Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The "Dumbass" Voter

It seems to be "rag on Neal Boortz" week on my blog, so here goes with another rant. I promise, however, to write a post in the near future about the things I do agree with him about. There are a few things, believe it or not.

Now, on to the rant.

On the same broadcast that he criticized Hillary Clinton about her marriage, he mentioned in the following segment that he believed that some people ought to be banned from voting, namely "idiots and dumbasses". He mentioned a woman who said she was going to vote for John Edwards because she liked his hairstyle as an example of a dumbass voter.

While we all might wish that politically uninformed and frivolous voters would do us all a favor if they stayed home on election day, there are few of us who would go so far as to advocate banning anyone from voting who currently meets the current criteria.

The obvious question is, of course, who gets to decide what constitutes exactly what being a "dumbass" is? Would it be limited to the frivolous voters such as mentioned above and, if so, how would we go about identifying such voters? I'm guessing that with Boortz and many others, a "dumbass" is merely a synonym for someone they don't agree with.

Boortz said that people should have to "earn" their vote; by having to take a test to prove the person has a basic grasp of the issues. Would everyone be required to be tested? Or would it, as I strongly suspect, be something that would target poor and/or minority voters, much as the now-illegal Poll Taxes were. Indeed, Boortz stated that he would exclude anyone on welfare, because they believes they don't "deserve" to vote, in the same way that convicted felons cannot vote. People may not approve of welfare, but being on welfare isn't a crime in this country.

If it ever came to pass that certain people were excluded from voting because of the "Dumbass Clause", then would such "dumbasses" be excused from paying taxes, being subject to any future military drafts, and so on, in order to compensate for the fact that they have no say in their government? I'm guessing that Boortz has no problem with using "dumbasses" as cannon fodder, even if he thinks they're not fit to vote.

When a caller pointed out the inherent unfairness of people who have committed no crimes having no say about their government and cannot advocate for their own interests, which would quickly lead to their marginalization in society, Boortz shot back that children cannot vote. The caller then pointed out that children have their parents to look after their best interests, that children also do not have the civic obligations that adults do, and they will not be children forever; they are "future voters".

In conclusion, I think we'd be better served by making civics a required course in high school, which would help to give everyone at least a rudimentary understanding of the issues, rather than creating an underclass of citizens by taking away their votes.



D.K. said...

Once again, I think you've hit the nail on the head.

The truth comes in multiple ways, not just one.

LauriesAsylum said...

I agree, I think civics should be a required course.