At one time or another nearly everyone was excluded from voting in the United States except white male property owners.
That list includes women, native Americans, poor white men, Catholics, Jews, slaves, free African-Americans and indirectly in some states, all African-Americans.
Today virtually every citizen age 18 and over has the right to vote (in some cities politicians are trying to extend voting to not yet 18 year olds and even non-citizens, including illegal immigrants). We don’t even want to have voters prove who they are?
Have we gone too far? The quick and likely typical answer is, no, this is a democracy everyone should have the right to vote. Why⁉️
If you want to determine the direction of the nation and all that goes with that, why is it unreasonable to expect something in return? Some commitment, dedication, contribution, effort, knowledge, obligation … call it what you will.
What do we get in return from universal suffrage? Do we get better results,better candidates, less acrimony among citizens, a better economy, greater social justice? I would argue that when you have no qualifications to vote you get the opposite. It seems to me that what we have today benefits politicians more than society as a whole.
Recognizing you will never achieve voting by 100% fully informed, knowledgeable, involved citizens, is it wrong to expect better than we have? Politicians lie and mislead and many (most) people are not equipped to know the difference; the truth.
I believe that to vote in this Country you should be required to demonstrate some basic knowledge such as:
- Basic history of the United States
- Sound understanding of the branches of government and their responsibilities
- Basic high level understanding of major issues facing society
- Be able to pass the citizenship test
Would it be unreasonable to apply these requirements at least once before achieving the right to vote?
What are the arguments against any requirement to vote in the United States?
Categories: Observations on life