Democracy’s problem: Stupid, greedy voters


Why democracy can be too much of a good thing:

When our republic was founded, the Founding Fathers set out to practice a very limited form of democracy. We were to be a constitutional republic.

Basically to vote you had to be a free, 21-year-old, white male who owned land and could prove that you were literate.

Today through multiple steps we have moved to universal suffrage. The ex-slaves were given the vote, women were given the vote, the literacy and property requirements were dropped, and the voting age was dropped to 18.

Granted, not letting women and blacks vote would be morally and logically un-defendable today. However, maybe some of the other requirements should never have been removed. Is voting for everyone? Should you be able to vote yourself money?

Essentially our form of government can only work when the electorate is well-educated, self-reliant, and focused on the politics and issues of the day. The disengaged, the dependent, and the stupid just don’t vote with the right motivations.

They vote for a hand-out, a diversionary issue like birth control, or a slogan. They are swayed by 30-second commercials. They do not vote for freedom, self-determination, and small government.

The Democrats (read socialist) have manipulated this crowd for 80 years by buying their support with nannie-state benefits and subsidies.

So how do we put the genie back in the bottle? How do we restrict the vote to those who are responsible, self-supporting, and acquainted with the political issues?

Only people who understand the constitutional limitations of our government and believe in those limitations should be in the electorate.

I have a few ideas to reform the electorate:

1. We could require citizens wishing to vote to take a multiple choice test on our constitution, its amendments, its checks and balances, its limitations on government, etc. before each election cycle to prove their competence to vote.

This idea would not discriminate against any group, race, sex or political affiliation. It could even be on an eighth grade level so that it was not too hard.

Should you not have to prove that you understand our form of government to participate in it? All you would have to do to vote is study. But I bet tens of millions of casual voters would not bother to take the test.

2. We could offer a bounty to people to simply not vote. If you agree not to vote in a given year you would be paid a bounty of say $500 (tax free).

Those who are responsible and truly care would willingly crawl across broken glass to get to the voting booth. They would gladly forgo the bounty to participate in the elections.

Those who vote on a whim or don’t really care about the issues would probably take the bounty. If $500 does not trim the voter rolls enough, then we could offer $1,000, $2,000, or whatever it takes. This scheme would also not discriminate against any group, race, sex, or political outlook.

3. As the public employee unions have demonstrated repeatedly, many public workers are willing to sell their votes in “blocks” to the Democrat who offers them the highest benefits and pay. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me (or a bribe).

Perhaps public workers should not be allowed to vote in elections at their level of government, i.e., if you work for the state you cannot participate in state elections or contribute to state candidates, if you work for the feds then you cannot vote in national elections, etc.

I don’t think this would take a constitutional amendment, since it would be voluntary. If you don’t want to give up your vote then don’t take the job. If you want to start voting again then quit your government job. An exception for military personnel could be in place; they do not “block” vote and have certainly earned their right to vote.

4. This next idea will get the little old ladies mad at me. In order to control the cost of entitlements such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, a condition to receive a government benefit check could be an agreement not to vote in federal elections. (If Social Security and Medicare recipients don’t have a conflict of interest then why is there an AARP whose members block-vote and lobby to protect their benefits?)

Why is the federal government in the retirement and healthcare business anyway? Sorry, Mom, please don’t disinherit me.

5. We could give everyone one vote plus an additional vote for each $25,000 in federal income tax paid. I think Neal Boortz thought of this one first. Should not the people who pay proportionally more of the freight have a proportionally higher say in how it is spent (or if it is spent at all)?

One way or another we must find a way to get the people who vote for pay, benefits, or entitlements to stop. They are leeches on the rest of us, and they are pushing us toward bankruptcy.

You should not live in a free society if you are not willing to take responsibility for yourself. Hopefully, we can defeat Obamunism in this November’s election. Then maybe election reform will be possible. I would love to hear other ideas.

Bill Gilmer

Fayetteville, Ga.