If you have not heard, President Obama recently floated the idea during a speech that voting in the United States should be mandatory. Now, for all my followers whom are about 20 seconds from an armed patriot insurrection, let me calm you down just a bit. Obama is gone in 2 years. Republicans have control of Congress. There is no authority that the President can wield that would put such a plan in place in the next 2 years. I know this, the President knows this, and I want you to know that now. So cancel the call to general quarters, the constitution is still the law of the land, and don’t let the various internet sites troll you into paying their bills. This article has nothing to do with Obama himself.
Namely, if you see an inflammatory headline along the lines of, “Obama Makes Voting for Him Mandatory,” and you click on the link to an article with enough advertisements and pop ups that make a NASCAR vehicle look naked, then you have been trolled for money. They don’t really want to offer you truth, they merely want you and thousands of others to click the link and register the ad views. Ads are fine, I have a few on here, but pay close attention to the inflammatory nature of headlines and the ratio to ads and pop ups. Just a tip from someone increasingly learning the tricks of the blogging world. But alas, let us move on to the tragedy of this mandatory voting idea.
The Americans of Today
Before we proceed, let me introduce you to some of your fellow Americans via this video. Watch, enjoy, then we will move on.
Ok, now, I think we first have to acknowledge that any of these people on the video could still very well be active voters. That is their American right to do so regardless if several of them think North Korea is actually in Australia on a map. Moreover, we must also acknowledge that stupid people exist on every side of the political spectrum.
However, I think we can all acknowledge that there are a few people in life whom we ought not be coercing into weighing in on the great matters of our day. Good Americans these people, but mandatory voting totally removes Darwin from the equation of American politics. For whatever reason, we live in a connected world where the public has access to unlimited information that has somehow made us dumber. Again, dumb people can vote. That is their right. However, if they get distracted by shiny objects on the way there, I am just going to let nature take its course.
Now I also feel like I need to offer a confession. The truth is, I have not voted in every single election. Yes, I firmly believe Americans should vote and it is an important part of our Democracy. However, I have gone through my phases of disillusionment and checked out at times. However, I do fully intend to live a long life and vote as often as possible as I become older and wiser.
However, this is kind of the point. In his speech, Obama said that more often than not, it is the younger generation that opts out of voting. Now, again, I think young people should vote. However, I don’t have a problem if more grey haired senior citizens vote from a life of experience more than 19 year old frat boys exploring the world of butt chugging. That’s a real thing by the way that happened at the University of Tennessee. Quite disturbing.
But again, that is that Darwin effect. Those who know are more drawn to the idea of voting, and those who don’t tend to stay away. I don’t propose we limit voting in any way. Rather, we just let it work itself out like it has since the beginning of our nation. Stupid is as stupid does, but I think we can all admit that Forrest Gump would vote for the first candidate to offer him a Dr. Pepper.
The Merit of the Problem
Look, I am not saying that the problems expanded upon by President Obama are not real problems. There are indeed far too many informed persons out there not participating in the democratic process. Moreover, money does play far too large of a role in our political system. One billionaire can have more influence over an election that the thousands that might read this blog. Wealth owned by so few can bring with it a tyranny that rivals that of Government if they so choose.
However, I simply proposing that there is not always a government solution to every problem. These things tend to snowball fairly quickly. How long after mandatory voting is passed would it be before people claim they can’t vote due to financial reasons? Thus, how long would it be before Government starts offering monetary reimbursements for the cost and time of voting? Surely that would never happen you say? Well, it wouldn’t until these mandatory voters realized they could make it happen. Let me introduce you to President Comacho from the movie Idiocracy which if you haven’t seen, you should watch for further enjoyment.
But back to something more scholarly. There is a quote attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scot from the early 1800’s that goes as follows:
” A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
Powerful and ominous words written a couple hundred years ago. Now again, don’t hear that and think that I am making some claim about Obama. For if we ever do wind up with a dictatorship here in America, it won’t be Obama’s fault. Rather, it would be the misguided adventures of an ignorant citizenry. Let us pray that it never comes to be. Stay in school kids.
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