Get out the vote

The Founders feared a strong central government having just eliminated a monarchy. Many feared the actions of the people and the ease with which they might be manipulated.

Their fears have been vindicated. Few voters or politicians act other than in their best interest. Lower income Americans want more from government, seniors want greater benefits, the wealthy want lower taxes and politicians want anyone’s vote… while few of us think stregically or long-term or what is best for the Country as a whole.

While self interest is powerful, ignorance about the issues, the way government works, the consequences of our actions is IMO even more powerful.

We readily accept every citizen has the right to vote, but apply no responsibility to that privledge. Not even the responsibility to obtain a basic knowledge of the issues or their country or government. Today there are those who want the vote extended to currently incarcerate felons.

If those pushing voting rights at all costs were motivated by some sincere objective, it might be tolerable, but their objective is simply obtaining votes bought with promises of more government benefits.

Why shouldn’t there be some basic requirements to vote?

Perhaps the ability to read at a reasonable level, to demonstrate basic knowledge about our government, civics, history, economics, to pass something akin to the U.S citizenship test. Something, anything to demonstrate responsibility in exchange for helping to determine our society’s fate.

It seems to me this is more critical than ever before because of the ease with which people can be manipulated and presented with false information instantly every minute of the day.

7 comments

  1. Does ignorance of the suffrage movement in our country disqualify someone from voting? The anti-suffragists loved to use your position that some people (women) shouldn’t have the right to vote because they lack the basic knowledge necessary to vote. It was a vile argument then and I think it still is.

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    1. I hardly see that as a valid analogy, but no matter, even asking people to pass the most basic test is never going to happen and we will continue to get the elected politicians and government we deserve. Voting carries responsibility in my view, but we don’t have that.

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  2. I disagree with the notion that you need a certain degree of intelligence to vote. In my lifetime of observing people of all spectrums of Intelligence, “smart” people can and are manipulated just as much as the uneducated. The only qualifications for voting rights should only be Age (18) and citizenship. Both should be verified before voting.

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    1. I never said anything about intelligence. I said knowledgable about our government, our economic system, the issues of the day and our history and why things are the way they are. People who have a low score on all those items are the easiest manipulated as they can’t distinguish between fact and fiction, practical and unrealistic.

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  3. “the ease with which people can be manipulated and presented with false information instantly every minute of the day.” Amen, Quinn! The Russians know this. They are very good at it and they want their puppet Trump in office to further the decay of the USA!

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  4. I’ll settle for voter ID. You need ID for everything else in this country so why is it that the poor minorities are unable to get ID? They have it to get their welfare. You need ID to get liquor (23rd Amendment) They have it for their bus passes. And if you want to exercise you 2nd Amendment rights, you must be fingerprinted and investigated by the government.
    I think we need basic knowledge to run for office first. Maybe have candidates publically read the US Constitution before their names can be placed on the ballot? Then we can work on basic knowledge voting.
    But I’ll settle for having a pulse before voting. Maybe we need to vote like they do in poor countries. They vote in person and you get your hand stamped so that you can only vote once. Some of the democrats proposals that were buried in their latest failed covid-19 aid package was just plain scary to me. No ID, no signature verifications, voter mining permitted, no chain of custody via the US Mail system and has no requirement to deliver the returned ballots in time to be counted. Just scary stuff.

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