The Last Word, by Mike Gold
Norman Mingo’s iconic image of Alfred E. Neuman was first used by Mad Magazine back in 1956 as comment upon the Eisenhower / Stevenson election or, more to the point, in parody of the typical Time magazine cover of its time. Mingo’s Alf is still in use to this day; as is the struggle between the donkey and elephant also depicted on that cover.
We’ve had presidents and presidential elections in comics since the staple was first applied to cheap newsprint. Recently we’ve had Lex Luthor as president in the DC universe, and Stephen Colbert running for the same job in the Marvel universe. The president is one of the most important of the American icons, perhaps even moreso than Alfred E. Neuman.
Tomorrow is Election Day, and you will be asked to pick from at least two clear and distinctive voices. Whichever candidate wins, his impact on our future will be immense. Your voice is needed. As an American citizen, voting is your highest obligation.
I don’t care who you vote for (well, actually, I do, but that’s not the point right now), as long as you make your voice heard. You might think your state is already committed to one candidate or another. History shows us you are wrong. You might think your one vote doesn’t matter. History shows us you are wrong.
Even if your candidate has no chance of winning, make your voice heard. For example, let’s say you are a Libertarian interested in voting for Bob Barr. You probably think he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. You would probably be right. But if the Libertarian Party gets noticeable support at the polls, even 5% of the popular vote in your state, we will have taken a significant step towards freeing ourselves from the two party system that severely limits our choice and our future.
You might think all of the candidates are idiots; that none of them deserves your support. Fine. Make your voice heard. Vote for the person you think best represents your point of view, even if that’s a write-in. You might think Bun E. Carlos would be the best person for the job (he’s my #2 choice); fine. Make your voice heard.
This isn’t a baseball game; you’re not putting your money on a winner. You’re putting your money on your future. You only get this chance once every four years. Don’t blow it.
And, on that note, we end this series of ComicMix editorial columns. It’s been a hell of a great 91 weeks, and I deeply, deeply appreciate the efforts of Denny O’Neil, Elayne Riggs, John Ostrander, Michael Davis, Martha Thomases, Michael H. Price, Ric Meyers . Thank you, one and all. This has been one of the most enjoyable fulfilling tasks of my professional life, and I am honored to have associated with you in this endeavor. Let’s do it again sometime soon.
I also want to thank all of you who have been reading these missives of brainsweat, particularly those who have chosen to comment. Engaging in the back-and-forth of online commenting has been a wonderful experience for me, and I’ll miss it a whole lot. I’ve learned stuff from you folks, we’ve engaged in some very serious conversation, and we’ve had a few laughs. Great stuff.
Thanks for being here for us. I’ll see you next week on the new home of Brainiac On Banjo, michaeldavisworld.com.
Yep. What goes around, comes around.