Is Voting a Right? Should It be “Regulated”?

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.

Neal Boortz offers an expansion on the famous quote attributed to many, but no one can give concrete evidence of where the quote comes from:

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.

THIS Girl Had a Say in Choosing the Leader of America

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

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Comments

  1. The Good old USA is well on it way to a 3rd rate or lower BANANA REPUBLIC, if you accept the government figures of 30 million, where are the people MEDICAL TYPES going to come from. If you accept the AMA’s figure of about 40% plus primary care Doctors are seriously considering quiting

    I join BF in the voting thing, That is a change for me!! the only thing voting does is allow governments to say they are legitimate, North Korea claims 90% plus turn out.

    Every Cop car has the Motto “TO PROTECT AN SERVE” or something similar, ask yourself whom are they protecting an serving, the government or the people.

    • PapaDawg says:

      I am a former police officer, both military and civilian, and I assure you that the great majority of us are here to serve and protect the people of the United States.

      About the healthcare vote thing . . . It ain’t about health, it is all about absolute and total control by those who deem themselves in power.

      May God help us all.

      • Papa

        I appreciate what the police do, most of the time, but the reality is they are “Law Enforcement” officers.

        You do not protect and serve the people. You enforce the laws passed by government. Your protection and service is limited to the extent those laws protect and serve.

        And we all know that is not a great fit much of the time.

        When protection and enforcement come in conflict, enforcement ALWAYS wins.

        I like the concept and the phrase helps remind officers of what is supposed to be the true mission, but it is an illusion when push comes to shove.

        • PapaDawg says:

          Look up “Oath Keepers” on the Internet. Then you might understand what I am talking about.

          • Displaced Okie says:

            Hey papa dawg,
            An interesing little factoid. The southern poverty law center that the media often quotes or interviews about “hate” groups, considers both the oathkeepers and the constitution party “hate” groups. Also interesting, they don’t consider the american communist or socialist parties hate groups. Not that anyone who actually does any of their own research believes they have any real credability, but we are discussing people who don’t pay attention.

            • I think its all part of dehumanizing the political opposition. I think we know comes next don’t we?

  2. POsting for comments. Should be an interesting discussion, especially with the events of last night. I wonder what the new IRS agents will be wearing (brown anyone?) and if they will all have bright shiny new shotguns. 😆

    Peace!

    G!

  3. PapaDawg says:

    I know many folks, my wife included, who honestly believe that no matter how we vote or who we vote for, the politicians will do whatever they feel like doing and not what we voters want.

    This country was founded as a Constitutional Republic. It is not that any more. I can’t think of the guy who it was that when he exited the constitutional convention a woman asked him what we have and he replied “We have given you a Republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

    Sunday, March 21st 2010, a day that will live in infamy. That is the day our Republic died.

    Only God Himself knows what will happen now.

    • PapaDawg

      The Republic died along time ago. We just now are recognizing it. Three things killed it.

      1. Popular election of the Senate: Killed the States vote in the Republic.

      2. Creation of Income Tax on persons and business: Opened the door to progressive taxes and targeting income to accomplish political goals.

      3. Establishment of the Fed Reserve: Nuff said.

      All three of these were pet goals of the Progressive Movement.

      • v. Holland says:

        JAC please expand on #1-I do see where the Federal Congress has started representing the party more than the States but the party effects the State Reps. too.

        • V.H.

          First remember that a Republic is a collection of sovereigns tied together by a central Federal govt. Much like the Federation but with more Federal control. But alas, how to control the Federal power without destroying the underlying sovereigns, that was the founders challenge.

          The Constitution established a sovereign entity in the Federal but it constrained its power to protect the other two ALREADY existing sovereigns, the people and the States.

          The Senate was selected by state legislatures to represent the STATE’s interests, not the people directly. The House of Rep’s was to be “The People’s House”. If you think about how we now elect Senators you will find that a popular vote allows for greater chance of special interest politics in the direct election of the Senator.

          Previously, special interests would have to control the State legislatures and usually the governor in order to control a Senator. The State legislature is changing every 2 to 4 years thus it can impose changes on a Senator with a 6 year term much quicker than the general population can every 6 years. States had the power to recall a Senator. That power was lost when the popular vote was installed because now Congress sets the rules for election of Senators, not the States.

          The “deliberative body” (Senate) was designed to tempter the passions of the people, HOUSE OF REPS, and to protect the interests of the STATE as a sovereign entity. By making Senators elected by popular vote we have turned the Senate into another House of Rep’s with longer terms.

          That in my view is why fewer and fewer statesmen exist in the Senate. The older ones were raised under internal “culture and norms” that developed when appointments were made by the States. Those cultural norms and procedures are under attack because they stand in the way of “democratic” principles. Namely, majority rules and it rules NOW.

          Yes, parties pollute the system. But that is really a separate issue in my view.

          Be Calm Today and Rest.
          JAC

          • v. Holland says:

            Thanks JAC-I am calm today-last night I voiced my anger today I am just a lot more determined and committed. 🙂

    • Papa:

      P.S. It was Benjamin Franklin

      • Agree

      • PapaDawg says:

        Thank you, it was very late at night for me when I wrote that input and my brain just was not functioning properly – something to do with age I think, as I can remember working for 24 – 36 hours streight when I was young . . .

  4. Oh boy oh boy oh boy.. I’m going to have fun with this one…

    Got some work to do first. I’ll be with y’all shortly.

    • Finally got around to reading your article.. it sounds suspiciously like a complaint I’ve made several times. (see Mathius’ First Law: People. Are. Dumb. and Mathius’ Second Law: People.Are.Selfish. and Mathius’ Third Law: People. Are. Lazy.)

      It sounds, even, like a case I made my very first day here at SUFA (which I was roundly beaten up over). I suggest that, though we can’t safely remove the vote from the uninformed masses without undue threat of abuse (where does the line get drawn? Who draws it? Can they disenfranchise me because I’m a bleeding heart liberal?), we can utilize a second layer that we all seemed to have forgotten about. Wait for it.. wait for it.. THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!

      That’s right! The US is NOT a straight democracy. It’s a Republic. You do not vote for President. You vote for some guy you’ve never heard of who in turn votes for President. Now, what if we repealed those ridiculous laws that make the electoral college vote en masse for whatever candidate? What if we voted for a group of knowledgeable people who shared our general priorities and allowed them to choose a President to represent us? What if they were free to ignore the loudest and most ignorant among us and do what they, collectively, think is best?

      Alternatively, let’s apportion the votes to the amount of taxes paid? If you pay nothing, you get no vote. If you pay $1,000,000, you get 1,000,000 votes. But would this lead inevitably to a robber-baron world?

      So, screw it. Let’s go back to a time when a test is given to establish voter eligibility. Except everyone takes the same test and it is given in multiple languages (so no group is discriminated against). Low enough standards (name McCain’s running made and her state of origin. Which of the two main candidates advocates for stem cell research? Which party is represented by a donkey? Which party is currently in control of Congress? Who is the Speaker of the House? Et cetera). Can’t read? Someone will read it to you. Can’t write? Someone will write your answers down. I know many people will disagree with me here, but I say that I do not want ignoramuses votes canceling out mine. I work hard to be well informed. I am smart and knowledgeable. That other person is in idiot who, as Weapon said, made up his mind after a 30-second commercial. Our understanding is not equal, so why the hell is our vote equal?

      I would rather have 0.5% voter turn out where the only voters are well informed than 99.5% where most of them know nothing. I’d prefer this even if the 0.5% were all hardcore conservatives. So now, at last, we’ve arrived at the best solution. You cannot vote unless you read SUFA daily.

      Now, because something that Weapon said irked me, I’m going to hit one last point. I don’t know if the “vast majority” of videos of ignorant people spouting support for politicians are Obama supporters or McCain supporters, but I sure did see a lot of Palin-ites who were blathering idiots. Here’s one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKKgua7wQk

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Mathius, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t what you write about the electoral college currently the way things work? Aren’t those elected under this system (at least in most states, not sure if all) free to then cast their vote for whichever candidate they so choose?

        Personally I say do away with the electoral college altogether (by constitutional amendment, of course) and let the masses vote for President directly. But that’s another story for another day. But that’s just another crazy progressive idea of mine! 🙂

        • No, Bunky, it’s not at all the way it currently works. In every state except Maine and (I think) Kansas, whichever party gets the most votes in the state gets all the electoral votes. Those electors are selected in advance by the parties and are loyal to their candidate. Further, they are sworn to vote (and in some states legally obligated to vote) for the candidate who won the state. This effectively eliminates their ability to use their discretion. I cannot recall a single instance where an electoral voter did not vote the way they were expected to.

          I agree that the electoral college is a problem since big states are vastly under represented. However, if you allowed proportional representation (allowing electoral splitting, and freedom of those electors to vote as they wish), it wouldn’t be about the states, but rather, about the views. The electors would then lobby/haggle/beg/plead/cajole/etc to get win the final vote for a president. This is a very different system than today. I think this is how the Founders originally intended it.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Hmm…I know that all states (save for Maine, and possible one other) assign all electoral votes to the elector selected in advance for the candidate that wins the popular vote in that state. However, I am pretty sure that the electors CAN then vote for whomever they choose. (Though given I am sure there are several states that do legally obligate electors to vote for their sworn candidate.)

            I say forget about the whole thing, do away with electors in general, and allow the people to vote for the President. Majority wins. No electoral college. No electors. Being President isn’t about the individual states; it is about representing the people of this country.

            • The problem is that the people are idiots. I promise you that if someone ran on the premise of eliminating all taxes and doubling all benefits, he would win. Nevermind that the economy would completely implode in a month. He would win in a landslide.

              If I can’t disenfranchise those yahoos, I want a layer between them and the ultimate decision.

      • Interestingly Mathius…. I didn’t do a search for “stupid Obama voters” when I did the video search. I only entered “stupid voters”. I went through and watched about 5 pages of results. There was only one that came up bashing Republicans, and two or three that were shows like MSNBC that were debating that Clinton supporters were stupid compared to Obama voters. The rest all focused on Obama supporters. There is a fairly compelling argument to be made on several different reasons for this.

        • Either way, I think you have to agree that the number of videos of stupid voters is not necessarily a scientific indicator of the number of stupid voters. It could represent a greater effort by conservatives to make the videos. A higher interest in watching them amongst conservatives (thus raising their search profile). Or any number of other reasons.

          I object only to your implication (my inference?) that Obama supporters are inherently dumber or less informed than McCain supports. Both are equally dumb in my opinion.

          • USWeapon says:

            Oh I agree completely. I specifically noted towards the end of my article that just as many videos could have been made about McCain voters. I did not mean to infer, if I did so, that it was only Obama or only Democratic voters. I think it is equal on both sides. The guy with the misspelled sign was a tea party person. The girl from the pageant was a conservative. They exist on both sides. The question is whether people like that should have a say.

            • I say no. But the devil is in the question: how do you filter them out without the (massive) downside risk?

  5. Love the article,the comics and especially the Howard Stern tube, greatjob Us Weapon.

    How do people feel about a point system in voting where college degrees and military service count for more votes, maybe even property owners and business owners as well.

    One pitfall is that it will expand the IRS like this health care bill is going to do so they can continually monitor who is insured and uninsured, but if health care passes than these new IRS employees can just add the degree and military service questions to citiizens files so it might be a wash.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      First let me just say that I am all for everyone having the RIGHT to vote.

      But, as to having a point system, college degrees and military service do not equate with knowledge of candidates nor issues. Why should your vote count more than mine just because you served in the military? Why should my vote count more than yours just because I have some fancy degrees sitting on my wall? Why should your vote count more than mine because you own a home and I merely rent an apartment?

      • Buck

        One exception. Those who do not own property should NOT be allowed to vote on local property tax levies. That may mean not voting for local or state reps who set those levies depending on the state. Or as an alternative, only property owners could override state and local levies by initiative.

        Of course this can all be solved by ELIMINATING property taxes by Constitutional Amendment.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I would agree to that so long as it was a very narrow exception — however, I can’t agree to extending that to not granting a vote to local reps who set those levies, as those same reps would be in charge of making other decisions as well.

          • Which leads to the Constitutional solution to abolish property taxes. That way there are no games to be played regarding voting rights.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Property taxes are necessary to pay for our public schools, police departments, fire departments, etc.

              • Property taxes would naturally be replaced with other taxes. Taxing someone for the value of their property where the value is determined by the government is not fair. Don’t most taxes apply to the free market value of an object? Sales taxes, taxes on your wage? How do you apply a value to something that is not for sale in a fair way for countless properties?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Property taxes are based on assessed value of the property. True, there is potential for abuse if the government itself is determining that value, however you can always appeal your assessed value.

                You are right in that eliminating property taxes would just result in a different tax at the local level in order to allow the locality to continue to provide services.

      • Hello Buck,
        I know it is not the best idea to have a point system, but it is an idea that might spur thought and lead to a more sound system. Maybe if voters take a special optional course on goverment and prevailing issues and the like, than their vote can count twice that way they would be more qualified and wouldnt have to own property or have a fancy plaque on the wall that doesn pertain to the issues.

        In a way though, i do think the point system idea is more fair than those people out there like on the Howard Stern video having as much say in your govt controlling our life as you and i do.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I agree, emotionally it makes sense. However I just can’t support such a system. I am all for one person, one vote.

          Even with a special course that enables individuals to have 2 votes, just because I can sit through a course and even pass a test does not mean that I will not then proceed to exercise my vote for some stupid reason that has nothing to do with the candidates nor issues.

  6. v. Holland says:

    When I’m angry I think voting should be limited but when I’m of a cooler head the mere idea of telling someone they are too stupid or to unproductive to vote scares me more than the currant situation. As I’ve come to realize through the years any power that you give to the government can be expanded and changed. Let them say people who don’t work can’t vote, pretty soon it could be based on how much you make. People might decide if you make too much money you have to much influence so you shouldn’t be able to vote.

    I think the problem isn’t that people can vote them in-it’s that there’s no way to control them once they are there. Last night is the result of the representatives of the people telling the people to stick it-Somehow we the people need away to insure that they know what our bidding is and away to force them to actually do our bidding. Away to kick them out of office if they don’t. With all the separation of powers the Congress simply has too much control to regulate themselves and with the parties they have to much influence on the elections. I’m simply not for anything that takes more control out of the hands of the people and puts it in the hands of the government-They have to much power now-I’ll go for term limits-right of recall(maybe), photo ID, and you have to make an effort to register to vote unless you are handicapped in some way that makes it impossible-get yourself up and go to the registration office to register-no filling out a form in the street or at the grocery store.

  7. Ray Hawkins says:

    I tend to agree that when voting, most people are not well enough informed. However, to deny someone to vote based their level of being informed is not objective. There is no test to fairly determine who is informed enough to vote.

    To me, the answer is simple, everyone citizen of the United States gets to vote. Period. Every man, woman and child. If the child is too young to pull the lever or punch the card then the parent can do that for them (or write in the write-in). Allow the parent decide when the child is old enough to go into the booth alone. My only “on the fence” in voting is whether one should be required to vote locally in order to vote nationally and whether it should be revoked for those who refuse to participate locally. Not sure of that one.

    Some interesting and misleading examples are used to confusingly try and make a point….

    Employees and the business they work for – the economic relationship is far different – they are paying me for a service I provide. The government – I provide money to in order to make decisions on my behalf. They are not the same.

    The Doctor – I assume this is a take on the ‘best informed’ theme – again – an elitist attitude to take imho – who gets to say who is best informed and not? Doctors have to go through a rigorous process to become Doctors. Voters also go through a theoretically rigorous process – its called living.

    The Farm? Not everyone eats cattle, or the cattle from THAT farm Your example is nonsense.

    “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.”

    – I think you’re mis-using the statement put forth by the study done by the Tax Policy Center and what (a) components of the population make up that number and (b) what “other” taxes are paid by the same folks. Every single one of those folks should have the same voice in voting.

    • I like the idea of voting local being required to vote nationally. If you don’t care locally, you should not have a voice nationally.

      The age thing I don’t know about, I am more inclined to say that taxpayers ahve a vote, and all persons over a certain number. 18 or 21 or 16 or something, but if you pay taxes and are below the arbitrary age, you get to vote.

      • Jon

        Easier to waive taxes for those under 18 than suffer from the outcome of pop star infested hormonal teenagers decisions regarding treaties with China.

        🙂

        • I understand the sentiment, however, I think most of the kids who are actually working out there are the more clear headed types that don’t just vote the way Jay-Z tells them to. Also, remember that we have 17 year-olds signing up to defend the country and we had much younger than that fighting the British for our independence. Our culture is different, but that does not mean that our intellectual capability is lost, just the proper education. I find when young people are entrusted with something important, they rise to the occasion better than a lot of adults, and they are more likely to research something than go on their own prejudices.

          Not that I would have a problem lifting taxes on the young, that would be acceptable too. 🙂

    • Ray

      Drink more coffee and then rethink your post.

      See any potential problems??

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @JAC – coffee was finished hours ago. Working on some Red Bull at the moment.

        Cheers,

        Ray

        • Ray

          OK then. Kids vote, right?

          More kids more welfare.

          More kids more votes for more welfare.

          Although I am guessing we would see the left quickly try to ban abortion. Yes that is a cynical comment pure and simple.

          Cheers back at ya.
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @JAC

            OK then. Kids vote, right? – Yes, everyone votes.

            More kids more welfare. – I do not comprehend this logic. Please explain.

            More kids more votes for more welfare. – I do not comprehend this either. Please explain.

            Although I am guessing we would see the left quickly try to ban abortion. Yes that is a cynical comment pure and simple. – You are correct. You are being cynical.

            • Please Ray…you certainly do understand. Most informed individuals (of which you obviously are) understand that welfare recipients get more with every child borne, and that is a way of getting more from the government.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Terry – okay – I get it now. If kids had the right to vote they would most certainly vote for more welfare (per of course their parents direction), once enough of these vermin get together and realize the sheer power of the pack they would begin to multiply like rats, having more and more rats to ensure more and more welfare – round and round we go until they suck the system dry(and us rat fearing informed individuals that know that with large families comes lots and lots of welfare).

                Your example, while it has the potential to be true is grotesquely unlikely in the extreme. I am disappointed you’d fall for such FUD.

    • Ray,

      Kind of expected you wouldn’t like the article. Every example I used makes sense. You pointed to the farm example. It is a perfectly proper one. You don’t want someone who knows nothing about how a farm works having an equal say in decisions about how to run a farm as someone who also runs a farm. The example directly points to uninformed people making decisions. Not sure why you couldn’t see that.

      Your attempt to nullify simple examples of uninformed people making the decisions and having equal weight given to their opinion is duly noted…. and denied for a failure to think it through.

      Hope your morning is going well.

      USW

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        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.

        @USW – you’re coming across as a lightweight here. using your own analogy only farmers with an equal or greater number of cattle could best decide or know how to run the farm. Or – in our case, a government. Chew on that for a moment before you decide how much you think you need to discriminate against other people that don’t measure up to you own notion of what’s best. Think also about what that farmer may not know. You’re implying he is the best farmer he can be – that he understand land & resource management, he understands how the waste from his drugged up cows is polluting the same groundwater he and his family drink. See how ridiculous the example is?

        Step back on the mat when you want to actually think this through.

        • USWeapon says:

          @Ray

          Let’s not make this more difficult than it is Ray. You are talking in circles in order to avoid the discussion of the topic. All the examples I used are ones where we talk about uninformed people not making decisions on the same level as informed people. It doesn’t matter how many cows a farmer has. A person that has 10 understands more about raising cows than a person who has never seen one in person.

          And I disagree, you are theone coming off as a lightweight. You are not unable to understand what the examples represent or what they mean, you are simply REFUSING to acknowledge them. To what end I am unsure.

          I am not assuming that the farmer is the best he can be. I am not assuming anything other than this basic premise: Someone who owns a farm knows more about farming than someone who has never been to one. Are you arguing that this is not true? Therefore, and follow closely now as the red bull might be clouding your vision, I don’t think that the person who has never visited a farm should have their opinion on how to run a farm be equal to someone else’s opinion who also runs a farm.

          If you need to make an IT decision, do you want me to make it or the guys who work in your industry?

          The concept isn’t rocket science Ray. But you are certainly doing a good job of avoiding talking about the TOPIC by attempting to dissect something as silly as the examples, and doing so by refusing to accept simple realities. Farmers know more about farming than non-farmers. Company CEO’s know more about high level company functions than part time sales people. The point is that in every other set-up we come up with, there is little to no weight given to the opinions of those who don’t have a clue. Except when we elect the leadership of the country.

          • Ok, I am going to address your initial argument (I know you sort of picked that side almost arbitrarily and to make sure it was the more controversial position, nicely played) but I am going to pick the opposing position and address the points you laid out super clearly above as defense for restricting the vote to only certain people.

            Your basic premise is that people should be qualified to vote in order to be permitted to do so. As support of this you point out examples of other parts of life where you would want only “experts” or “qualified persons” to make certain decisions. This makes sense on the surface except for a few things.

            1) The “experience” argument has been wielded for a long time in order to create and maintain the cursed aristocracy we currently have for a governing body. As such, I am suspect of this argument, particularly in government, because an experienced and educated person in politics is often too corrupted by it or disjointed from the rest of reality that they actually do a very poor job. I dont want someone who is “good at politics” to govern. We already have plenty.

            2) The job that elected officials are supposed to perform is representation. They need to have a solid grasp on the needs and attitudes of their constituents, and an ability to objectively apply those things and act in a leadership role, yet be under the authority of those who voted for them. If the voters are restricted, then the chosen leader will not necessarily be a representative for all, but only for the “qualified”. This means that they would fail to be and do what they are contracted to be and do in the constitution.

            3) The can of worms that the term “qualified voters” opens up would fill the Grand Canyon. One cannot trust the definitions or the enforcement of them. We would all love to have everyone be intelligent and not subject to easy manipulation, but that is not reality, and if we were to simply isolate ourselves from them, who would remain to teach the rest of the people at all? If we are to have a nation of people unified in a governmental system at all, then we must deal with those persons. If we are a place of freedom and the voice of the individual, then those voices must be allowed regardless of our opinion of them.

            4) Discrimination on perceived informed levels is little different than discrimination on race or class or gender. It is still discrimination. The only discrimination allowed is that the vote is only afforded to adult citizens.

            The key to controlling the damage of stupid voters is to keep to the structure of the government, maintaining proper distribution of power and therefore keeping the masses from damaging the whole country at once.

            • USWeapon says:

              Nice Jon. I like it when someone takes the opposite approach and takes me to task. For the record I lean more towards everyone being able to vote than I do towards the position that I took for the article. Besides being a bit more controversial, which was a major intention, I also thought it might be helpful for me to argue from my least defensible position. In other words, could I even make a rational argument the way I tried to do. I saw plenty of problems with the position that I took. You found many of the same.

              1. Correct. The experience factor has been used as a weapon for a long time to keep the jerk-offs we have in place. I do NOT argue that those elected need to be experienced. In fact, I would argue fervently the opposite. The founders proposed this government at a time when representatives did so as a part time gig. They were farmers and lawyers and doctors who actually had to live with the laws that they passed. They were smart, but regular people. Not elitists like the group in DC today. So I completely agree. I don’t want someone like that either. I would rather honestly have even something as arbitrary as a lottery of qualified regular citizens than the current asshats in DC.

              2. A good point. But I am not sure that I can agree with this one. I don’t think that the result would be a representative who would only serve or represent the minority. If I were arguing for a qualifier of some sort for voting, I would ensure that I argued for a minimalist approach. I don’t expect a voter to know everything there is to know. But I would like to think it isn’t too much to ask for a potential voter to know that Sarah Palin is not Barack Obama’s running mate.

              3. Definitely agreed. The can of worms would block out the sun and further damage the global warming fraud’s claims. And finding a way to test would be a massive undertaking. But I must point out again that I take a minimalist approach here. I don’t want crazy homeless people selling their vote for a sandwich or Pat Buchanon followers voting against someone because “that candidate made a deal with the devil.” The average American knows far too little about how our government works. The ideal would be to instead fix the government education system that we use the misnomer “public schools” to describe. I don’t know how we could realistically implement a program that limits voting. I just wanted to argue the hypothetical of whether everyone should have a voice, no matter how crazy or stupid they might be.

              4. Somewhat agree. Why is that one discrimination allowed? I don’t mean to say that it should not be. But if the reason that children cannot vote is because they aren’t informed enough or because they lack the mental capacity to understand the issues, doesn’t that argue that we should apply the same criteria to adults? Why is it that children are not allowed to vote based on knowledge and mental capacity but adults are allowed to vote regardless of knowledge and mental capacity?

              And I 100% agree that part of the key to controlling the damage is exactly what you say. Add to that a change in the education system to bring back the idea of individual liberty, understanding government, and personal responsibility. Eliminate this flawed thinking that government approved seizure of wealth is OK.

              • Yea, I had that sinking feeling when I typed number 4 that it was not going to be easy to defend. And perhaps it should not be defended, but I think that there is a legitimate case to be made that:
                1) Children will vote the way their parents say or the opposite, depending on their age and emotions, rather than on their own thinking or information.
                and
                2) Children do not have the capacity or education (both formal and life-experience) to make an informed decision.
                Point 1 could apply to an adult as well, easy manipulation, crowd following, emotional response, etc. are potential weaknesses. Point 2 I think is a matter of potential rather than actual knowledge. Certainly an adult might be making stupid or uninformed decisions, but they have the capacity and life experience to at least have the capability of making an informed or wise decision.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @USW – I will once again deconstruct you to show you the astonishing incompetence of the argument you attempted to push and pursue – and yes – I get it – you were just kinda sorta adopting one side that you were not sure if you really supported or not.

            But let’s start with the process by which you are making your point…..

            You present hypothesis A – it read something to the effect of “not all potential voters are informed to the degree that I think they should be informed, therefore they should not have the right to vote or the vote should be restricted”. There are many branches and roots to that tree and I am not going to address each one.

            You attempt to support and substantiate that statement with examples that you are hoping demonstrate and thereby validate your opinion.

            Hypothesis is true because read example A…………..

            Hypothesis is true because read example B…………..

            Hypothesis is true because read example C…………..

            So here is where you get deconstructed……….

            In merely providing examples that seem to show a component of your argument you assume that is sufficient to show your argument is true.

            You have failed to understand unfortunately that that does not prove your hypothesis to be true. For as much as you harangue about facts, you have merely offered weak examples (which I will address in a moment) to show why your opinion may have some validity in certain situations. That does not make it fact, it is still weakly supported opinion.

            I offered a fairly simple explanation.

            Wherein you may wish to discriminate against certain portions of the population I suggest you have violated your own principles. For in voting, it requires the government to enforce discrimination. That does not seem VDLG to me.

            Wherein your want to discriminate based on the degree to which voters are “informed” – this is among the most arbitrary and subjective of criteria imaginable, and quite frankly, seemingly elitist of you. I won’t be nice here USW – who the hell do you think you are to judge who is and who is not informed enough to vote? Your adoption (temporary as it may be – or simply for the sake argument) of this view is repulsive.

            Wherein the counter to this I offered is beautifully simple – because it centers merely on the extent to which I assert voting is a natural right. We can jump into the philosophical depths of this if so desired, but that is where I stand on this. No more and no less.

            So to your examples………….

            “I am not assuming that the farmer is the best he can be. I am not assuming anything other than this basic premise: Someone who owns a farm knows more about farming than someone who has never been to one. Are you arguing that this is not true? Therefore, and follow closely now as the red bull might be clouding your vision, I don’t think that the person who has never visited a farm should have their opinion on how to run a farm be equal to someone else’s opinion who also runs a farm.”

            – As a consumer of the products of that farm I absolutely have a say in how the farm runs. If they produce crappy products then my “say’ comes into play with respect to whether or not I decide to spend my money on those products. As someone who has expressed support to varying levels for a completely free market I am floored that you do not get this.

            “The employee and the CEO”

            – I do have a say – my say is multi-fold – once again I can be an employee AND a consumer – I can vote with my wallet and the best informed consumer there is because I am an employee. I also vote by deciding to work there. I have seen an ample number of business leaders shit-canned because no one wanted to work for them.

            THE KEY – the key USW is that when we talk about voting, you either have a “say” (or a vote) or a you do not. You don’t have kinda sorta of a “say” – I have shown you why your examples are nonsense, intellectual detritus, that does not actually support the point you thought you were trying to make.

            Care to try again?

    • TexasChem says:

      Ray…are you related to Nancy Pelosi?

      If I had 9 kids and you had 1 then I would carry more weight with my families vote than yours!Is that fair?

      • The original reason for only men voting was similar, the thinking at the time was that women would just do what their husbands said. Today’s culture is different, and I am pretty sure even back then that line of thinking was not accurate. The idea of kids voting, however, I think is still an issue of them merely voting what they ar told, especially since the vote is not an individual decision if you are taking your kids in with you. One person per booth, period. If your kids are not old enough to hold a job and pay taxes, they probably are not old enough to pull a lever in an informed way, and I do not want the fact that I am single to count against me. Nor do I want a 4 year old who likes the little computer buttons to be picking candidates based on a favorite color (not that it would be a lot worse than some adult voters). I do, however, think that if you can serve in the military and you can pay taxes because you are out there earning income, you can vote. Otherwise we have taxation without representation.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @TexasChem

        Am I related to Nancy Pelosi? Huh? Are you related to Larry Craig? Not sure what the hell you’re getting at.

        If I had 9 kids and you had 1 then I would carry more weight with my families vote than yours!Is that fair? – Why would it not be fair?

    • Ray

      You wanted to continue the philosophical.

      Here is your chance.

      Is VOTING a RIGHT?

      That is the basic question that must be addressed.

      JAC

      • In a republic I would say yes, but the structure is still defineable. Also, it would be a citizen right, meaning a right granted by the constitution or contract with the representative government, not a birthright that is one’s right regardless of government, hence the ability to specify the structure of the voting right, and even the qualifications for it.

        • Jon

          What you describe is a “privilege” granted by government, not a right. In our case the “privilege” was first granted by the people in the method they formed the government.

          A true Right is a birthright. All else falls into the categories of “authorities” or “privileges”.

          I recognize this is not how we use these terms in our customary language today. That is a problem in my view that must be fixed.

          First on the list is Governments do not have rights. They have authority. The only question is what type of authority, ie., granted vs taken.

          If it is in fact a privilege granted by government then govt. can remove it at any time it chooses.

          • I disagree, a “citizen right” as I am describing this is a part of the citizenship of a nation, the government is just part of the structure. A citizen right is something that the government cannot take away unless it is re-organized and citizenship is redefined. The government cannot simply remove it at will. They may be able to remove it by force and happen to wield enough power through manipulation and resources to physically force or threaten you and take your voting right, but then, they can do that with birthrights as well. They can use force to stop you from doing what you have a right to do. If our government did this, they would be in violation of their own structure, and therefore their authority would be null and void.

            I consider this a right granted by the structure or contract that defines our citizenship and governmental system. It is still not a true right, natural right, birthright, etc. because the very concept of a “vote” only exists in a governmental system or structure that includes a vote as part of it. Also, in another structure, such a dictatorship, a vote could be granted and then taken away again, such as we have seen in many dictatorships. In those places the vote is not part of the structure of authority, it was not put forth by the people, and the removal of the vote does not affect the authority of that government. That would be a privilege in that case, and not a right at all. Regardless, we agree that it is not a natural right.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @JAC – 19th amendment – pretty clear to me.

        • Ray

          You didn’t answer the question by citing the Constitution. Unless you think rights come from the constitution.

          If you believe we have a Right to vote then explain why.

          What is the philosophical support for the claim?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @JAC

            1. Our Amendments amended the Constitution – that should not be too terribly difficult for most to grasp;

            2. By definition it is a legal right – in being self-aware that I am citizen of this Country I acknowledge the existence of and my own support and defense of legal rights as such granted.

            • Ray

              So do you believe Rights are “granted” by the Government?

              • According to Pelosi yesterday- YES- Healthcare is a Right not a priveledge…grrrrrr

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Anita – do you acknowledge or reject legal rights?

                I’m not sure poor Nancy knows what she means by “its a right”

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @JAC – certain rights, such as legal rights, vis-a-vis the people.

              • Ray

                So you believe Voting is only a “legal right”?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I personally believe voting should be a natural right. I acknowledge and support that I live in a society where it is not natural but legal right.

              • Ray

                If it is a natural right then that is what it is. Govt can not change that.

                The law may address it or restrict it but it remains natural right vs a govt granted privilege.

                So, one last time.

                Do you believe that Voting is a natural right?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @JAC – for clarity – yes I do believe voting, voting in the context we are using herein, is a natural right.

  8. Its real simple, pay at least one (1) dollar in taxes, and you get to vote in that election. No taxes, no vote. If you do not pay any taxes, then you haven’t made any investment in the governement that you are voting for. When the republic started, the vote was restricted to landowners (yes, I know that there were other restrictions). Those landowners had a vested interest in keeping the government as small as possible, and only as large as absolutely necessary. Similarly, a taxpayer whose net payments are greater than or equal to 1 has a vested interest in keeping that government small.
    I also think that Robert A Heinlien had it right in “Starship Toopers” (the book, not that stupid movie). Every citizen got to vote, but that citizenship was EARNED, not granted as a birthright.

    • I like this…..I’m sure there are problems, but no skin in the game ($1 tax skin), no vote. I’m talking about filing federal/state income taxes kind of taxes. Not the cigarette kind.

      • Thing is, if you want to make the vote tax based, you have to include all taxes, because you then do have skin in the game. If you only pay local sales taxes on items, then you only get to vote local. If the fed tries to tax things nationally, such as fuel or cigarrettes, that is still skin in the game. I know that does not eliminate people on the dole, but again, you don’t take someone’s voice because they are broke unless you can honestly say that there are no other effects of government action and laws.

        If we eliminated all government actions that were not financially related, such that no one could claim that they are being affected without representation, then I am fine with only taxpayers voting. Otherwise, the cry of “no taxation wihtout representation” would legitimately be changed to “no regulation without representation”.

        If you don’t let the guy buying cigarrettes vote then you are saying that he deserves that tax. What about the guy who is not paying taxes because he is below the poverty line, but is not in any government program? Or what about the guy who runs a business and is smart enough to have the write-offs to not have any tax liability, but he still buys stuff and pays sales tax and gas tax and stuff like that. If any of those taxes are federal, he gets full vote priviledges, if they are state only, he can still vote at that level. If he is stupid, well, that’s life.

        I would maybe consider being on welfare or unemployment or some other government program negating your vote because you are a drain on the system, but again you open the door for the “no regulation or law without representation” if any government law or action affects you in ways other than financial. Finances are a big deal, but they are not the only arena of government interference in our lives.

  9. Ellen Spalding says:

    Hello Everyone
    Sorry I have been gone for the last week or so. I had pneumonia and was out for the count for a minute. Much better now.

    I do agree that most people are not informed when it comes to the facts on the people or the issue in each elections. But I also believe that the politicans like that way. They make a point of trying to confuse people or only putting out half of the story. I want to believe most people want to know whats going on just get frustrated with the process of being lied to.
    I believe in all American citizens having the right to vote in every election. I know that Acron rounds up the homeless to get them to vote. No different than the Reblicans rounding up the old folks who barely know what day it is too.
    But voting is a right we all have, good or bad. There is no way we should have a test for this right. We should demand better information from people who are putting it out on both sides.

    Ellen

  10. I toyed with the idea of making only taxpayers eligible to vote. For fiscal policy, that makes perfect sense. For overall government vote and representation, however, it does not. Our government does things that are not fiscal in nature. If I am a member of the clergy, for instance, and I am below the income line that would be taxed, should I then not have a vote, despite the fact that the government might be inclined to restrict certain practices which are tenants of my faith? So, I still think that persons should have a vote.

    I do think that the states need to be electing the senate again, and I think that all elsected offices should have term limits. These two things are a major cause of problems. The biggest issue, however, is the violation of the 10th Amendment. People stop caring about local elections because the federal government has all the power. The power is consolidated too much. The founder’s idea of the federal government was one that would make stupid voters less damaging, because if an idiot or a liar got into federal office, there would still only be so much they could do. The States could do all sorts of messed up stuff, but then there would be inter-state competition on laws and taxes, etc., which would quickly weed out the bad decisions. The consolidation of power to the federal level is the key to our issues, and the cause of our exasperation with the stupidity of voters.

    Our republic was not safeguarded against mob rule merely by the idea of electing representatives. It was protected by the writing of a constitution that handicapped the federal government through the 10th amendment, thus making the states able to do some really stupid stuff, but the odds were they would not all do it at once, thus the country as a whole would survive and the states that messed up could recover.

    I agree with JAC’s three points of failure, but I would add the ignoring of the 10th amendment to that list. From a standpoint of this posts question about whether all should vote, I would say that the ignoring of the 10th amendment is the greatest cause of our problems with stupid or greedy or manipulateable voters. Were the federal government not able to do stuff like the health care bill (which certainly violates the 10th amendment if not others) and we would not be having this discussion, at least not nationally. An individual state might have such a discussion, but it is so much easier to fix a state than a nation, and its so much easier to leave a state than a nation as well, thus allowing the smart people to vote with their feet if they have no other alternative.

    • To fix the hypothetical first issue, fisx the tax system to make more people net tax payers, and then there might not be a threshold where anybody actually earning a living wage will not be a voter.

      It was the passing of the 17th amendment that allowed for the ignoring of the 10th. If the senators were still seleceted by the states, then it would be much harder to build a voting block for something that most people are opposed. IIRC, there are 36 states at last count that have either passed, or have bills in the works in theri legislatures to opt-out of Obamacare. Without the 17th amendment, the Senators from those atates who considered voting for this abomonation would risk recall.

      • That may have been part of it, but it was mostly the supreme court dropping the ball by not testing the constitutionality of federal laws and programs that did not meet the stipulations of the 10th. I don’t care that the 17th made it easier for congress to pass nonconstitutional stuff, or even that the executive branch signed it, I care that the supreme court violated their oaths and did not aply the constitution to the laws passed. There are 3 branches of government, 2 checks for every action by any branch. The fact that they are all coordinated and working together is the problem. They all need to be fired, as they have all failed in their jobs that they were hired to do.

  11. Democracy is the worst form of government except for every other form that exists.

    • JB

      Our nation is not a democracy and never has been.

      Please identify a single democracy in the world.

      Thought this would make an interesting argument as it is the same one used by the left to attack free market capitalism.

      • Please. I hate this argument. “Democrats aren’t moving toward socialism because it’s not REALLY socialism.”

        The idea is the key. A democracy means citizens get to vote on government action. Ours is a democratic republic, but the idea is voting by the citizenry.

        It is implausible to create a true democracy with the kind of population of any country today. Maybe true democracy would work with about 100 people, but 300,000,000? No way!

        • JB

          We need to use words in their true context. That is my little thing. To do anything less allows the manipulators to hijack the language for their purpose.

          The Dems have been pushing a combination of fascism and socialism for years. We just need to be able to explain each and show how they fit.

          The Dems are pushing Socialism is a rhetorical cry by the Conservatives. It is not totally true and therefore causes us to lose some who might otherwise support our efforts. But I don’t think that means we can’t still fight against their hybrid goals.

  12. Make election day April 15th. You show up to vote with your completed tax return and you can vote. This would cover the people that do not earn enough to be taxed.

  13. v. Holland says:

    The picture above “I see dumb People” Could that be Mathius? 😆

    • You figured it out. I tried to hide it, but the truth is that I am, in fact, a canine. Specifically, a boxer.

      In the clearing stood a boxer…
      (this is an easy one.. only two points to be awarded for the reference)

  14. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hello All

    All I’m going to say about this voting thing is this.

    I agree with what PapaDawg said above, in that it doesn’t matter who you vote for, they’re going to do what they want anyway, so why bother. I’ve been saying that for years.

    But, okay, even though you might not have a right to vote, but I always thought that it was a duty to vote. I always felt guilty if I didn’t, but when I did, I always felt a good pride when I did. Guess it’s just something in me that I believe in. But, now, I’m beginning to wonder.

    Hope all will have a good day, in spite of what happened last night.

    Judy

  15. TexasChem says:

    “The crazies are in charge!”

  16. posting for comments

  17. USwep,

    As Stalin said – as the leader of the largest democratic (by land mass) nation in the world (yes, the Soviet Union was a single party democracy – just like the USA is today, the warfare-welfare party)

    “It does not matter who gets to vote. All that matters is who gets to count the vote”.

    That is why voting doesn’t matter. It is preordained. It is a chemical process of ripping the oxygen atom off of a water molecule and replacing it with another oxygen atom – though it may be physically a different molecule – it is exactly the same in its properties and creates exactly the same outcome – a molecule of water.

    Same with voting – you replace one politician with another. To believe this changes something is the same belief that changing oxygen in water changes the water. Such a belief is lunacy.

    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.

    Don’t confuse negotiation points and inter-government squabbling with power to affect change or conditions.

    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.

    Not true.

    The fear is not the voter.

    The fear is out and out revolt.

    If the elite move too fast, it will trigger revolt in the street – not a voter rebellion.

    A voter rebellion will only succeed in voting in another group of the same. Whose afraid of that? No one.

    The elite fear hostile rebellion. They are badly outnumbered and will not prevail. That is what they fear – they do not want to be Charles I or Louis XIV or Nicolas II.

    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.

    There are more examples of how voting has changed nothing.

    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.

    This is a matter of accident and geography, not of by action of a better, smarter, stronger people.

    It just happened that there are two massive oceans surrounding the continent. This prevented foreign armies from coming to the shores.

    Switzerland has the same effect – due to mountains.

    Where armed forces find it easy to march, there is little freedom.

  18. PS:

    There is no right to vote. Never has been such a right, never will be such a right.

    It is a grant.

    • BF

      Please expand your proof of this claim.

      • Voting, as pointed out by USWep, is denied or granted depending on conditions.

        Rights do not have conditions.

        Therefore, voting is not a right.

        • BF

          But you are using the fact that govt imposes controls as evidence that a right does not exist.

          You have a right to speech but govt still controls that speech. It does not eliminate the right, only your freedom to exercise it.

          Do you have a better defense than that?

          • If your argument is merely going around and yelling “yea” or “nay” to your hearts content – why, sir, that ain’t no argument about voting rights!

            Vote, by definition, is an enforceable demand.

            Using force on non-violent men is never a right.

            • I demand the right to wander around aimlessly shouting “yea” or “nay” at the top of my lungs!

            • BF

              I do not see how voting creates a demand or imposition on others “by definition”.

              Seems you are creating a convenient definition.

              Voting is nothing more than an expression of desire or an expression of preference. In the case here, that refers to a personal preference regarding candidates or government action.

              You are arguing that I have no natural right to express my preference and thus no right to try to control the outcome of govt. that affects me.

              It looks to me like your trying to deny the right to vote because you first reject government, rather than on its own basis.

              • “I do not see how voting creates a demand or imposition on others “by definition”.”

                If it does not create a ‘demand’ then it is an opinion poll.

            • BF

              Sorry, your going to have to provide more than that.

              Try explaining how you think the act of voting automatically creates an imposition or creates a demand for the use of force against innocent men.

              This seems to be the root of your defense. But my vote does not demand the use of violence against anyone.

              It entirely depends on what it is I am voting for, does it not?

              • JAC

                So, let’s get clear.

                Voting creates a demand. It is NOT an opinion poll.

                A demand has two forms – righteous or evil.

                An evil demand is application of violence on innocent people.

                And righteous demand is an application of violence upon the deserved.

                So the question comes – is the application of demand righteous or not?

                In government – it is a demand to use violence on non-violent people to enforce edicts.

                It is violence by proxy upon the innocent.

                In a company, it exists wholly by voluntary association. If such a demand is made and is a burden, all participants have free choice to leave the association.

              • BF

                So in your view, because Voting can have either a righteous or an evil outcome is can not be a natural Right.

                Because natural rights can never create a burden or imposition or obligation upon another.

                In this way, the conditional outcome is used to negate the support of a natural right.

                Is this an accurate understanding of your position?

              • “Because natural rights can never create a burden or imposition or obligation upon another.”

                Correct.

                Further, voting is contrived.

                If I create a company, I can make it so that no one has a vote. No one carries ‘a right’ into that company as per its rules.

                Therefore, it is not a human right.

              • It can be GRANTED however.

                A grant is not a right.

    • That is true, but it is not, in the case of this country, granted by government. It is granted by the structural/contractual basis of our governmental organization. Meaning that the vote is part of citizenship, and if the vote were taken away then the authority structure upon which the government rests would be broken, nullifying the government.

  19. Voting represents power. Groups have been restricted from voting because some wished to retain the power for themselves. We still restrict certain groups in America from excercising power in our republic, the young and criminals, and mentally unstable people, etc. But in spite of percieved or real stupidity we should not restrict votes for adults (a debatable age). To restrict the vote based on education or tax paying or any other criteria is a road to control by the few.

    For example, my family does not pay income taxes, having a small single income and lots of kids, but still we are very well informed and do our best to vote our conscience. Also in spite of being eligible for certain government welfare programs we don’t use them, on purpose. I just don’t think people fit into categories as some of the above posters have suggested.

    Many of the founders saw that one of the most sacred duties of government (in the states) was education for the purpose of educating people about government and the Constitution including the founding principles behind American govt. If state governments were doing their duty there we wouldn’t have stupid voter syndrome. There would still be some, but not so many.

    Conclusing: Instead of attepting to restrict the vote, we need to fundamentally change education to include history and Constitutional government.

    • Michelle

      I actually think they get stupider after they get out of high school. Most high school kids I’ve known were better informed than all those 20 and 30 somethings we saw interviewed on the streets the past decade or so.

      Perhaps has more to do with our electronically stimulated society. Pop stars, rock stars, TV, Ipods you name it. Anything but reading a detailed analysis of some proposed bill.

      I agree by the way. Once you meet the age and you are mentally capable of cognitive thought you are a voter. No income, or tax payment required. I think the solutions are in how we structure the representation not in who votes.

      The appointment of Senators by the legislature for example, creates a buffer that protects against large numbers of poorly informed folks from controlling the outcome.

  20. March 22 (Bloomberg) — The bond market is saying that it’s safer to lend to Warren Buffett than Barack Obama.

    Two-year notes sold by the billionaire’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in February yield 3.5 basis points less than Treasuries of similar maturity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Procter & Gamble Co., Johnson & Johnson and Lowe’s Cos. debt also traded at lower yields in recent weeks, a situation former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. chief fixed-income strategist Jack Malvey calls an “exceedingly rare” event in the history of the bond market.

  21. Kathy,

    Spartans in the Sweet Sixteen!!!!!! I see Cornell but I’m looking hard for Wisconsin! Help me out 🙂

    GO GREEN!!!!!!!

    • We sucked and MSU is so lucky…….

      • Kathy did you go to Maryland? At College Park? I wasn’t aware there were other Terrapins here. I knew I had some other Nittany Lions but I didn’t think I had any other folks from my other alma mater (or one of them, I also attended a semester at Fayetteville State, got a degree from University of Phoenix, and am getting ready to begin yet another program at Cornell. But I consider PSU and UMD my true colleges).

        USW

        • Nope, the we is Wisconsin, as in the team that lost to Cornell, your new school, apparently. Geez, USW, if you keep going that route, someday you’ll have all your teams in the final four playing against each other!

          • USWeapon says:

            That would be SWEEEEEEET!!!!!

            But I feel like you can never have too much education. And Cornell is going to look awful good on my resume! I will always pursue more education at whatever schools offer what I am looking for. Fortunately, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA with all my degrees so I can pretty much go where ever I want to go. I fear that Cornell could break my streak though. Grades come pretty tough in them thar Ivy League Uppity Schools.

    • I do like Northern Iowa though – how ’bout that old guy – looks like he’s from the men’s league in my town and then that guy that looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo?

      • To be honest I haven’t been watching yet. I just saw some highlights and figured I’d tease you. I’ll be watching Friday @ 8:30 though

    • USWeapon says:

      Michigan State broke my heart. I am a huge Maryland basketball fan. I went to college at Penn State before the military, but when I left the military I attended the University of Maryland. We came all the way back just to have it stolen from us with that three at the end. Just heart-breaking. Sad that I won’t get to see Vasquez or Hayes play for my Terps again.

  22. Off topic

    True or not? Anyone know?

    Subject: Fwd: Your stimulus money saving jobs

    Some have said that the stimulus hasn’t saved any jobs, but here is a case where at least one job was saved.

    According to an unnamed source, Oregon State University Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis was considering firing their basketball coach, Craig Robinson, after an 8-11 start (2-5 in the Pac 10 conference).

    When word of this reached Washington , UnderSecretary of Education Martha Kanter was dispatched to Corvallis with $17 million in stimulus money for the university. The source now says that Craig Robinson’s job is safe for this year.

    For the record, Coach Robinson just happens to be Michelle Obama’s brother.

  23. Hi ya’ll 🙂

    After reading all day, and giving some good thought to this subject, here’s what I concluded. Voting is not a “right”, but more an American Heritage. Many think that voting is an extension of “free speech”, some think is is a “duty”, others think it is useless. I think that voting for a candidate, at this time is useless, while voting for a State or local referendum such as new or renewed taxes is more like the free speech extension.

    I see plenty examples of those who should not be allowed to vote, sorry, but you can’t fix stupid, but you can buy votes. Elections, under extreme circumstances, can be cancelled or postponed. This is not a crime against nature, therefore I say it is not a right. Obama’s election was a case of “who had the best sheepherders to push the most sheeple to the voting booth”.

    Just my Humble Opinion!

    Peace!

    G!

    • I debated putting this up, but in the end I decided to stir the sh$tpot alittle. Use you own judgement, as I have.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28

      • Time for a funny today! This is for the “Lady Wolves”

        Jane and Sheila

        Jane and Sheila are outside their nursing home, having a drink and a smoke, when it starts to rain. Jane pulls out a condom, cuts off the end, puts I t over her cigarette, and continues smoking.

        Sheila: What in the hell is that?

        Jane: A condom. This way my cigarette doesn’t get wet.

        Sheila: Where did you get it?

        Jane: You can get them at any drugstore.

        The next day, Sheila hobbles herself into the local drugstore and announces to the pharmacist that she wants a box of condoms.

        The pharmacist, obviously embarrassed, looks at her kind of strangely (she is after all, over 80 years of age), but very delicately asks what brand of condom she prefers.

        “Doesn’t matter Sonny, as long as it fits on a Camel.”
        The pharmacist fainted.

        Peace my little Wolfies! 🙂

  24. Here’s a funny isntead of my usual doom and gloom,,,, 😉

    Bran Muffins
    The couple were 85 years old, and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.

    Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife’s insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

    One day, their good health didn’t help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

    They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet.

    They gasped in astonishment when he said, ‘Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.’

    The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.
    ‘Why, nothing,’ Peter replied, ‘remember, this is your reward in Heaven.’

    The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth.
    ‘What are the greens fees?’ grumbled the old man.

    ‘This is heaven ,’ St. Peter replied. ‘You can play for free, every day.’

    Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic deserts, free flowing beverages.

    ‘Don’t even ask,’ said St. Peter to the man, ‘this is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.’

    The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.

    ‘Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?,’ he asked…
    ‘That’s the best part,’ St. Peter replied, ‘you can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!’

    The old man pushed, ‘No gym to work out at?’
    ‘Not unless you want to,’ was the answer.
    ‘No testing my sugar or blood pressure or…’
    ‘Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself.’

    The old man glared at his wife and said, ‘You and your dam bran muffins. We could have been here ten years ago!’

  25. Judy Sabatini says:

    Florida says several states to file healthcare lawsuit
    Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:01am EDT

    MIAMI, March 22 (Reuters) – Florida’s attorney general will file a lawsuit with nine other state attorneys general opposing the healthcare legislation passed by Congress, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

    Bonds

    “The health care reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state’s sovereignty,” Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, said in a prepared statement announcing a news conference.

    “On behalf of the State of Florida and of the Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama if the President signs this bill into law, we will file a lawsuit to protect the rights and the interests of American citizens.” (Reporting by Michael Connor, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

  26. Ah, What a shame. It’s seems like when ACORN gave up it’s license in OHIO, things got worse.

    http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/community-activist-group-acorn-is-disbanding/19409954

    My heart is crushed 🙄

    • Never fear G-Man. They’ll just morph into UNICORN, fully funded, ready to drive you to the polls.

  27. SUFA

    I hesitated to post my personal view on Voting as a right because Black Flag presented a good argument against and I needed time to work it out against my on defense.

    My conclusion is that Voting is a natural right.

    I have struggled with this concept for several years partly because the founders did not mention anything to protect the right to vote until amendments were issued later. After general political philosophies started to change. With regard to BF’s argument it is not the act of voting that creates a burden on others. It is how the vote is used. This can be said of many of our natural rights. If carried out in the wrong manner they can result in imposing on others. It is our ethical standards that govern how we exercise our rights. It is ethics of do not impose that prevent us from speaking or taking other action that imposes.

    Furthermore, man has a right to use reason and logic to identify the world he live in and to take action needed for his continued existence and to achieve a flourishing life as best he can. This requires the right to defend himself not only against physical violence but the potential violence of government itself. And we all know that man just seems to have this affinity for government.

    Thus man has a natural right to vote as he deems needed to control the power of government, with regard to his pursuit of a flourishing life. But what should govern how we vote. Here we fall back to the ethical standard of do no harm to innocent people. This means that the ethical exercise of our right to vote should be carried out so that we do not knowingly create harm to others.

    Voting for someone who will use govt to provide us with free cookies is unethical, and I argue immoral. It is a decision to empower govt to do legal violence against others, on our behalf.

    Government is part of the natural world in which we live, because it is a human invention and humans are also part of that world. Like many things in this world we can manipulate it to our advantage but only within the rules of nature itself. That old adage that in order to conquer nature you must obey nature. The only mechanism we have to harness or conquer government is by voting. This is the only way we have to establish government in a form that will not impose upon our rights. Any other means will result in violence against innocent people in some manner.

    The ultimate challenge is how to use this right in a way that does not also cause violence against the innocent. Herein lies the alternative of Not Voting when we determine that any vote could be used to legitimize unethical or immoral action against innocent people. Our natural right to vote includes the right to use it or not use it, as long as both are done in an ethical manner.

    I now stand, facing into the wind. Watching the dark clouds approaching with great force. Ready to defend myself against the blows of the great pirate concealed within the storm. Or, to embrace him as friend and sit down to a cold adult beverage as we plot to overthrow the mighty cutthroat trout living not far from my village.

    Your in the fight for freedom.
    Live free
    JAC

    • JAC,

      You will always have my repect, I’ll let Black Flag rip this apart, I will only touch one thing:

      JAC said: Thus man has a natural right to vote as he deems needed to control the power of government,

      I spopped there for a reason. A man has a right to fight for his freedom, voting, has too many flaws, to equate to a natural right. It is no more than societies mistake in thinking that it works. I don’t have a better answer, yet, but will sleep on this.

      Peace!

      G!

    • Thanks for weighing in JAC. As I mentioned in the article, I have yet to form a solid opinion one way or another (hence my frustration that Ray decided to avoid the topic and instead attack what he assumed were my biased examples). I will also have to sleep a bit on the ideas you have presented here. I am not yet convinced that it is a natural right. But I am also not convinced that it isn’t a natural right. I will bring this topic into Tuesday night’s open mic. That way everyone can take a day to think about things and we can continue it there.

      USW

    • JAC

      To paraphrase your argument – a man has a right to use violence immorally.

      Do you agree to this statement?

      • BF

        NO!

        A man has a right to act in any way he chooses to his own advantage = Right

        except that he may not impose on others in doing so = Ethic of non violence.

        Man has the right to use violence = Right
        in self defense only = Ethic

        • “Man has the right to use violence = Right”

          I think you have crushed together the concepts of:

          ABILITY

          with

          RIGHT

          They are not the same.

          • BF

            I don’t think I am.

            What I am doing is separating the thing (right) from the outcome (good vs evil) which is the realm of ethics.

            I have a right to free speech. There are ethical standards that cause me to use that speech in a truthful manner.

            • JAC,

              Then we are back to nothing more than an opinion poll – and leaving out the essential component of the vote – it’s force.

              When people vote, it is to create a justification for action.

              IF there was no need for such justification – such as a preservation or exercise of a human right – that act would be done without the paper work.

              But obviously it cannot. There exists no such justification of action on its own merits. The action needs “cheer leaders” – something the actors need to point back at to (1) initiate the action and/or (2) justify the the consequences of the action.

              So we see that in all examples.

              Why do you vote on a new business plan? To initiate it.

              If it goes sour, what happens? The actors point back to the vote as the JUSTIFICATION for the action that caused the consequence “See, we did vote for this – it was a majority decision”.

              These voting actions are not opinion polls – they are force.

              Compare to asking my opinion “Well JAC I suggest this – but in the end, IT’S YOUR DECISION”. That is an opinion. A vote does not do this. A vote says “This IS the WAY! Do it!”

              • BF

                Yes, a vote could be used to rationalize a certain outcome or to escape blame. That does not eliminate it as a right.

                The rationalization of failure could be applied to other rights as well.

                You limit the role of voting. A vote is not to “initiate” necessarily. Nor is it to “justify” some action. It is a decision to do something that could for example be to authorize or delegate certain authority to the govt.

                That is what a “political vote” really is. It is in essence an opinion but carries to power to authorize something if there are enough opinions that agree.

                Stay with the government version, it is after all the context in which these “rights” were conceived, and the topic.

                Is not a vote connected to the right of self defense, the right to speak against or for the govt? It is how we humans make decisions as a group on matters affecting the group.

                I fully understand the potential trap that voting presents for those who use it to legitimize an evil govt. I simply do not see how voting can be anything but a right, whether evil men use it to legitimize their actions or not.

                I have a right to participate and express my preference in those decisions that could affect me. To claim this is only a privilege is to grant someone else sole control over those decisions, including my ability to participate in the decision itself. That seems to be an irrational position to take for one who supports freedom and liberty.

                If I have a right to liberty then I must have a right to vote in order to protect that liberty.

  28. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I thought I would weigh in on this finally… better late than never, right?

    If we assume that a free man indeed knows what is best for himself, then a free man CANNOT vote, because by voting that man is WILLINGLY ceding his authority to do what is best for himself to others who think that they know what is best for him better than he does himself.

    As far as restricting voting based on some arbitrary qualifications… no, you cannot, if you assume that a free man knows what is best for himself. Of course, if a free man does indeed know what is best for himself then he does not vote, regardless of the presence or absence of restrictions on said activity.

    • Peter

      You are making assumptions about many things. What man thinks is good for himself. That his vote involves “ceding” authority to others.

      If I delegate my authority to someone to act on my behalf that is in fact my right to do so.

      If I pick the wrong person then I am foolish. But I have the right to be foolish.

      The only peaceful way to control government is by voting.

      You can not make govt go away by ignoring it, because ALL men will not ignore it. That is a reality that we must deal with as free men.

  29. Just A Citizen

    Yes, a vote could be used to rationalize a certain outcome or to escape blame. That does not eliminate it as a right.

    A right does not violate another persons rights.

    So using voting to justify violation makes voting not a right.

    The rationalization of failure could be applied to other rights as well.

    I don’t need to rationalize my rights – that’s my point. If I act with a right – the act itself holds merit without anything necessary to support it.

    A right is self-consistent.

    A vote is not.

    You limit the role of voting. A vote is not to “initiate” necessarily. Nor is it to “justify” some action. It is a decision to do something that could for example be to authorize o delegate certain authority to the govt.

    That is the example I used. It creates “force” – it is not an opinion.

    If it is voted for, and there is resistance, there exists an overt standing that violence is justified to enforce the vote.

    Is not a vote connected to the right of self defense, the right to speak against or for the govt? It is how we humans make decisions as a group on matters affecting the group.

    I do not disagree that vote can be used to express other rights – but that doesn’t make it – of itself – a right.

    I can use a pen to write my words, expressing my freedom of speech – but a pen is not my right. I have to buy it or trade or make one myself, as an analogy.

    I fully understand the potential trap that voting presents for those who use it to legitimize an evil govt. I simply do not see how voting can be anything but a right, whether evil men use it to legitimize their actions or not.

    Again, I do not degrading voting! You know my reasons why I believe voting in government is pointless, worthless, wrong and dangerous – but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in voting if used in the correct context

    I sit on numerous boards of non-profits and charities and we vote. I don’t always win nor do I expect to (but almost always, as a good board really never makes a firm decision unless the director’s issues have been properly dealt with and the vote is can be unanimous – we’re all supposed to be rowing the ship in the same direction). But the vote is not my RIGHT – it is a GRANT, conditional on my office.

    I have a right to participate and express my preference in those decisions that could affect me. To claim this is only a privilege is to grant someone else sole control over those decisions, including my ability to participate in the decision itself. That seems to be an irrational position to take for one who supports freedom and liberty.

    I do not claim my freedom on your land. I must acquiesce to your primacy. I can speak my mind and you can toss me out.

    If I want to build on your land and plant my garden – I must get your grant. With that grant what I plant is mine (minus fair and free trade for the use of your dirt).

    Same with vote. It is a grant. After that grant, one can do things with power. But that power can be removed, the grant revoked.

    Your rights can never be removed or revoked. That’s why the are a “Right”.

    Vote does not pass this critical test.

    • I often wonder if what I felt dealing with JAC some days is what Jefferson felt dealing with Adams.

      • BF

        Probably more like what Jefferson felt when debating with himself.

        🙂

        Your latest deserves more careful response which I will do later. But for now:

        Who Grants me this Vote and Who has the authority to revoke it?

        And by WHAT authority does Who grant or revoke it?

        Please stay within the context of govt. Examples of BOD votes don’t apply because we are not talking about the relationships of self determination and governance.

    • I tend to agree that a “vote” is still tied to a governmental structure, thus it is not a natural right. If a vote is being defined as one’s right to self government, meaning that they have control over how they are governed, then that could be a natural right. In that case, however, citizenship itself would have to be voluntary. I could choose to vote, or, if I do not want a collective decision the affect my life, then I can choose to opt out of the governmental/societal structure altogether.

      So, if a vote is the right to control how one is governed, then I could agree that it is a natural right, but if it is defined as a portion of a governmental structure, then it is not a natural right, even if it is a citizen right as I believe it is.

  30. Voting is not a (natural) right.

    If a vote has no consequence – it is not a vote but a poll.

    If a vote has consequence on non-voters (or has consequence and is mandatory) – it is a violation of another’s rights and thus cannot itself be a right.

    If a vote has consequence only on voluntary voters – it is merely one form of a decision process among a group of people and has no bearing on rights. The group can restrict the vote however they please as long as they do not enforce the vote’s results among those who choose not to or are not allowed to participate.

    You do not have a (natural) right to vote. You have the right to be free of some other group of people voting on something which involuntarily affects you, a right which has been repeatedly trampled at all levels of government. Being given the ability to vote without the ability to opt out of BOTH the vote and its consequences is a farce. See example of two people voting to eat the third for dinner, etc.

    Frankly the whole phrase should be worded as the right to NOT vote and be free of the vote’s consequences.

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