Skepticism During Campaign Season

Skepticism During Campaign Season

I’ll bet you two meal swipes that if you recently logged onto Facebook and looked at your events calender, it was swamped with invitations to vote for So-and-So for This-and-That. It’s also a wonder that the bulletin boards around campus are able to support the weight of all of the cleverly alliterative campaign posters hogging advertisement space. Yes, it’s that time of the semester again.

You get a knock on your door to find someone you’ve never before seen (or have much less been aware has lived in your dorm for the past however many months) bearing candy or cookies in order to entice you to vote for them in whatever position they’re running for. While this door-to-door, confection-laden campaigning may seem like a foolproof tactic—considering the all-too-true fact that college students are always up for free food—it isn’t quite enough to fully seduce me. Here’s how my typical candidate-student conversation tends to go:

[Door]: *knock knock*

[Me]: Come in! Another one?

[Person]: Hey! I’m So-and-So and I’m running for This-and-That! Would you like a muffin?

[Me]: Hi there, you! I’d love a muffin! I hope these aren’t poisonous.

[Person]: Okay, well, vote for me! Bye!

[Me]: Oh! Thanks! Have a good night! Wait, so why should I vote for you, again? This muffin isn’t even that good. Do you have any milk to go with it?

[Door]: *slams shut*

Now, don’t get me wrong—I understand that candidates use this type of campaigning to quickly remind as many people as possible that they exist and are running for something, not to explain their entire campaign platform. At the same time, at least to me, the whole encounter comes off as a little bit fake and forced. If this is the first time a candidate has ever said anything to me, despite the fact that we’ve apparently lived one floor apart from each other for the entire school year, then I obviously have absolutely no idea who she/he is. And surprisingly, despite our less-than-two-minute-long interaction, I still really don’t know anything about that candidate, besides the fact that she/he bakes fairly edible muffins, I guess. Door-to-door campaigning with baked goods is a nice gesture and I appreciate the sentiment, but it doesn’t really tell me why I should cast my vote for a particular candidate. As far as I know, culinary skills do not correlate with treasuring abilities.

I’m also suspicious that candidates only want to hold house positions—secretary, for example—because they’ll be guaranteed a single next year, especially since they usually don’t explain to me that they have a strong desire to fulfill their childhood dreams and passions for, say, note-taking. I mean, yeah, I can admit that maybe I’m just being harsh and expecting the worst of people, but I’m still going to raise one eyebrow questioningly as I continue to take another bite of this muffin.

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