I have been reading a lot of philosophical stuff on politics lately. More of the big picture stuff as opposed to the current issues of the day. The health care reform stuff has me so frustrated I don’t even know where to begin. So I instead try to focus on the bigger picture and how to make things work. I know that most of you expected me to write about the health care madness that passed this evening. But I don’t even know where to begin. I will offer my thoughts soon. So instead, a different topic. I have seen some discussions about this topic before but I have never weighed in significantly with what I think. The primary reason is that I am quite torn on this subject. I understand the “right” to vote on a purely philosophical level. A government that serves the people must have all the people’s voices. And I absolutely understand how proposed rules on who can vote harken back to the despicable days of when blacks were kept from voting through tests and requirements. But I think this is a topic worth discussing. I tend to see the group that participates here at SUFA as a fairly intelligent group. So I don’t apply it to anyone here. But the question is: Is it wise to allow everyone to have an equal say in the election process?
I know that we have people on both sides of this issue. In fact, I know we have some that don’t believe the vote has any power at all, and thus we shouldn’t be voting in the first place. We can discuss that principle below as well. But for now I want to simply address my feelings on voting in general.
Hypothetically, I do not believe that everyone in this country should have the “right” to vote. Now before I get blasted on this, allow me to again point out that I am really torn on this issue. I could go either way as I start to write this article. But I am going to write it from the standpoint of what I think is the far less popular answer. I will write as though not everyone should be allowed to vote. I haven’t actually come to that conclusion, but when writing an article that is meant to stimulate the discussion, I find it more appropriate to take some sort of stance and then let people weigh in from there. So I am certainly open to debate on the subject.
Let me start out by saying that there is absolutely zero right to vote given to the citizens of the United States. Let’s be clear that I am talking about federal elections here, not state or local. The Constitution does not give Americans the right to vote in federal elections. I know that is tough to believe, but it is true. There are rules set out that make it so that you can be discriminated against if you are in certain groups of people in terms of the vote. But the Constitution does not grant anyone the right to vote, citizen or not, in national elections. I just wanted to get that little fact out of the way from the start. Many folks believe that the right to vote is granted in the Constitution, but that is simply not true. You can go read it again and check. I have read it too many times to even count, and it isn’t there.
The problem with everyone voting is that they are simply not well enough informed to cast a vote in the elections we are discussing. We have all talked about that at one point or another. We see the stupidity in some of the folks casting a vote. That isn’t a partisan statement. Folks on the right think there are too many on the left that are uninformed and ruining America. Folks on the left think the same of those on the right. I tend to agree that there are tons of people on both sides that are not well enough informed to have a valid opinion on the choices (or lack thereof) before them. In my opinion, the health care debate is a prime example of this. So many supporters who haven’t read the bill. So many folks saying it is a step in the right direction, that it is better than where we are. But not many that can say why it is better. Let’s interject here with a quick video with Howard Stern finding the lack of voter knowledge:
Think about a few other places where opinions are sought. Think about where you work (or where you used to work in this economy). Say your company has 10,000 employees. Not all of those 10k employees get a say in how the company decides to develop their business. And for good reason! The majority of employees simply lack the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision. So the company limits those with a say to the folks that both have a vested interest and who have a solid enough grasp on the business to make a good decision. I don’t think anyone has an issue with that being the case. Think about some of the horrible employees that you have worked with. Would you really want the financial viability of the entire organization in any way depending on the decisions that those folks would make? Of course not.
What about when consulting with a Doctor. If the decision has to be made about how to best treat you, would you want the decision to be made as a best of 5 contest with two doctors and three people who were in the waiting room with you awaiting treatment? Of course not. The doctors are subject matter experts who you know are better informed, more well read on the subject, and experienced in dealing with the situation. You want the decision in their hands, not the hands of the guy in the waiting room with a nail from a nail gun stuck in his forehead.
Out on the farm? Would you want someone from New York City who has never seen cattle in his or her life helping to make decisions about how to best run the farm? Should their opinion on how to best tend the herd hold the same weight as your neighbor who also has a herd of 2,000 cattle? Of course not, that would simply be silly.
Heck, even when you are talking about the shareholders in a company making decisions. In that situation you have a weighted scale for the power of the vote. The more shares you hold, the greater your voting power. After all, you have the most to lose based on the decision. The greater the impact of the company on you personally, the more likely you are to study the issues, find out all you can, and cast your vote according to what is best for your shares.
Yet when we talk politics on the national stage, we subscribe to the idea that everyone equals one vote. No matter how well or how poorly they grasp the issues. I worked with a person who absolutely refused to follow politics. They just weren’t interested. They didn’t watch that much news because they found the problems in the world simply too depressing and they wanted to have positivity in their life. So the extent of their political knowledge is what they glean from 30 second sound bytes that they hear on the radio on their way to work. Why should their vote be equal to mine? After all I live and breathe politics. I read the bills, study the candidates, follow the issues for hours every day. I am an ultra-informed voter. Why should my opinion hold no more weight than this other person that doesn’t pay attention at all? Because the fact is that the two votes hold equal power, despite one of us working hard to know the issue and the other not paying attention at all.
Let’s look at another situation that we saw operating on a grand scale during the last election, thanks to groups like ACORN. Homeless people being rounded up and taken to the polls, paid with a sandwich and a drink, and told who to vote for. These are folks with a very high percentage of mental issues. They couldn’t properly manage their own lives, or make sound enough decisions to not be living on the street. But they were rounded up by ACORN, driven to the polls, and told which ovals to fill in. That crazy guy who talks to himself on the corner every day cast a vote that, for all intensive purposes, canceled my vote out.
A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters realize that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that Democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by Dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. Those nations have progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back to bondage.
I would say that we are rapidly approaching the point of dependency, if we haven’t already surpassed it and are on our way to bondage. And the situation described is where we have gotten to in this country. We are in a situation where roughly half of the people do not pay income taxes. Yet those people have an equal say in who runs the country as those who use their own drive, endure their own risks, and do well for themselves, thus becoming the employer of many others. So what do those who have little use their vote to do? Whatever it takes in order to get more of what they want for the least amount of effort. That is the reality in America. We have become an entitlement society, one where everyone is going to take the easiest path to what they want. For many, that easiest path means they want to have government take it from others and given it to them.
Of course, you have those that are on the opposite side of the spectrum of voting. Black Flag, for one, advocates that voting serves no other purpose than to legitimize the system as it strips citizens of liberty. I can understand this line of thinking. We certainly aren’t given the ability to truly make choices. We are given two bad choices and told these are our only options. Choose one. And even after we have chosen one, we lack any ability to later hold those chosen accountable for following through on the promises they make when on the campaign trail. The current President is a prime example of this. People voted for him because of his message. As it turns out, he has done very many things he said he wouldn’t do and failed to follow through on many of the things he said he would do. But he is in office now. All he had to do was sucker you once. Then you are stuck for 4 years. There is absolutely nothing that we can do to hold the President accountable for his actions short of simply choosing not to vote for him 3 years from now. And you can rest assured that the alternative offered will be no better than what he is.
The problem that I have with BF’s approach is that it takes an all or nothing approach. It maintains that voting doesn’t hold ultimate power, therefore it holds no power. That is the claim. But that isn’t even close to true. While there is little in the way of actual accountability offered by the vote, the vote certainly does have power. The vote cannot stop the health care bill from passing, but it is the vote that has slowed down that process and stripped some pretty outrageous government action from the bill. If there was no vote, the far left would have produced a far more reaching bill that actually DID move to a single payer system and government takeover of health care in one fell swoop. The threat of the vote managed to keep them somewhat in check. So while the vote isn’t stopping the progression of liberty erosion, it has managed to drag it out. The progressive movement would have completely destroyed the United States by the 1940’s if fear of voter backlash hadn’t tamped down that movement a bit.
Besides, history has shown us that the people having no vote does little to de-legitimize the government. There are hundreds of examples of governments in the world where the people have zero say in who represents them. That doesn’t seem to slow those governments down. In fact I would argue that each of those countries is far more oppressive or lacking in individual liberty than the US. So that is the tradeoff here. We could all refuse to vote, which according to BF would de-legitimize government. But we would lose the ability to slow down the politicians as they work to strip our liberty from us. To that end, I still find that voting is a necessary tool to use. Our voice may be small with the vote, but it is better than no voice at all. To say it doesn’t give us enough voice so we should quit is a simple frustration move. The conversation isn’t going our way so we will refuse to talk anymore. That is counter-productive at this point.
So the question becomes what can we possibly do to maximize the effectiveness of the vote, while at the same time not denying everyone affected a voice in the process? Because a failure to rectify this will result in a furthering of the path we are on. A gradual increase in income redistribution. A gradual decrease in productivity. A gradual erosion of individual liberty in America. A gradual increase in the gap between those that have and those that do not. We simply cannot continue down this path. Neither party has our interests at heart. Both parties play the game of pandering to the uninformed voter in order to further what they want to do. Meanwhile, people like those here at SUFA find that despite the amount of time they spend thinking about the issues and discussing them with others to better understand the consequences, they will have their vote canceled out by the guy talking to himself at the park or the guy at work who refuses to pay attention to any section of the paper other than the sports section.
How do we rectify this problem? Because it is a problem. We allowed the thinking that it is a right to vote propagate and the result is exactly where we find ourselves: in a system in which the majority are voting themselves money from the public treasury and eliminating the liberty and freedom that the system was supposed to protect. A system in which those who attempt to argue on a basis of morals and ethics convince themselves that the greater good is served by usurping the rights of the minority. This cannot continue. It is the path to the ultimate fall of the United States in the same way that every other empire has done. The fall of every empire is an example of the consequences of failing to protect the rights of the individual and an example of the consequences of failing to respect the rule of natural law.
Now I know that to some that sounds awful doom and gloom. It sounds like I am being over dramatic. But I don’t believe that I am. In fact, I think that it is obvious to anyone willing to think rationally that individual liberty has steadily declined over the last 240 years. I think that for others it should be plain to see that in an effort to stop discrimination against one minority (blacks and the poor) we have deemed it acceptable to discriminate against a different minority (the wealthy and the producers).
So go ahead, convince me that everyone in this country should have the right to have a say in the leadership of the country. Convince me that the direction of the country should be decided by those who steadfastly refuse to pay attention or who’s interests lie in getting free loot from the government. And then after we cool off a bit from tonight’s move towards the destruction of individual liberty and the free market for a day or so, we can move on to discussing what has happened and how we can move forward to strike down this far left power grab. But let me offer a few more of the plethora of videos:
Now, I am aware of the fact that all the videos that posted here are taking shots at Obama voters. But there are simply an overwhelming amount of these types of videos on the web. And the VAST majority of them feature voters that supported Obama. But the point is not who they voted for. The point is whether these people should have a say in the direction of our country at all? Had they been McCain supporters, the message would have been just as relevant to what we are talking about today. And I am sure that if someone wanted to, they could have created videos just like this about McCain supporters. Because the American voters are not all that bright when it comes to the issues.
Just for reference sake:
The Boortz quote from above is from his book “Somebody’s Gotta Say It”, published 2007 by HarperCollins