Even though it dealt with the rather non-controversial issue of congressional pay, the last amendment to the Constitution (#27) took almost 203 years to be ratified. By contrast, our next to last amendment was passed and ratified in less than four months in 1971 but dealt with an issue that is controversial — extending the vote to kids.
But one must appreciate the times in which Amendment 26 came about: It was the Vietnam War era, when 18-year-old kids were getting drafted and thrown into battle. Anyone serving his country like that deserves the vote, whatever his age.
However, in our culture of extended childhood, 18-year-olds are usually still children. Also, 18-year-olds are ignorant; that’s why they’re still in school. Some of them, the goths, haven’t even shed their fascination with vampires. So rather than enfranchising them all, a better solution would have been to extend the vote only to those kids serving in the military, and let the rest wait until they’re 21.
At the other end of the age spectrum are seniors. And, like 18-year-olds, many seniors aren’t too swift either, having a much higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, senile dementia, etc. than the rest of us. But none of that keeps them from voting, which they do in droves. Which is why so much of the federal budget goes to them.
To be eligible to vote, seniors should take a test to prove they’re still competent, just as they do to prove they can still drive safely. Indeed, those past the average age of death shouldn’t even be allowed to vote. Allowing folks who are soon to check out of this world to vote on how this world is going to be run after they’re gone is daffy. It’s akin to having a thoroughly repudiated Congress legislate in a “lame duck” session.
But it’s not just kids and old-timers who are incompetent, vast swaths of Americans in the middle years are also appallingly ignorant about their country and current affairs. So perhaps everyone should be required to demonstrate fitness to vote. Unfortunately, civics tests might violate the Constitution, not that that’s stopped Congress lately.
Democracy only works with an enlightened electorate. But year after year we reelect the same scoundrels, incompetents, fools, crooks, and doddering 80-year-olds with one foot in the grave. If we do elect a new guy, it’s based on race or gender or the perception that “he’s cool.” The American electorate appears neither very enlightened nor very serious. How serious are Minnesotans when they elect a professional wrestler and a comedian to high office? (Weren’t any community organizers available?)
It’s been said that people deserve the leaders they elect. Therefore, America deserves this Congress spending us into oblivion. With each passing year, the American electorate seems less enlightened, less serious.
Fewer folks should vote. The first duty of a citizen should be to ask himself: Am I really fit to vote? Do I know anything about the issues? Heck, do I know anything about the American system? And if the answers are no, then one should refrain from voting and let the more informed, more involved folks do the deciding.
But such is America’s fixation on “equality” that we extend the vote to every alcoholic, crack addict, dodo and hobo. In Ohio, a judge ruled that a “park bench” could be used to fulfill the residency requirement for voter registration. This is egalitarianism run amok. What can vagrants possibly contribute to the selection of our leaders? Yet, these are the very people the elitist Left works so hard to register and usher to the polls. (Perhaps poll workers should administer sobriety tests before allowing folks to vote.)
It’s amazing that the vote of Jefferson or Lincoln is worth no more than that of a drug-addled gangbanger. In a saner America, some citizens would get more than one vote. Combat veterans would certainly get an extra vote. And if a vet really sacrificed by, say, losing a limb or an eye, he would get even more additional votes.
And what about the folks who pay for America, the taxpayers? Perhaps taxpayers ought to get more votes than those who are tax consumers only. For every additional tranche of income tax one pays that is equal to the average income tax bill, perhaps one ought to get an additional vote. Surely taxpayers who pay the most income taxes ought to get more of a say about how their money is spent than those on the dole. (Perhaps folks who score well on civics tests should get an extra vote, too, elitist though that may be.)
Of course, these schemes to limit and reallocate the vote violate our ideas about equality. But if we’re going to let every illegal alien, felon, scoundrel, clown and lay-about vote, let’s do something that prevents these guys from getting an extra vote.
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