Home > News and politics > Who do we want voting?

Who do we want voting?

The other day I was watching Faerie Tale Theatre’s Rip Van Winkle. Part of the plot is that when Rip Van Winkle heads up into the mountains King George III is king of the colonies, and when he returns George Washington is President of the United States. In the little New England town a politician is doing a stump speech trying to convince people that they need to vote the next day. During the speech a woman shouts out, asking if she can vote, and as we all know the answer to that question was no. A black man also asked if he was able to vote, and was told no as well. I liked this little scene, it had nothing to do with the plot, but was a subtle reminder of the changes which have occurred in our Republic.

A few years ago I was in a conversation with a coworker and she was adamant about the idea that people should have to take a logic test to be eligible to vote. Obviously she felt that anyone who didn’t vote along her lines, was being illogical. While I do kind of like that idea I don’t see a precedence for it. I argued that there should be a quiz based on the Constitution. My reasoning for that is that a quiz like that will help ensure that those voting at least are familiar with the system they’re participating in. She hated that idea.

In Plato’s Republic he proposes that those who are fit to lead are Philosopher kings. The idea being that democracy doesn’t work, because the majority of the people are ignorant about how to run a society.

One threat to a democracy is that a bunch of self centered, ignorant people will destroy the society. But as pointed out in P.J. O’Rouke’s Parliament of Whores, if that’s what the people vote for, that’s what they deserve. I do hope though, that something better could be achieved.

So is there a bar that people should be required to pass to be allowed to vote? I think there is one. Not that this bar would filter out everyone making bad decisions, but I would be surprised if there are those who wouldn’t see this bar as being reasonable. I propose that to be able to vote in the United States that the person must pass the US immigration exam, on a periodic basis. Since we’re not allowing immigrants the right to vote until they pass the exam, couldn’t we hold natural born citizens to the same requirements?

Obviously the citizenship exam, does not make one an expert on all of the nuances of governing a people, but think about it in another way. Would you want someone who couldn’t pass the exam influencing elections of those who will be governing you?

Categories: News and politics
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