May 17, 2016
You’ve probably used a whole lot of different spoons over the years. Plastic spoons. Wooden spoons. Sporks. Maybe even a silver spoon when you were feeling extra fancy.
Ever thought about what your ice cream spoon says about you? Or better yet, what all of our spoons say about American democracy? We like to dig into a big ol’ bowl of democracy as much as the next person, but it doesn’t seem fair that some of us are struggling with flimsy plastic spoons, when others are scooping up heaping mouthfuls with sturdy silver spoons.
Let’s face it – voter access is not equal. Some of our leaders make laws that make it harder for certain groups to vote, including African-Americans and other minorities, the elderly, lower-income people, and students. And when a democracy doesn’t work for everyone, it fundamentally doesn’t work – and isn’t a true democracy. So whether you’re scooping up some Empower Mint or casting your ballot to help choose our next leaders, you deserve unfettered access.
So, what can your ice cream spoon tell you about our democracy?
The Tea Spoon
It’s like a regular spoon, but it’s tiny. So instead of a full, hearty bite of ice cream, you just get a little taste. Kind of like how folks who face barriers to voting only get a little taste of our democracy. Haven’t voted in years because your state has restrictive voting laws? Then you know what it’s like, and it’s not fair.
The Wooden Spoon
Wooden spoons were not meant for eating ice cream. Sure, technically they’re a spoon, but they don’t scoop properly and nobody likes that woody taste with every bite. Kind of like the people who struggle to obtain the government-issued ID required for voting in 33 states. Sure, technically they can vote, but there’s a big hurdle, and nobody likes that hurdley feeling. Driving an hour to the DMV, waiting in obnoxious lines, and paying for an ID they don’t need for anything but voting – those sure sound like hurdles to us.
The Plastic Spoon
Ever tried digging into a frozen pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a flimsy plastic spoon? You won’t get far. And with voter suppression tactics such as voter ID laws, convoluted registration processes, fewer and fewer polling places, and shortened early voting periods, voters often feel the same way.
The Silver Spoon
Ah, it must be nice to eat your ice cream with a silver spoon. It’s sturdy, it holds the perfect amount, and you look pretty fancy doing it. We’re glad that you, silver-spoon-ice-cream eater, don’t face any barriers to voting. But consider this: sharing is caring. And if you and other silver-spoon-ice-cream eaters care about a democracy that serves everyone, you’ll care about ensuring that everyone digging in with a sub-par spoon gets an upgrade – and soon.
The Soup Spoon
Big, deep, and sturdy, the soup spoon is capable of scooping ice cream bites at an unprecedented rate. Not cool if you’re sharing a pint with a buddy. Also not cool if you’re trying to scoop up all the political influence for yourself. We’re looking at you, Citizens United, for giving a soup spoon to corporations and wealthy elites everywhere.
No spoon at all? Well, no ice cream for you. No fudge chunks. No caramel swirls. Like the voters who have been left behind due to regressive voting restrictions, you will not be enjoying any sweet, sweet democracy today.
Think that’s not fair? Yeah, neither do we.
We think everyone should have the right spoon to dig into their pint of Ben & Jerry’s. And better yet, we know that everyone should be able to dig into our democracy. Everyone should have access because everyone’s voice matters. A democracy doesn’t work if it doesn’t work for everyone.
Join us in fighting for an end to regressive, restrictive voting laws that make it harder for many Americans to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. Join us in opposing big money in politics, which drowns out the voices of average Americans. Join us in working to give a solid, sturdy spoon to every ice cream eater from sea to shining sea.
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