Given that disclaimer, I have determined that:
• One-third of voters get their news and information through careful study of issues and political candidates through newspapers, radio and TV news, non-fiction radio and TV programs, books and magazines and discussions with other voters (including persons with opposing viewpoints) on a variety of issues.
• One-third of voters get their news and information from Jay Leno and David Letterman monologues, Hollywood sages (ie Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Pamela Anderson and Michael Moore), professional racists (ie Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farakhan, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Ray Nagan and Jesse Jackson) and Marxist anti-American college professors and government school teachers.
• Finally, one-third of voters don't get any news or information at all!
Consequently, the two-thirds of voters who make poorly informed choices in the voting booth are out-voting those of us who put in a little effort before voting. That is the primary reason we have our terrible government with excessive taxes and corrupt politicians. Too many voters cast votes based on their personal selfish interests as opposed to what is best for the nation as a whole. We have the democracy we deserve.
It is my opinion that this problem might best be fixed with a voter test. The questions need not be difficult. For example, if you don't know your mayor's name or who pays for welfare handouts (working people and other taxpayers) or who is next in line for the presidency if both the president and vice president die, you don't get to vote. My voter test would help to reduce the number of ill-informed votes that cancel the voice of responsible voters every election.
Some argue that such a test would be discriminatory. Yup -- against ill-informed voters. If more people of one race fail the test than another, that is not a race problem, it's voter-preparedness problem! If an immigrant needs to pass a basic civics test (in English) to become a citizen, why shouldn't I be expected to also pass a basic civics test to vote?
In the Declaration of Independence, our nation's founders declared that all men are created equal. By that, they meant that we all have the same God-given rights and that there should be no aristocratic class nor commoner class. Specifically, their declaration was directed to the King of England and their view that he was nothing more than another mortal man with no right to enslave his subjects.
Like King George III, the self-anointed kings in US political office, bureaucracies, and courts believe they are better equipped to make our decisions and impose government programs (at our expense) to deny us freedom to make personal choices. At the same time they seek to build and preserve their own power and wealth -- just like King George.
Freedom comes to those who know truth and live its standards. Every man has the right to be free from enslavement, free to make his own choices in life and suffer the consequences thereof as envisioned by the founders. Everyone should have the blessing of freedom. But they have no right to harm the rights of others.
I see voting as a mixture of a right and a responsibility -- just like using a firearm or driving a car. Those who cannot or will not exercise the right responsibly must have that right restricted in order to protect the rights of everyone else. Restricting the right of irresponsible persons to vote (defined as those who don't study the issues and candidates enough to make an informed choice) would ensure that they do not harm the rights of everyone else by their poor choices.
Unfortunately, it'll never happen because certain politicians (ie Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Cynthia McKinney, Harry Reid, John Conyers, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Daley, Joseph Biden, John McCain, etc.) rely on a constituency consisting of a sizable portion of idiots to stay in power.
Many people fret about low voter-turnout. Personally, I think that's a good thing. If a person is too lazy to vote, he's also likely too lazy to have an informed opinion. Some propose some sort of incentive to vote such as a lottery as proposed in Arizona a while back. I think that's a bad thing. Again, if a person needs to be bribed to vote, he's likely too lazy to have an informed opinion. Inducing people to vote for the purpose of entering a lottery is contrary to the civic rights, privileges and duties inherent in our citizenship.
It makes me shudder when I watch Jay Leno's "Jay-Walking" excursions wherein he explores how utterly ignorant many Americans are.
Speaking of voters...if I had my druthers, I would raise the voting age to 26. If you're still covered by your parents' insurance policies, you're not an adult. The only exceptions to the rule would be young people serving in the military. I would also require those people who aren't old enough to collect Social Security to prove they pay income taxes. If there is a screwier notion than allowing those who pay no income taxes to vote for those in a position to force those of us who do pay them to pay even more for the benefit of those who don't pay any, I don't want to hear about it. ... Finally, I would insist that anyone who wishes to cast a ballot prove he can read English by passing a basic civics exam. If you don't know who George Washington was and you have no idea what the Bill of Rights is, you have no God-given right to cancel out the vote of someone who does. I mean, for crying out loud, you have to pass a written test and prove you can parallel park to get a driver's license. In order to vote for our political leaders, shouldn't you have to prove anything beyond the fact that you're still alive and breathing -- or, in the case of Chicago elections, that you were ever alive and breathing? — Burt PrelutskyCongress has the lowest approval rating of any entity imaginable. Yet, we persistently reelect over 90% of the most corrupt, anti-Constitution, anti-liberty, big-government incumbents we all disapprove of! Many people call for term limits in an effort to get the government back under control. But, as another writer said, this is a cop-out. The fact that some politicians remain in office too long is no reason to also boot out the statesmen our nation needs. We voters have a profound moral obligation to elect and reelect only the best to public office. We are failing in that role.
A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins. — Benjamin Franklin
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. — Samuel AdamsI honestly don't care if a well-informed voter makes a carefully reasoned vote that is contrary to mine--we need everybody's good ideas to make democracy in our republic work best. But those who don't know or understand the issues or the consequences of a candidate's agenda really need to stay home on election day for the good of the country.
We have the problems we face today primarily because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.