Author Douglas Adams on Elections and Voting

Happy Election Day!

We here at bookshelfbattle.com (and by “we” I haven’t decided whether I am referring to the royal “we” or to the mouse in my pocket) are non-political.  Whether you are Republican, Democrat, Independent, or if you belong to one of those odd parties that believes we should turn the government over to space aliens and/or robots, all we want to do is to discuss something that transcends party lines – the written word.  Also, we want your clicks – your sweet, sweet web page clicks.  So while you’re already here, don’t be a slacker – click on an extra button or two.

Have you ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams?  It is by far one of the funniest novels ever written, and it is a fairly short and easy read, so there’s no excuse to not check it out.  Honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself for not reading it already.  Go read it.  I won’t bother to get into the plot because I intend to have a review of this book coming soon.

Adams wrote a number of sequels set in the Hitchhiker universe.  Here’s a quote from one of them that provides some proverbial food for thought:

“The major problem-one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather who manages to get people to let them do it to them.  To summarize:  it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.  To summarize the summary:  anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”  – Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Of course, Adams was discussing the intergalactic politics of his fictional universe, but it still applies to today’s politics.  In my opinion, today’s political contests have basically become glorified beauty contests where the person who talks the fastest, promises the most, or looks the best wins.  Abraham Lincoln would never win an election today because the media would be all like, “Who cares if he’s the Great Emancipator?  Have you seen his craggy face?!”

Sure, there are many politicians who run because they want to do good deeds and believe their ideas are just and true.  On the other hand, there are a lot of politicians who just want to see their names on signs and get lots of fame and applause.

There are many intelligent people who would be great leaders who shy away from the entire process because their intelligence tells them that they might as well ignore politics altogether rather than get involved and have the media pepper them with questions like, “How many times did you pick your nose in third grade?  Nose-picker Gate!  Film at Eleven!”

In conclusion, whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Friends of the Space Aliens Party – enjoy watching tonight’s election results.  May the candidates that suit your personal agendas be victorious and as always, may you crack open a book and share your literary wisdom on bookshelfbattle.com

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2 thoughts on “Author Douglas Adams on Elections and Voting

  1. gpj103 says:

    There are loads of great bits like that in HHGTG. I love the Somebody Else’s Problem Invisibility Drive. As for politics…I often think whoever voted for George W Bush has a lot to answer for…but then the selection is often a case of ‘best of a bad bunch’.

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