty Sark is not a serious offer.)

Cowboy boots, size 13.

A Wii U with some games.

A Macbook.

One of the new Ruger 1911’s. I will accept a 4th Generation Glock as a substitute. If you throw in a .38 detective special just like the one Sipowicz has in NYPD Blue, you can have my America Idol vote too.

As you can see, I’m not being greedy. Besides, I don’t think any pope ever directly said that I personally could not sell my vote.

Your pal,

The Jerk

I see absolutely no moral difficulties with this at all. As our Ruling Class on both sides of the aisle make clear in thought, word, and deed, the entire purpose of politics is to enrich oneself conscience and decency be damned, so why not get in on the game? And, as the Jerk astutely points out, if the Church does not specifically declare, pronounce and define on some specific point of morality (such as, say, issuing a formal definition that “waterboarding is torture”) then that means we are totally free to say and do whatever disgusting thing we like and call it a “prudential judgement”, confident that “prudential” is Latin for “feel free to ignore the Church, common sense, and ordinary human decency in favor of whatever you feel like doing.” Well done, Jerk! You’ve pointed the way to new path to reinvigorating the economy! Why should the people we vote for be the *only* ones who get to sell their conscience, their country and their souls to the highest bidder? Why not We the People too? After all, as I am assured, it is prissy narcissism to think about the impact that voting has on the soul of the voter. The only thing that matters is winning! So why not win and turn a handsome profit at the same time?

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  • TC

    While the Jerk’s plan has a certain appeal it only if you live in a swing state. In red or blue states buying votes would be a waste of money.
    This is already happening if you consider campaign stops and advertising dollars attempts to “buy” your vote. See this map of campaign expenditures from NPR:

    Notice only ten (10) states count, neither party considers the other forty worth bothering with.

    NOW, rather than selling votes, how about a system of proxies? Sign up to allow either a party of interest group to cast your vote?

    • Ted Seeber

      Exactly my thought. Given that even in a down year, Obama is polling 6 points ahead in Oregon, my vote isn’t worth a jolly rancher, let alone any candy I’d want to eat.

  • S. Murphy

    The Jerk sounds like Rod “I’ve got this thing, an’ it’s f* in’ golden, and I’m not gonna give it for F*in’ nothin,’ y’know?” Blagojevich

  • Let me check…. abortion, euthanasia, ESCR, human cloning, homosexual “marriage.”

    Looks like money’s negotiable!

  • deiseach

    I only foresee a problem if he sells his vote to one candidate. If, on the other hand, he sells his vote to both of them, then that automatically balances out any unfair advantage (plus, he gets twice the stuff).

    Then he could either (1) n0t vote at all (thus maintaining perfect neutrality and not cheating on either of the bargains) (2) vote for the candidate whose bribe – I mean, tender for his vote – arrived first (by post or email date stamp) (3) vote for his original third party choice. (again, this would mean he defrauded neither candidate of an actual vote) (4) the Chicago Model – vote twice (once for each candidate).

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Kristen inDallas

      Actually, voting for third party would do it… since that is the only way that he can *actually* be casting a vote for both Romney and Obama at the same time.

  • enness

    Knowing The Jerk I had to figure it wouldn’t be a “modest” proposal.

  • No offence to your Dark Worshipfulness but the Jerk is by far my favorite blogger. I particularly liked the post *before* Simcha had to censor it due to the outrage of the “League of Outraged Catholic Ladies ” on her facebook page. Maybe that makes me a bad person.

  • bob cratchit

    Like one of those Simcha readers, I’m ashamed to say I almost lost my coffee over this. Pee & applesauce…that won’t soon leave my RAM. And perhaps “t-J” can offer his vote on ebay or craigslist? As for me also from a blue state I’m voting for Joe.

  • John Barnes

    The Jerk is right — Cutty Sark simply won’t do. If you can be bought with that swill, God have mercy on your soul.

  • Veronica

    I love the Jerk, he usually sees things MY way, which is awesome. I don’t have any votes to sell though, but if I had, I would gladly exchange it for a Wii U to save myself some money in Christmas. Just sayin’…

  • Tim in Cleveland

    I was looking around on and it seems to me that The Jerk is not a very good negotiator. A Mac book is about $1,000; A Wii U is about $500 (and I don’t think it’s out yet); The boots (assuming he wants men’s) and Johnny Walker are around $50. Couldn’t find anything on the Ruger 1911.

    And I think the Johnny Walker Black on Amazon was for one bottle, not a case.

    So, The Jerk, tell me where to send your cowboy boots and be prepared to vote for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho for president.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Though I suppose someone could bid higher than me.