Should Voters Be Qualified?
If there is one thing active constituents on both sides of the political spectrum usually agree on, it is the subject of uninformed voters. Ironically, both sides think the reason the other side exists is because dumb people are allowed to vote. My suggestion then, is for Democrats and Republicans to join forces for the sake of passing laws which prevent the uninformed’s disease from further infecting our Republic with their decisions. (I’m sure I’m not the only, or even remotely the most influential person, to make such a suggestion.)
Then let the chips fall where they may.
At least four of the fifteen post-Civil War constitutional amendments- including the Fourteenth- were ratified specifically to extend voting rights to different groups of citizens. Their aim was to ensure citizens of all colors, genders, and ethnicities would not be discriminated against when it came to voting (we, of course, know it took a century for these amendments to actually become reality).
Said amendments are a good thing. But we have a different problem which has nothing to do with gender and race, contrary to what Al Sharpton or Chris Mathews say (ignorance is not inherently determined by skin color or whether or not you make more than $15,000 a year). There are millions of people who vote for the laws and individuals which very much shape the society in which we all operate in, yet said individuals don’t even know the three branches of government. This explains why a president who wants to executive order everything he can’t get through Congress is still in the White House. It’s likely the people who see nothing wrong with this know very little of checks and balances. They think the President is a king who can do anything he likes. People as such are allowed to perform with the symphony even though they can’t read the notes.
They should be kicked out of the band.
In today’s age there are zero to no excuses why someone should not know who their representative is. There’s no reason to be unaware of your state’s governor. And certain statistics have shown there to be a substantial amount of peoples who voted who don‘t know the vice president of the United States is ‘ol Joe. That’s incredibly insane. Arguments that political literacy test laws are discriminatory are pure illogical hogwash, if by discriminatory, they mean to say such laws are aimed at a certain race or ethnicity. In fact, they should be offensive to those being portrayed as the potential victims if being able to read past a fifth-grade level would, supposedly, prohibit you from voting. However, if by discriminatory, opponents mean that such laws would prevent people with certain thinking patterns and an inability or refusal to read, from voting, they are absolutely right. I am for those laws. It doesn’t take an elitist to avidly read the newspaper in today’s America. That’s literally all it takes to be more informed than the uninformed. This discriminatory nonsense is a manipulative tactic used by those who think that if people were required to know why the American Revolution happened, they would be out of a job.
When we allow uninformed voters to vote, it does injustice to those who actually take time out of their lives to keep up, to call and email their representative (especially if your rep is Hank Johnson), who show up to the town hall meeting after a hard day’s work. After a while, it may actually make sense to stick to ESPN and Bravo. Chicago Tribune contributor Steve Chapman put it this way:” After all, a person who learns a lot in order to vote intelligently has almost zero chance of changing the outcome of any election. Aside from the feeling of virtue it may confer, it’s an irrational indulgence. Ignorance, by contrast, is perfectly rational.” Like driving, voting should be viewed as a privilege, not a birth right. If you don’t want to take at least a partial interest in political affairs, then you should not be allowed to play on game day.
You see, history proves that those in power have always attempted and most times succeeded, in controlling the masses one way or another. Usually it’s been by the sword or the tank. But today, the masses are being controlled and manipulated by a lack of beyond fifth-grade reasoning abilities and a void of basic knowledge of democratic ideals and fiscal mechanics. So when someone stands behind a podium and says that everyone should have free this and free that, there really are people who think universal healthcare and roads and public education are free. Some people have no idea that the more “free stuff” the government gives out, the more money comes out of their paychecks (unless of course, you don’t pay taxes, in which case it really is free) . The modern day proof which is Italy, Spain, and Greece mean nothing.
What do you propose?
It’s not rigorous. A basic test proving you have taken enough interest in political affairs to where you know who the vice president is, the name of your governor, your representative and where he stands on some issues, how many senators every state has, and a basic comprehension of the American Revolution (when, where, why, and who it is we were liberated from), as well as some basic ideals of democracy, should do. As I said, just about anyone in America is capable of obtaining said knowledge.
This should be a non-partisan issue. There should be no reason why anyone who wants the best for America should be threatened by such a proposition. I don’t believe it will fix all issues, or even many, but I think it will certainly benefit everyone. It will either persuade those who aren’t engaged to become so, or it will prohibit them from mindlessly determining all our fates.
Anyone know of organizations, reps, or senators fighting for such measures?