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Is Voting the Most Important Right of Citizenship?

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I had a class in the seventh or eighth grade, I think it was called Civics, that introduced the concept of citizenship. I suspect that a lot of us can’t even remember the eighth grade, and I can’t remember any specifics from the class, but I recalled it recently while reading an article about immigration reform.

The concept seemed to have had more importance in the early days of our nation than it does now. Then, it was more about there being an “us” to fight “them” over rights; most notably taxation without representation.  It only occurred to me about a week ago that the Boston Tea Party had any connection to the modern one, duh. If I had ever thought about it when I was young, I imagined it being like a margarita party, but with tea.

So, back to citizenship. We have certain duties: jury duty, Selective Service; as well as rights: freedom to reside and work, enter and leave the US, vote, stand for public office; and benefits: consular protection outside the US, access to social services, protection from deportation. But there is no requirement for civic participation. Shouldn’t every citizen be more involved in the business of our country? In the 2010 elections only 37.8 percent of the eligible voters showed up and voted.

Is there a more important way to show your involvement in American politics than by voting?  There are some strong arguments saying that uninformed voters are worse for government than informed ones, but to me that means that more time should be spent educating potential voters. I think I agree in principle that if you don’t understand the issues you shouldn’t just vote for the candidate who has the most air time, or whose ads are glossiest, or who slings mud best, but how can we get more, informed involvement in politics?

There has been some disagreement over requiring voters to have and present valid picture identification when voting. I have heard the democratic argument against it: discrimination towards students, the elderly, and minorities; but I don’t agree with that. Who doesn’t have some sort of picture ID? Even if you have a phobia about driving, don’t all states issue ID cards? Don’t students have a school ID? Is this somehow keeping 42 percent of the voters away from the polls?

A few years ago a friend and coworker originally from Slovenia was taking his citizenship test, and we discussed the questions among ourselves. Some of the questions seemed simple and obvious, but some made me stop and think.

  • What did the Declaration of Independence do?
  • What does the Constitution do?
  • Under the Constitution, what powers do the states have?

Maybe we need a similar, but perhaps simplified, version of this test at the polling booths. No ID required, but you have to score at least 80 percent on the test.

Hey, I might not get to vote next time.

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About One Americans Rant

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    It sounds perfectly reasonable to require that the voter prove who he or she is with a photo ID, doesn’t it?

    But I daresay I doubt you’ve really heard all the caveats about requiring photo ID’s. For the past four years I’ve had a standing challenge for BC conservatives that for each every fraudulent vote that they could show me, I would in return show them a thousand voters wrongfully disenfranchised by GOP voter-caging efforts.

    To this day I have no takers.

    Let me refer you to my most recent article on GOP voter-suppression efforts…

    …and if you think that voter suppression is a harsh, unprovable accusation, be aware of a particular quote by Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation, in a speech before thousands of Baptist ministers, Jerry Falwell (founder of “Liberty University”), and someone named Ronald Reagan:

    I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, [Republican] leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.

    Now juxtapose that statement to this one by Matthew Vedum, a former vice president of the Heritage Foundation and now senior editor of the Capital Research Center, and who is following in Paul Weyrich’s footsteps:

    Registering [the poor] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country– which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote… Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.

    So…OA – do poor Americans have a right to vote? Do homeless Americans have a right to vote? Do minorities and students have a right to vote? Of course they all do…but GOP cognoscenti know that the more poor and homeless and minorities and students vote, the fewer elections the Republicans will win…and that’s precisely the point of the quotes I gave you above by movers and shakers within the Republican party.

    I once naively believed that no American in his right mind would try to stop others from voting. I know better now.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Sounds like a good idea on the face of it, OAR, but it smacks of Jim Crow. All a state or federal government would have to do to prevent an “undesirable” segment of the population from voting would be to withhold civics education from those people.

    I think it’s desirable, but not necessary, for a voter to be well-informed about the issues or candidates they’re voting for. If someone votes for Mitt Romney because they like his hair, at least they are expressing their wishes with regard to who governs them, which is the main thing. So yes, voting is one of the most important rights; it’s also an important responsibility.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    I did read your article, in fact it was the genesis of my article.

    If every vote was tied directly to someone who cast it, say by having their picture ID show up on the ballot, the mysterious 14,000 votes wouldn’t be in question. And, if the Democrats were so worried about the homeless getting to vote, they could stand outside of the DMV and make sure everyone knew that the ID cards could be had for free.

    Look I’m not saying that I think this should be mandatory, and I’m not going to try and find examples of voter fraud. My main point was that more people should vote. The politicians (mostly Dems) who want there to be more voters should make sure that their constituents know what is needed to vote, be that ID cards or knowledge. Isn’t that one of their jobs – to make sure that their constituents have what they need from government?

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Doc,

    I get that we don’t want to bring back the bad old days of Jim Crow Laws. My problem with uninformed voters is that it can skew the vote. If you vote for a candidate because you heard him more often on the radio, or saw more billboards with his picture, then he has skewed the vote with money. If you only vote based on hearing a jingle, not because you understand the issue they are for, then it’s still skewed. Don’t we want a president that is more than a sound bite, or nice hair?

    By the way, not counting Bachmann, who has the best hair?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OAR –

    Speaking of uninformed voters, have you ever heard of global warming? Sorry, yes, that’s snarky, but here’s a better illustration of our current electorate.

    The above are two political cartoons – the cartoonist has won two Pulitzer Prizes so far.

    WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING, however, did you not get the point that while we Dems are trying to get more people to vote (ACORN, remember), the Republicans are quite literally trying to make it more difficult to vote (falsified videos against ACORN).

    Most egregious of all is voter caging, which as far as I can tell has been a purely Republican tactic…all to minimize the ability to vote by the poor, the students, and those who tend to move more often than average.

    Do you really, truly think it’s right to deliberately disenfranchise voters? Because that is what the Republicans are trying to do…and I’ve shown you the proof.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    OK, both of those were good. I’ve often thought that the political cartoonist don’t get enough credit for their “snarkiness”.

    Aren’t the Dems supposed to be the intelligentsia? Can’t they come up with ways around the rich, but dumb Reps?

    I WOULD like to see some stats on the number of poor, students, etc. that don’t vote because of something Jim Crowish. It seems easy to say that this is happening, but harder to prove.

  • Igor

    Actually, the burden of proof is the other way. To pass a law you should prove there is a crime.

    In Maine they passed an ID law, apparently without cause, as a state official noted that in 30 years they’ve only had two cases of vote fraud and both were prosecuted and convicted.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Igor,

    Again, I’m not for this I just want to understand why it’s such a big deal. I would think that the Dems could produce some documentation supporting the stated fact that so many, poor, homeless, student, minority, fill-in-the blank won’t vote because it’s too much trouble or too expensive to get ID.

    I’m also not convinced that having EVERYONE vote is a good idea. It still seems that if uninformed voters elect an idiot just because they saw him on TV is any better for society than if they didn’t vote.

    I want to understand both side’s arguments. I think I understand why the republicans want to limit voters, but I still don’t see the advantage of electing someone just on their popularity.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OAR –

    But is it right that voters should be limited at all? Are we not all American citizens? I can’t see us having a law like Australia wherein all citizens are required to vote, but why in the world should we make it harder for people to vote?

    Have you ever been dirt poor? I mean, really dirt poor? I’m in a third world country as I type this, and let me tell you that most Americans don’t know squat about poverty. In REAL poverty – which some American citizens live with every day – things like voting take a back seat to putting food on the table and keeping a roof over one’s head.

    And since when should American citizens who are homeless be facing ANY impediment to voting? If you’ll recall, there’s thousands of veterans who are homeless. Should they face increased obstacles to voting simply because they’re homeless?

    Are you so unaware of how bad it gets that you think that anyone can just up-and-go get a government photo ID whenever they want? Or are you of the same opinion as the Republicans who want to decrease the voting poll as much as possible?

    By the way – you wanted documentation? Here it is in an article I wrote over three years ago…and that article is why I’ve still got that thousand-to-one challenge that none of the BC conservatives have ever answered.

    And when you read the article, read comments 1 and 4 – comment #1 makes it seem like the Dems are just as bad…until in comment #4 I expose just how minuscule those accusations were (if proven wholly true) compared to what I listed.

    OAR, it’t time to ask yourself – do you want to be on the side that wants democracy for all American citizens, or the side that wants democracy, but only for the American citizens they think are worthy of casting a vote? By their actions shall ye know them….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And OAR –

    Aren’t the Dems supposed to be the intelligentsia? Can’t they come up with ways around the rich, but dumb Reps?

    I never said Republicans were dumb. Never. They are conservative, and here’s an article I wrote that showed there may well be a biological explanation why people tend towards the liberal or towards the conservative.

    Dumb? No. Different? Yes. One side is more willing to listen to scientists (evolution, global warming, effectiveness of torture or the death penalty, etc.), while the other side sometimes clings to almost anything that allows them to not believe that the scientists are right.

    This is not to say that conservatives are ‘dumb’ – one of the things I’ve been considering lately is the difference in liberal and conservative brains when it comes to depth of knowledge of their chosen professions…and I’m wondering if liberals tend to have a better understanding of a broader range of subjects, whereas conservatives are more likely to have a deeper knowledge of the subjects they choose to learn. In other words, one side might be more likely to have jacks-of-all-trades-masters-of-none, whereas the other side may be more likely to have true expert-level knowledge in their chosen profession, but not so knowledgeable as their liberal counterparts in many other areas.

    I hope you understand what I mean by that, and please be assured that I’m speaking only of likelihoods, and not of any hard-and-fast rules.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    On the “Republican Party Believes…” article, I not sure I’m convinced that there shouldn’t be SOME sort of checks for who is voting, but I’m willing to consider it some more. You, or someone, should update the list using 2010 information. Some things are just wrong, vote mangling we’ll call it, and this needs to stay in the public’s mind.

    I have never been poor, lower-middle class sure, but not the starving, don’t know where the next meal is coming from kind of poor. So, I don’t know that I have the right perspective to demand that everyone have ID.

    I still wish that there was some way to tell if the election is being skewed by uninformed voters.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    On “Conservatives vs. Liberals vs…”, I have a theory that might explain why these differences evolved. I got some of this from Jared Daimond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel“. It has to do with where we spent our formative years, not in the adolescent sense, but evolutionarily. The groups of people that moved into the colder, northern climes would have needed to work together in smaller tribal units to survive. Anyone not “us” was “them” and was looked at as a possible threat. Opposing this were people in warmer climes with ready access to food and no need to hunker down for endless months of cold.

    I see similarities in the conservatives and these northern people – tight-knit, protective of there own, not willing to take chances. For the liberals there are similarities to the southerners – a willingness to share, open communities, the leisure to question and learn about their surroundings. This could also explain the race divide between conservatives and liberals – northern, lighter skinned; Southern, darker – certainly not an absolute.

    I think that the answers to a lot of our problems lie in how, and under what conditions, we evolved. With millions of years backing some behaviors it will be difficult to overcome them.

    Oh, both of these were very good articles. I only skimmed through some of your work, but now I will have to go back and read more.

  • Igor

    OA: you ask someone to show that many people will be deprived of their just votes, but you never ask anyone to show that vote cheating is so extensive as to require a draconian ID law. Clearly, you are not impartial.

  • jamminsue

    OAR “Again, I’m not for this I just want to understand why it’s such a big deal.” Let’s say I am a single Mom working as a waitress, lucky enough to work 8-5, M-F so daycare is available, the night job is cleaning the common areas in the aparment building I live in, so I am lucky. I know if I take off from work, I can lose my day job, and will for sure not have the paycheck I depend on as I live hand-to-mouth. Add to that a trip to DMV or where ever takes bus fare, as they are increasingly located in the fringes of areas, not the inner area where I live and work. The cost is too high. This is not me, but can be reproduced many times over. Doesn’t this woman, working two jobs supporting herself and her child have a right to vote?
    You could exchange this scenario for the Wal-Mart worker, students at school during business hours, and so on. Most people do not have leisure time.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Jamminsue,

    Still not convinced. The student HAS picture ID and I doubt that Walmart hired someone without it.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t specific examples, but I would like to have some idea how widespread the problem is.

    And, if they don’t have leisure time, when are they going to vote?

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Igor,

    No, I am concerned about that as well, but Glenn has provided some reference material and I will go through it.

    I’m not questioning that it would deprive some people, I just want to understand how many. Glenn said in the articles he referenced in #9 that voter fraud only amounted to a few hundred votes. I question whether there is substantially higher numbers of people that would vote, only if it were easier to do. I am not convinced that there are that many people that are poor, homeless, students, minorities, that won’t vote because they don’t have picture ID. If it’s only hundreds, then we shouldn’t worry about it – if it’s thousands, then we need to do something.

    I never said that I was not partial to one view or the other – I’m trying to see if there is a problem and where it is. THEN I will make up my mind.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OAR =

    1. I see several instances where you say you wonder if there’s a lot more fraudulent votes. I would recommend that you support laws that address problems for which we have solid evidence that those problems exist. We should not base our laws on “we think it’s happening”.

    2. I read “Guns, Germs, and Steel” several years back – great book – and it’s refreshing to hear that I’m not the only one who’s open to such biological differences. I must say, though, that the north/south divide you postulated doesn’t quite work – the most liberal nations in the world are in Scandinavia.

    3. On the issue of “uninformed voters” – who decides who’s informed? Conservatives would love to see voters better informed about a whole host of issues in the way that conservatives believes is “informed”. Likewise, we liberals would love to see voters better informed about that same host of issues in the way we believe they should be “informed”.

    One of the greater influences in my life is the science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein. I agree with much of what he said despite the fact that he was mostly libertarian, but on the issue of voting he and I disagree. He said that in order to vote, someone must prove that they have a modest amount of education by solving a quadratic equation.

    I would submit that if we must demand that people be able to prove they’re “informed” before they could vote, it must be by a test like the one proposed by Heinlein, one on a subject that proves a level of education, is in the only universal language (math), and (most importantly) is in no wise politically controversial…for almost everything else, from history to civics to the English language, IS politically controversial.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And OAR –

    Let me provide you with yet more evidence of Republican efforts at voter suppression, courtesy of Politico.com (which normally leans to the conservative):

    A New Hampshire measure that ultimately failed earlier this year stoked Democratic concerns about the law’s true intentions. The law would have ended same-day registration and prohibited most college students from voting from their school addresses.

    New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien, a Republican, told a tea party group that allowing people to register and vote on Election Day led to “the kids coming out of the schools and basically doing what I did when I was a kid, which is voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do – they don’t have life experience, and they just vote their feelings.”

    The article does point out Republican concerns about voter fraud…but provides no evidence of such. And that has nearly always been the case, close to zero hard evidence of voter fraud by individual voters.

    The article continues:

    “This is unprecedented,” said Rock the Vote President Heather Smith. “State by state across the country since the 2010 elections, really throughout the past year, we have seen an unprecedented number of attempts to restrict voting rights, in particular for young voters and minorities.”

    Many college students don’t have a valid ID from the state where they’re attending school. In order to vote on or near campus, those students would need to apply for and get new state-issued IDs well in advance of primary day or Election Day.

    And from the same article, here’s something that may get your attention:

    The past year or so has seen a sharp increase in the number of states passing laws requiring valid state IDs, or photo IDs, in order to cast a vote at the polls. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states now require a photo ID at the polls – and several others are considering similar moves. One exception is Maine, which voted down a ban on same-day voter registration this November. States like Tennessee and Wisconsin, both of which have recently passed tougher laws, have effectively ruled out student IDs as valid on Election Day because they generally don’t contain required information like a current address.

    I think you can see that these are concerted efforts to minimize the youth vote…and note that nearly all this happened since the 2010 vote. Why would the Republicans want to restrict the youth vote? Because young voters broke strongly for Obama in 2008. The issue of “voter fraud” is nothing more than a strawman argument (as is evidenced by the near-total lack of any hard evidence). It’s not about “voter fraud” and it never was. It’s all about winning the next election by taking away votes from the other guy.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    I think I’m done with “voter fraud” for now – not conceding the point, yet, but I want to look through the data you provided.

    On the Lib vs. Con and ethnicity, I DON’T think that it’s that simple, but it is a reasonable starting point for further study.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OAR –

    Okay, I’ll leave voter fraud alone for now. One more thing, though – be sure to differentiate between voter fraud (a felony), election fraud (also a felony), and voter registration fraud, which is a misdemeanor because there’s no significant connection that has ever been proven between voter registration fraud and voter fraud.

    I mention that because that’s something I did not know before I began posting on this blog. Now I’ll leave the subject alone.

    When it comes to ethnicity and race, you should know (my apologies to all who’ve seen this so many times) that I grew up not only very conservative but as a racist in the deepest of the Deep South. I eventually joined the Navy, saw the world, grew up (in that order), and realized how wrong the racism of my youth was. Seeing as how I was once strongly conservative but am now (since the first half of the 1990’s) quite liberal, you can probably imagine what my opinions are concerning race and America’s conservatives.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Glenn,

    I too grew up in the south, I don’t know how deep NW Louisiana is, but my parents and most of my family were pretty racist. I also grew a lot while in the Navy, AQ3 AG65 USS Eisenhower. While I was going to school, post-Navy, I fell in love with a black woman, got married, and had a son. I have joked, although there is some ugly truth there, that it was fortunate that my father died before then, else it would have killed him. I’m no longer married to her, she went crazy and left me for a gun-runner/drug-dealer, but our 22YO son lives with me now.

    I don’t think that the issue is strictly race, but some component of it is. And I’m almost sure that whatever it is, can be overcome, much like our racist past can be. I want to understand what that is and hopefully be able to explain it to others. If I can do that, then it will seem like I have done something.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OAR –

    No kidding! I grew up in Sunflower County, MS, about thirty miles east of Greenville. And to continue our similarities, as I said, I’m retired Navy, MM1 (my big mouth kept me from advancing further), served on USS Simon Lake, USS Ranger, USS Camden, and USS Abraham Lincoln. I bought the “wouldn’t you like to work with nuclear power” line from the recruiter and then found out the hard way that a rural MS education doesn’t prepare one for nuclear power school, and spent my career doing lots of different things, about half of which was inside the engine room.

    You might also be interested to know that Cannonshop also spent a few years in the Navy and turned it into a good career after he got out, but more than that is not my right to say.

    To this day my family in MS doesn’t know about the black girlfriend I had for a little while in high school – they’d be flatly mortified if they found out. My son’s seen the racism of my family there and is glad that I refuse to live there…especially when it comes to a poll of MS Republicans in April of this year where 46% of them still think interracial marriage should be banned. My wife is Filipina (we met when she lived across the street from me in Washington) and my mother once told me that she’d rather I married a black girl than a Filipina. But ‘black’ wasn’t the word she used.

    So, yeah, I know some of what you mean, and it certainly hasn’t been an easy road for you…and your story has the ring of truth.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    I thought Cannon was in the Army, not the Navy?

  • Cannonshop

    #23 Army, doc. Glenn’s a bit wrong, however-out of the Education I got in the Service, exactly NIL was useful to me in the Civilian World aside from the bits just about everyone got going through Basic. The Experiences, on the other hand, have proved of somewhat greater utility than the expensive education.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Cannonshop,

    Well, I guess that that’s better than being (pause to don flame-retardant suit) a Marine.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cannonshop –

    My bad – all this time I thought you’d said you were in the Navy…and I think that most of us would agree with you about the experiences.

  • Cannonshop

    #25 What is your problem with Marines? did one of them step on your dog when you were a kid or something?
    OMR: ever heard of Smedley Butler? Look him up, if you’re friendly to the left, and don’t like Marines, because this guy, in addition to being a highly decorated Marine, one that made it right to the top of the heap in the Corps, was protesting un-necessary foreign interventions and the use of American Military Personnel to serve the interests of Wall Street before any of the “Leading Lights’ of the Left had even been born.

    I wasn’t a Marine, OMR, but I have them in my family, and guess what?

    Other than the existence of a mutual-support-culture once they’re out of the service, they’re basically just like everyone else, only a teensy bit more…what, organized maybe, or disciplined, about HOW they do things than most.

    That’s “SMEDLEY BUTLER”, look him up.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Cannonshop,

    I apologize if I struck a nerve. I have no particular dislike for Marines – that was just a standard, knee-jerk Navy comment. I have both worked with, and personally known several and I really don’t have a problem with them.

  • Cannonshop

    Still, back to the topic (sort of)…

    I somewhat wonder if the “Right” to vote has become a “Rite of voting”-as in a ritual, rather than a decision or choice, for some/most of the “Voting Populace”.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    How can you wonder that when the percentage of Americans who vote is so low and has been for decades?

    Perhaps that could be said of those who – when they vote – only vote a straight-party ticket (which I have never done)…but of the normal American, no, it’s not a “rite of voting”.

    But a governor’s aide was just accused of election fraud for trying to suppress the vote. Care to guess which party he belonged to?

    Wait! Don’t tell me! You’re going to claim the other party is just as bad! And you’re not going to provide ANY proof to back it up, either, right?

  • Cannonshop

    “Accused” is a long way from “Convicted”, Glenn, and at this point, that ‘discussion’ is redundant-I was HERE in 2004. It’s very popular to accuse the other side of things, whether to cover one’s own misconduct, or merely justify it, and I won’t play those childish games. Show me some CONVICTIONS and we’ll talk.

    Election fraud is, after all, a Felony.

  • John Lake

    You underestimate the American voter. While I concur that voters should be encouraged to study the issues, still every American has a right to his opinion. The homeless will vote for subsidized housing. Those who are unable to find work will vote for the candidate who promises him an opportunity to work. The rich will vote for more corporate control. Consider Donald Trump. He can afford to control a major block of votes, but question him (or former CEO Herman Cain) about issues, and they come up short.
    Many Americans don’t have the time to study the economy, or the form of socialism current in China, but they can still trust the media (radio notwithstanding) and they still have a capacity to formulate an opinion. Some Republicans would close that door too. Cheney if given his whims, would address all the Justices, and put an end to many American freedoms.
    If you feel that the average voter has no insight, explain the Occupy young who have taken to the streets, many of whom are well aware of special interests, and corporate profiteers such as the Heritage foundation. Perhaps only Republicans should have the vote; or maybe only corporate CEOs, and their immediate families. Only Doctors. Only the One Percent. Maybe no one should vote. Some group with guns and artillery might take control, and let might prevail. When someone comes along to limit the rights of good Americans to vote, I become skeptical. You sir, underestimate the American voter.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I like your post, John. For all his or her faults, we’re not as stupid as some make us to be. Obstinate, perhaps, but not stupid.

    Still, we’ve all got to wake up soon to the fact that we’re getting royally screwed by the corporate state. And until we do, we deserve what we get.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    John,

    I have backed off of the voter ID thing, if that was what got your back up. Glenn, and some more reading, have convinced me that even though I think it would be prudent to have verifiable ID for voters, the chance of people not voting because they don’t have ID outweighs any perceived benefits. I am not now, nor have I ever been, against everyone voting. I do however question which media you think is trustworthy.

    The only way I can see to stop, or slow down, the special interest groups is for people to be more informed. I suspect that you are correct and that the OWS movement IS better informed than average – probably only a fraction of them – but at least some are.

    Maybe I live in a part of the country that is less informed, or cares less, than the norm, but I don’t see many people who seem to vote smart.

    What I would like to see is public discussions of the issues, much like they must have been around the time of the Constitution’s writing.

  • John Lake

    Your article deals not with voter IDs, but with testing to assure some knowledge of the issues. ABC news gets an “outstanding” in my book. CNN does well. In fact, FOX though far from perfect is still acceptable from my standpoint. Press services are still, thankfully reliable. We are lucky.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    John,

    The testing thing was another attempt at sarcasm, (I thought the last line made that clear) which clearly I not doing too well with. I know that we couldn’t do that seriously, but am still trying to get across to people that they should think before voting. I have one more presidential article planned and I will try to control the sarcasm and snarkiness in that one.

    I am not a fan of Faux news, but if O’Rielly and Hannity are acceptable to you, so be it. CNN I can stand and I do like a lot of what ABC does, but I try and scan the web for most of my news – still have to filter, but if 3-4 sites are telling me the same thing then I feel that it’s good.

  • Clavos

    OAR,

    Sarcasm may well be the most difficult voice to convey successfully online.

  • http://oneamericansrant.blogspot.com/ One American’s Rant

    Clavos,

    I thought about that some last night. I have honed my arguments mostly through speech, where the non-verbal clues – intonation, inflection, gestures, facial expressions – all help to convey underlying meaning.

    On Usenet, we frequently used code-like switches to show those things. I have used a few in comments here, and I may need to use it more.

    [SARCASM]But most of you would probably still miss some of it.[/SARCASM]

  • Clavos

    Yeah, others (among them, Doc) have used the switches.

    It’s not a bad idea.