When I am on the road, the wonders of cable TV are irresistible, or at least my willpower isn’t generally sufficient to resist them. I also generally don’t sleep that well, so when morning comes, the combination of the television looming in front of me and the bed begging me not to leave leads to sleepy channel surfing.
On one such morning recently I skipped through the infomercials and morning news shows and landed on a re-run of “Will and Grace.” This particular episode revolved around a city council race. Will, (who for those who don’t remember the show, is gay) is supporting the gay candidate, and Grace (who isn’t gay, but is Will’s close friend) enthusiastically supports that candidate as well, because she thinks it is high time that there be a gay councilperson.
Then Grace finds out that a Jewish woman is also running. Grace is a Jewish woman, so she switches her support to that candidate.
Come to find out, at a joint fundraising party given by Will and Grace, the Jewish Woman and gay man are exposed as stereotypical conservatives, by which I mean one is a racist, sexist, homophobe, and the other is just a racist sexist.
Our two heroes (Will and Grace) come to their senses, and realize that voting someone because of their sexual preference or religion and gender, without taking the time to look into their positions.
The piece de resistance came when, shamed by their shallowness, the two of them are sitting and being actively indifferent when neighbor/friend Jack comes in and ask them if they’ve voted. They say no, and he surprises them by saying he voted for the black candidate. Upon hearing that they jump out of their chairs and run the door so they can vote for the black candidate too, unaware of his philosophies or positions, and oblivious once again to their superficiality.
Of course, the show is a situation comedy, and nobody would actually behave that way when it comes to something as important as an election.
In reality, some people vote for the opponent of the candidate who is the target of the most egregious and numerous attack ads. And they should be attractive. And it helps if they have all their hair and are tall, and not overweight. And if they’re from the right part of the country. And, it doesn’t hurt if they have never said anything that anyone would disagree with.
The good thing about Will and Grace’s election is that it wasn’t real. But it is interesting to see that sometimes art really does imitate life.