During election season, make brackets great again

David Bordelon

March is that beautiful time of the year when nearly all of the United States unites in a singular endeavor: to create the perfect NCAA tournament bracket. Everyone knows that they have a chance at perfection, despite the fact that the odds of creating a perfect bracket are somewhere as high as 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Brackets become a cultural touchstone for a month, and I think the rest of society should emulate the NCAA’s wildly successful strategy.

Let’s be frank, the primary reason to make a bracket is money. Glory does exist for the creator of the best bracket, but last year’s $1 billion offer from Warren Buffett possesses even more allure. And naturally, every friend’s ‘bracket league’ usually bets some amount of money to incentivize better involvement. Of course, this means oodles of money for the NCAA, which reaps the advertisement benefits from thousands of viewers who would have otherwise not watched the tournament, save to see how their picks fare.

“If I were to not make brackets I would not just sit down and watch basketball,” said government freshman Eric Wise. “I would only watch games I have a personal interest in. Now I will just watch any game I can during the tournament.”

Luckily, a few people have also caught onto this wondrous bracket ideology, or “bracketology.” In 2014, President Obama promoted the Affordable Care Act with a bracket, offering participants the ability to make a bracket and vote for the best two reasons to get healthcare coverage. Similarly, The Wire made a bracket on a different subject, such as best American metropolis, for each week of March.

I think this is exactly what the United States needs: brackets. Brackets for everything. Brackets that force people to pay attention to things they would otherwise care nothing about, like college basketball. Brackets for children: Finally we can know whose child is better! Brackets for business: Will Apple edge out Google for the 2016 fiscal year? Doubtful. Brackets for elections: Will a reality TV star become a frontrunning candidate? Apparently.

It being the wondrously civil, high-minded election year, I propose a solution to the perennial apathy of the American voter. Political brackets. Unfortunately it is a little late, but with the previous 17 Republican candidates a bracket would have surely engaged the unengaged public. And I’m sure no bracket would have accurately chosen the Republican winner (much like no one can create a perfect NCAA bracket). Luckily, there is still a little time to make your bracket for the 2016 election, so fulfill your civic duty, your democratic right and get out there and vo— bracket. 

Bordelon is a philosophy sophomore from Houston. Follow him on Twitter @davbord.