Matthew Hein

Hey, wow, thank you so much for voting. Really, it’s a far, far better thing that you have done than our greatest heroes ever imagined. Give yourself a big pat on the back.

In the future, all of your hard work and dedication will be unnecessary. In the future, you will be saved the bother and trouble. You may join the brilliant minds behind our great nation’s recent regime in thought and spirit – but not in action.

In keeping with the brilliant black-and-white, with-us-or-against-us rhetoric, President Bush’s legal geniuses might as well print up our next round of ballots now. The choices granted us should be as simple as those Bush proclaims in his speeches.

Let us all look forward to the simplicity of the next election’s balloting, in which we no longer face the tiresome list of measures and oddball candidates. Allow us to raise our brows to the sky and thank those wiser than ourselves (Attorney General John Ashcroft, take a bow!).

Send out our praises to the kind and generous benevolent leaders who know our weariness, and who comprehend what a trial it is for our puny little minds. We have so much to consider! The World Series may be over, but there are still bowl games to cry over, Britney and Timberlake to be dealt with.

We face too many decisions already. Who can decide between Red Bull and Energy Tea? Will we tune in to “Sex in the City” or “24 Hours”? Do we prefer Letterman’s gap-toothed grin or Leno’s square jaw?

Yes, those among us who voted are surely to be commended. You have faced the future, armed with little besides a No. 2 pencil. Weary from your decisions between Aquafina and Earth-2-O, you have persevered.

As though you didn’t have enough on your mind, considering whether your love affair with the Portland Trailblazers is over, it was suggested that you should take precious time from weighing your best cell phone bargain. Some imagined you had nothing better to do than pore over small print without color pictures, mull over the pros and cons, and fill out a form regarding something so nebulous as “the future.”

Rest assured, your discipline will be rewarded.

A couple of years ago, our great nation took a solid step in that direction. Perhaps mindful of the unpredictability and the generally crowded schedules common among the voting public, your Supreme Court took matters into 10 of its own hands.

Selflessly offering to take the reigns of state in a time of great uncertainty, the high court concluded that voters had been deluded. Those elderly, liberal voters of Florida, senior citizens lacking the fire and general appeal of Jennifer Lopez, may have been duped, the Court decided, but not to the same extent as the plurality of voters nationwide.

Those duped and deluded ballot-punchers, as it turned out, were those who imagined the candidate with the most votes would win. These low-on-influence (though surely well-meaning) citizens may have lacked the latest institutional understanding of republican government. Mistakes might have been made. You may have some yourself.

You should be especially thankful, then, that the wise folks in gowns came to your assistance two years ago. You must have been aware they knew best all along, but still, it’s good to be reminded every once in a while.

So here is the plan: Forget about the subtleties of assorted measures and representatives. Dismiss those difficult-to-grasp candidate differences. To ease the heavy burden of democracy, stand aside and allow Bush and Ashcroft to prepare the next election’s ballot.

We may all rest assured that, armed with the best information they deign to find compatible with the best fiscal interests of their friends and relations, these mighty public servants will design a fair and simple ballot. They may even provide a choice of ballots.

One, the new-and-improved version, might condense all decisions into one: us or them. For those who prefer the tried and true, Iron Curtain-influenced election paraphernalia, we may see the classic edition: Good or Bad.