How Would Elvis Vote?

Polls indicate Bush ainīt nothinī but a hound dog

by Alan Bisbort, Hartford Advocate, September 23, 2004


Nixon tries to win over the youngsters by cozying up to the King.

Elvis Presley did not have a political bone in his body. During the turbulent 1960s, he was, not unlike George W. Bush, completely detached from reality.

He hung out on Hollywood film sets and in Las Vegas, was protected by an inner circle of incurious goons, and dabbled in astrology, painkillers, speed, fast cars, Lear jets and expensive peanut butter sandwiches.

Elvis was the redneck in the bubble -- hippies, race riots, LSD, pop festivals may as well have been happening on Mars. The most overt political act Elvis ever made was to show up at the White House, stoned out of his gourd on a cocktail of prescriptions drugs. He was there to get an honorary drug marshal's certificate from Pres. Nixon, who cluelessly felt that being seen with the King would somehow endear him to "the young people."

The ensuing grip-and-grimace photograph is now the most popular object in the entire National Archives, more often requested (and put on display) than the Louisiana Purchase, the Articles of Confederation, the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights. That, somehow, tells us something about America, though I'm not sure what.

One question it does raise, and it's not an unimportant one, is How Would Elvis Vote?

In short, how would a barely literate white Mississippi truck driver vote in this election? How would Florida Panhandle construction workers vote in this election? How would former factory workers in New England and the Midwest vote, their jobs having been shipped overseas? In a society where the facts were as readily available as handguns, assault weapons, beers, cigarettes, televisions, cell phones, and any other items by which we regularly sate, dull and detach ourselves from reality, the answer would be easy: against Bush, for Kerry.

The Latter-Day Elvises above may not love the senator from Massachusetts but I'll wager that those who still have jobs don't love their bosses either. In fact, those who have jobs are made to feel that they should be grateful for the crumbs tossed at them. If they don't like it, they can go live in some other country. Or they can, as one of Bush's campaign officials suggested, "take Prozac."

Or, as the Chamber of Commerce president said, "stop whining." But we live in a society that does not value people. It values consumers. It does not value constructive criticism. It values passive acceptance. It does not value informed dialogue and spirited debate. It values expletive-laced threats and innuendos about one's loyalty and patriotism.

Thus, we have these surrealistic poll results in the last week that say Bush is ahead of Kerry (Gallup and Times/ CBS have him ahead; Pew and Harris have it tied). The Times/CBS poll was "based on 1,088 registered voters." Who are these voters? Why did they answer their phones? Were they the first 1,088 Americans who answered? Was there any attempt to distribute the responses by race, income level, gender, party affiliation? How were the questions asked? Could it be that these 1,088 Americans are part of the vast right-wing conspiracy that does not own cell phones? In short, pay no mind to polls.

The Latter-Day Elvises have never been contacted by political pollsters, nor have the young, the unemployed, the poverty-stricken, the Hispanic, the homeless, the incarcerated, the rehabilitated, the people working two jobs in order to pay their bills, the soldiers under fire in Iraq, the wounded back home.

Jimmy Breslin, the ancient Newsday columnist, let the corporate media's cat out of the bag in a recent column. He cited the statistic pollsters most dread: 168,900,019 cell phones are now in use in America. Breslin writes, "There is no way to poll cell phone users, so it isn't done."

He also points out that, "there are 40 million between the ages of 18 and 29, one in five eligible voters ... Common sense would say that the majority of the 18 to 25 who do vote would vote for the Democrat.

The people who say they want to vote for Bush are generally in the older age brackets, and they don't have as much trouble with the lies told by Bush and his people. The older people also use cell phones much less because they can't hear on the things and when trying to dial a number on these increasingly tiny instruments they stand there for an hour and get nothing done."

The Latter Day Elvises will come around. Deep down they know Bush ain't nothin' but a hound dog, and he's been stepping on their red, white and blue suede shoes since January 2001.

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