A special amendment needs to be added to the Constitution stating that all citizens have to pass a short general education and political literacy exam before being allowed to vote. Something analagous to the 25-question quiz that everyone is required to take at their local DMV in order to get a driver’s license. Nobody squawks about this because driving carefully and responsibly is a life-or-death matter. But then so is voting. Much more so, if you ask me.
And so I’m asking myself a simple, fundamental question, to wit: why shouldn’t voters have to prove they have at least a somewhat educated awareness of basic political and social issues before being granted the power to vote? This seems to me like a completely reasonable suggestion. Really. Tell me why it’s not fair.
As Bill Maher mentioned two or three weeks ago, the shitkickers who voted for George Bush in ’00 and ’04 because he seemed more personable and prole-friendly than Al Gore or John Kerry (which he was…I’ll give him that) screwed things up badly for the rest of us. Look at the mess we’re in! We’re in a bad recession, caught in a ghastly no-win war that’s going keep draining us and lead our nation into even worse debt, the dollar is worth nothing overseas, gas is over $4 a gallon.
And — face facts — it’s all the fault of the social conservatives who swallowed the Karl Rove bait — the idea that Republicans are (a) better at looking out for the nation’s safety and (b) care more about bedrock values than the Democrats — hook, line and sinker. It was a bullshit line and they fell for it. And they screwed us all in the bargain.
Democracy can’t work and in fact can bring great harm to a nation as long as people with demonstrably flawed judgment — people who refuse to consider candidates and issues in a grown-up, semi-educated way, and who insist on voting for candidates as if they’re contestants on the Dating Game, or as if they’re running for church pastor or Boy Scout leader.
There’s a sizable percentage of people out there — 10% or 12% of respondents in a poll I read recently — who apparently believe that Barack Obama is a muslim. In all sincerity, our nation would be much better off if somehow these people could be disenfranchised as voters. People like that woman who asked Obama during the Philadelphia debate why he hasn’t worn a flag pin — her voting rights need to be cancelled for life. There are millions like her out there, and they’re a menace.
I’m not saying voters have to vote for Democrats or support liberal values, but there should be a rule that they have know their shit and not plan on voting based on emotional concerns about community values. Is it such a bad idea that prospective voters would be tested to see how dumb they are, and if they don’t get 70 % of the questions correct, they don’t get to vote? Seems pretty fair to me. I’m not trying to provoke people by doing one of my nutter rants. I’m completely serious.
Social conservatives who vote over bedrock moral values rather than political and economic realties (and some kind of shrewd assessment of the leadership abilities and allegiances of presidential candidates) are going to kill this country. They’re the children in the room…the fools, the drunkards. Things have gotten too serious and we really can’t mess around with these people any more. For the sake of our country, an effort needs to me made to thin our their ranks in terms of voting eligibility.
Here’s a discussion from a discussion board that I found this morning. http://www.gupshupp.com/forums/sitemap/t-1532.html
“In our idea of democracy we have one person one vote. A professor of political science or economics has the same vote as a 18 year old apprentice. Say your vote depended on your level of education. 1 vote for all but an extra vote for an A-level education — 2 for degree level — 3 for postgratuate, etc.” Another excellent idea!
“Would this change politics? Would we still have the same personality-based politics we now have? Would it change the balance of power to the right or to the left? Or would it not make a difference at all? Would it be acceptable and if not, why?”