Aug 11, 2020

Driving to the ballot box

We all drive. Granted, this is an assumption, but I feel it’s safe to say that at least the vast majority of us know how to drive and/or drive a car often. We all know good drivers and bad drivers (if you don’t know which one you are, you’re a bad driver). Good drivers we have no qualms with; these are the fellows we instinctively follow on road trips because they know the ins and outs of the highway, and tearfully wave goodbye to when they take an exit that isn’t ours.

It’s bad drivers we have problems with. These are the people that drive 20 mph over the speed limit and change lanes incessantly. They drive 20 mph below the speed limit in the fast lane. They are indecisive and don’t turn their blinker on when they make a turn into your neighborhood and you are trying to turn onto the main street amid heavy traffic. They run stop signs (which I was guilty of earlier this week, showing that local columnists are not above the law).

“This guy should not be driving,” is a sentence we have all uttered at least once during our travels.

Democracy works a lot like this, too.

We have informed voters, the ones who read the newspaper, know the issues and read the pamphlet we get in the mail before every election explaining the items on the ballot. These are the good drivers.

We also have not so informed voters. These are the people who voted for Obama solely because it was the cool thing to do. These are the people who voted for George Bush simply because he was their “homeboy.” These are the bad drivers.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, young people make up the vast majority of the “bad drivers” in our democracy.

A front-page article from Monday’s The Collegian, entitled, “Some students lack knowledge when voting,” highlighted this very problem.

The fact is, not everyone should vote. I don’t want any of my friends my age voting. They simply don’t know much about politics. And that’s OK. But the right to vote shouldn’t be something that can be exercised by one and all. It should be restricted.

For instance, what would be wrong with making all citizens older than 18 take a test to vote? Something like the citizenship test that immigrants who come into the country must take; if you don’t pass the test, you cannot vote. Would there be anything wrong with that?

And if you want to get really radical, let’s talk about repealing the 17th Amendment. That would be the one that removed the right of state legislatures to vote senators into office, giving that right to the sheeple, ahem, people. Our founders made it this way for a reason; it wasn’t without cause that Madison declared democracy to be “the most vile form of government.”

This isn’t to say that voting is a bad thing; nay, it breeds good citizenship and love of country. We’ve all heard it said that you have no right to complain if you abstain from voting. Nevertheless, a vote made without justification is one that should have never been cast.

In this way, voters are a lot like drivers. Except in our democracy, if someone cuts in front of you, it means a $1.6 trillion deficit.

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