There is an editorial by David Harsanyi in the Washington Post about how we should require a civics test be passed before you are allowed to vote.
His solution to problem of ignorant people voting in Trump the Dumpster is to have a test. Apparently forgetting that not very long ago we used tests to systematically disenfranchise a whole race of people and we fixed that weeping sore on our historical backside for a reason.
His solution, sitting in his clear ivory tower of privilege, is that people who know who would be president if both the President and Vice President couldn’t serve, are the only people who should be able to decide what happens to the other 85% of the population.
Apparently knowing who will be the next President if Obama and Biden have Sudden Presidential Death Syndrome, doesn’t mean you understand the actual facts of the Civil Rights Law prohibiting voting practice that has a discriminatory effect. And I’m just gonna guess on the fact that if 85% of the population can’t pass a test, it’s discrimination.
It’s also apparent that knowing facts doesn’t give you any actual ability to make good choices. Because Harsanyi knows the answers to the test but is clearly unable to wrap his noggin around the how disenfranchising a whole class of people who are the ones in need would NOT be an ideal situation.
Which points the reality of the problem. It’s not whether we can name all the Constitutional amendments, it’s whether we can think about complex issues and how they relate to ourselves, the country as a whole and the world in its entirety. It’s about being able to make choices based on evidence and ethics rather than emotion. That requires a skill we have not been teaching with any success at school. Critical Thinking.
The very CONCEPT, that we actually do something about educating people to make good decisions is too hard, costly and painful. But putting up a test about naming all the constitutional amendments, that is simple, cheap and makes a good headline. It also happens to keep Harsanyi in the tiny powerful group who would get to make the choices for everyone. And if Harsanyi had done any critical thinking AT ALL, it would be clear to him that there is already far too much of that going on in primaries. The system is not representational. Let’s not make it worse.
And let’s discuss the very system that led us here. Our election process has devolved into a 24 month Reality Show, run by power and money. It has little to do with getting the best people in office. And it has NOTHING to do with getting candidates that represent the average voter. As a result we get a stubby fingered Reality Show Freak, using a skill he’s honed to perfection on that reality show, to get into the office. The very system that powerful people created to ensure their own interests was hacked by an Anal Sore. Let’s fix that system before we decide that people who would vote for the Anal Sore should be excluded from voting, shall we?
Here’s the thing. I’m not excited about ignorant racists voting in a Narcissistic Greedy and Probably Fascist Diarrhea Stain. (it’s possible I have emotions on this point) But I’m also deeply aware that the people who drove the boat to this place have been struggling at the bottom of a skewed economy for awhile. They have a right to change the direction the government that controls a good deal of that struggle. And I would argue that they at least have more reason to be on that boat than the diehard educated Republicans who know the Dumpster is a Wet Fart in a Suit but will vote for him anyway because he’s the Republican Candidate.
What is SAD AND WRONG is the fact that struggling people are being duped and manipulated into thinking that the choices made by the Dumpster will help them. They don’t understand because the system has let them down from childhood. Poor education, has led to an inability to use critical thinking in their choices. A continued lack of concern for their needs and struggles has led them to think that it makes little difference who is in the whitehouse so it might as well be the guy that is good at Reality Show Entertainment and says and does all the things that make them have “feels right” moments.
We cannot block the vote to people because we already let them down in preparing them to vote. We can fix the system that has let down these people so we don’t continue to generate the problem.
And we can heap on a shitload of contempt for the well educated who vote for him anyway because they can’t think outside the Republican Shoe Box.
And finally, we can vote. Because I continue to believe that there are more sensible people in the world than not. So, please don’t miss that opportunity, even if you don’t like Clinton, you must vote for the option that makes more sense comparably. And you and I both know that Clinton may represent that status quo, but she’s not a Worldwide Anal Leakage Disaster.