I went walking for lunch today, as I often do. There are two universities near where I work, and the political flyers for the upcoming elections are coming in fast and furious. It’s hard to turn a corner without bumping into some politician’s face.

If all the people posting flyers actually get out and vote, it should be a record turnout.

But today I saw one that just floored me. It was a plain piece of yellow paper, with a simple caption in bold black letters. The caption read

I’m voting because I make two gallons of gas an hour.

Two gallons of gas an hour.

This simple phrase is strong enough to carry three important messages, and to carry them well. First, because it translates to roughly $8.00 an hour, it speaks to poverty in America and the plight of the working poor. Second, it decries the soaring price of gasoline and the ridiculously high oil profits that go with it, all at the expense of the American consumer.

But perhaps most importantly, by explicitly tying the price of gasoline to the value of a human life, it recognizes the Faustian bargain U.S. politicians have made for decades, trading the lives of young American men and women to ensure the free flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz.

I’d go on, but as we lawyers are often fond of saying, res ipsa loquitur.

The thing speaks for itself.

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