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Dangerous voters: My case for a required basic knowledge test

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posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 04:11 PM
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I would like to add that I am from a country where elections were rigged for more than 40 years. People did not voted because they knew that it would be useless, and when one candidate, Humberto Delgado appeared to challenge to system he was murdered.

After the bloodless revolution that restored democracy in Portugal (the Carnation Revolution), there was some people that thought that the Portuguese people did not know how to vote, but if we did not know we learnt fast.

That is why I say that education is the best way of making democracy work; keeping people interested in politics and showing them how they can change things (especially if they directly change things) will keep democracy working.

But if people start loosing faith in politics and politicians, then there is the danger of people not caring if there is something wrong with the democratic processes, making them open to a change just for a change, and a change from democracy to something else is not a good change.




posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by Quazga
reply to post by slackerwire
 


What you are really saying is that you are afraid people will not vote for the candidate you feel is a decent or less riskier choice. But thats the whole point of an election. To get above the system where individuals decide what makes sense, and to allow the system as a whole to make that determination based on the underlying aggregate of individual choices. And that doesn't require any intelligence on the part of the individual, only the element of choice.



Who they vote for doesnt really matter to me, but more importantly why are they voting for him.

Imagine if every loony bible nut out there actually voted for Huckabee, we would as close to a theocracy as possible here.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


I work with a guy exactly like this at work. Some co-wokers and I were talkin at break about 9-11 and bush and his admin, the war etc. and his basic response to overall bush/war is "Hey, Bush is a Christian, whatever he decides to do is good by me." And "Better we're fightin them over there than here". I run into this mindset alot and it makes me cray.

I am not out to bash the religious, but , please use your mind and the faculties that you posses to make rational decisions. Think for youself, and do not follow blindly.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 08:07 PM
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OP, what you suggest is ELITISM, I think the line of thought you are working from was abolished when the Jim Crow and Suffragette laws were overturned and enacted respectively. Granted we are talking educational level instead of race or gender, but what you suggest smacks of elitism.

A person in the U.S. has a right to political representation of their choosing, not your choosing, on their behalf! Regardless of educational level, religous affliation, race, gender, etc...

Once you change that basic premise, you open up a pandora's box of trouble for everyone...thats right everyone, it would only be a matter of time before you lost the right to vote as well, out there somehwere is someone who thinks your throwing your vote away as well or at a minimum, not qualified to cast it responsibly.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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Call it elitism if you will, if a person can't take the time out to educate themselves on the political process then they shouldn't be allowed to take part in it. We are all required to take drivers license tests, I don't see how this is any different. You take lives into your hands while driving a car, and you could be taking even more lives into your hands by who you vote for.

Of course I also support testing for those wanting to procreate, but that's a whole different issue.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 09:26 PM
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And who determines whats an intelligent or responsible vote? I voted for Bush 7 1/2 yrs ago, and since that time you could find millions of Americans who would literally tell you I am a dangerous voter and should not be allowed to vote, ever again.

And on the procreation test, who comes up with that test?...My wife and I have 8 children, at face value I'm sure you could find plenty of people who would consider that we are irrespnonsible and I should be sterilised. While the fact is we are a "blended" family, combining our families, while no doubt making a very large family, helped both families immeasurably, thus in the end making it a very responsible decision.

Not trying to make a strawman argument, but I guess you could say voting and parenting are similiar...you do what you think is best at the time based on expereince and gut feel...and hope it all turns out good



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by deadbang
OP, what you suggest is ELITISM, I think the line of thought you are working from was abolished when the Jim Crow and Suffragette laws were overturned and enacted respectively. Granted we are talking educational level instead of race or gender, but what you suggest smacks of elitism.

A person in the U.S. has a right to political representation of their choosing, not your choosing, on their behalf! Regardless of educational level, religous affliation, race, gender, etc...

Once you change that basic premise, you open up a pandora's box of trouble for everyone...thats right everyone, it would only be a matter of time before you lost the right to vote as well, out there somehwere is someone who thinks your throwing your vote away as well or at a minimum, not qualified to cast it responsibly.


Expecting people to know the issues they are voting on is now considered elitism?

If thats the case, then I'm proud to be an elitist.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:04 PM
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Some states used to have a simple literacy test for voting.

This is the story of those tests.


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 suspended the use of literacy tests in all states or political subdivisions in which less than 50 percent of the voting age residents were registered as of 1 November 1964, or had voted in the 1964 presidential election. In a series of cases, the Supreme Court upheld the legislation and restricted the use of literacy tests for non-English-speaking citizens.

en.wikipedia.org...


I don't think your idea will gain much traction any time soon.

As for the lady whom you asked your questions regarding her choice for a presidential candidate, perhaps that woman looks for intangibles that she deems more important than promises made during a political campaign.

What you consider informed may not actually reflect what is actually informed.

[edit on 2008/1/20 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by slackerwire
I had an encounter with a friends wife today who gave me the opportunity to talk to one of these knuckleheads. ......
I then asked if that meant his bible talk nutjob beliefs and she said yes.

....... We ended up getting into a somewhat heated argument, she said I made her feel stupid (she did that on her own).

Why shouldnt we require a basic knowledge test before people enter the voting booth?


Quite simply that is not what our founding fathers had in mind.

Seems to me that besides the asking their views on certain issues you seemed to have a preconcieved views on religion that, while it is fine for you to have, should not disqualify someone from voting that is in disagreement with you. While do you feel they are nutjobs and knuckleheads? There are many one issue voters, all the other "stuff" doesn't matter to them. Should they be unable to vote? Seems rather rude to me. I find plenty of people who have don't have a full grasp of a candidate or even a party's platform. I don't think they should be denied the right to vote though.



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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Originally posted by pavil

Originally posted by slackerwire
I had an encounter with a friends wife today who gave me the opportunity to talk to one of these knuckleheads. ......
I then asked if that meant his bible talk nutjob beliefs and she said yes.

....... We ended up getting into a somewhat heated argument, she said I made her feel stupid (she did that on her own).

Why shouldnt we require a basic knowledge test before people enter the voting booth?


Quite simply that is not what our founding fathers had in mind.

Seems to me that besides the asking their views on certain issues you seemed to have a preconcieved views on religion that, while it is fine for you to have, should not disqualify someone from voting that is in disagreement with you. While do you feel they are nutjobs and knuckleheads? There are many one issue voters, all the other "stuff" doesn't matter to them. Should they be unable to vote? Seems rather rude to me. I find plenty of people who have don't have a full grasp of a candidate or even a party's platform. I don't think they should be denied the right to vote though.


My opinion that she is a religious whackjob deals from other personal experiences with her, which unfortunately are hard to avoid considering she is married to a good friend of mine.

I think we all know at least 1 jesus freak, and she fits that bill perfectly.

What is wrong with expecting people to know a candidates stance on issues if they plan on voting for said candidate?



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:43 PM
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Slackerwire, you said "What is wrong with expecting people to know a candidates stance on issues if they plan on voting for said candidate?"

I agree with you in that, an informed voter is in better shape to make informed decisions...but that cannot be codified and used as a basis for who does and does not vote.

Even if you could require a minimum level of knowledge on the candidates before being eligible to vote...how do you determine that minimum level of knowledge,... what facts people consider important enough to commit to memory will vary by whats important to them...defense, religion, abortion rights, gay rights, healthcare, education, the list goes on endlessly.

that selection process would be elitist I believe...it would favor some while disinfranchising others...



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 11:20 PM
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It is really amusing to me to see this thread cause this topic has been on my mind for quite a while now. My mother is a very intelligent women, who wants to vote for Clinton because she is a women and she thinks a women can do a better job at running the country. She has no clue what her views are, but she is a women and that is good enough for her.

I was recently dating a women who voted for Bush...twice. I was floored by the admission. She claimed that Bush was a "great President" and my jaw hit the floor. I had to ask...what was so great about Bush. She couldn't answer. So I simplified the question and asked her to name one thing Bush has done that was good for the country. Her reply? "He took us to war didn't he?" So of course I asked her what was good about this war and she had nothing for me and could not answer why War was good.

This is what you have to battle when it comes to elections and people voting. This is the job of the Patriot. It is your job as a Patriot to inform people of the issues, it is your job to stand up and EDUCATE the people who will eventually go out and vote. A handful of Patriots are no match for a roomful of idiots who have fallen victims to the constant bombardment of propaganda that is our "news". Watching this election process has really reinforced this belief. Sit back and watch your local newscast when they interview the average Joe and they say "I don't know who to vote for yet" or "I have not made a decision". Of course in talking to people you I also hear my personal favorite, "The Primary is not the real election". This is where the job of the Patriot comes into play. It is your job to inform these people and show them the way. It is your job to show these people that the Primary is the REAL election because if you do not get involved, you end up with an election just like we had in 2004 where you must chose what you think is the lesser of two evils. It is your job to not let people take their eye off the ball and fall for the typical slight of hand demonstrations that have become the norm in American Politics.

If you have watched this election process I am sure you have noticed how each and every candidate has switched gears and changed their speeches to reflect what the people are responding to. It is your job as a Patriot to not let the masses forget what these candidates really stand for. There is no way to stop the idiots from voting or require them to take a test about the issues. That in fact would be completely unconstitutional. Instead the solution has been mentioned already at near the top of page two. Education. As a Patriot it is your job to discuss your way past the religious beliefs, past the issues of sex and race. It is your job to EDUCATE these people and TEACH them how to make an informed decision based on what these Candidates have DONE and not what they are saying this week in front of the cameras.

I can understand the frustration you feel, however this is the battle for each and every Patriot. The real issue here is...are you to the task?



posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
It is really amusing to me to see this thread cause this topic has been on my mind for quite a while now. My mother is a very intelligent women, who wants to vote for Clinton because she is a women and she thinks a women can do a better job at running the country. She has no clue what her views are, but she is a women and that is good enough for her.

I was recently dating a women who voted for Bush...twice. I was floored by the admission. She claimed that Bush was a "great President" and my jaw hit the floor. I had to ask...what was so great about Bush. She couldn't answer. So I simplified the question and asked her to name one thing Bush has done that was good for the country. Her reply? "He took us to war didn't he?" So of course I asked her what was good about this war and she had nothing for me and could not answer why War was good.

This is what you have to battle when it comes to elections and people voting. This is the job of the Patriot. It is your job as a Patriot to inform people of the issues, it is your job to stand up and EDUCATE the people who will eventually go out and vote. A handful of Patriots are no match for a roomful of idiots who have fallen victims to the constant bombardment of propaganda that is our "news". Watching this election process has really reinforced this belief. Sit back and watch your local newscast when they interview the average Joe and they say "I don't know who to vote for yet" or "I have not made a decision". Of course in talking to people you I also hear my personal favorite, "The Primary is not the real election". This is where the job of the Patriot comes into play. It is your job to inform these people and show them the way. It is your job to show these people that the Primary is the REAL election because if you do not get involved, you end up with an election just like we had in 2004 where you must chose what you think is the lesser of two evils. It is your job to not let people take their eye off the ball and fall for the typical slight of hand demonstrations that have become the norm in American Politics.

If you have watched this election process I am sure you have noticed how each and every candidate has switched gears and changed their speeches to reflect what the people are responding to. It is your job as a Patriot to not let the masses forget what these candidates really stand for. There is no way to stop the idiots from voting or require them to take a test about the issues. That in fact would be completely unconstitutional. Instead the solution has been mentioned already at near the top of page two. Education. As a Patriot it is your job to discuss your way past the religious beliefs, past the issues of sex and race. It is your job to EDUCATE these people and TEACH them how to make an informed decision based on what these Candidates have DONE and not what they are saying this week in front of the cameras.

I can understand the frustration you feel, however this is the battle for each and every Patriot. The real issue here is...are you to the task?


Before I address the other comments in your post, in what way would you find my idea to be unconstitutional?



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 



Voting is your right. There is nothing at all in the Constitution that I can recall that would allow for people to take a test to determine if they are responsible enough to vote. For your idea to work, you would actually have to amend the Constitution. If it would require an amendment then as it sits now, the idea itself would be considered Unconstitutional, would it not?



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:18 AM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
reply to post by slackerwire
 



Voting is your right. There is nothing at all in the Constitution that I can recall that would allow for people to take a test to determine if they are responsible enough to vote. For your idea to work, you would actually have to amend the Constitution. If it would require an amendment then as it sits now, the idea itself would be considered Unconstitutional, would it not?


Actually the only part of the Constitution that deals with voting is the 15th Amendment, which states :

"Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

That means that they cant prevent you from voting based on those reasons. If the right to vote was carte blanche for everyone, they wouldnt have needed to specify the reasons.

Criminals (felons) are already prohibited from voting, theres no reason morons couldnt be also.



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by slackerwire
 


So who decides who is a moron and who is not? You? Me? Bush? Who would decide how to gauge who is a moron and who is not? I may think you are a moron if you vote purely on your religious beliefs, but someone else may not. Of course in a case like that I would stress and point out the separation between church and state and say that religion should have no influence upon politics.

The reason why felons can not vote is because the Supreme Court found that the 14th Amendment gives the states clear permission to deny the vote to felons. See Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24 (1974) for more information.

The voting history of the United States is mostly one of extending voting rights from the few to the many, not the other way around. Over the course of our Constitution, rights have been extended to non-whites (Amendment 15 in 1870), to women (19 in 1920), to people unable or unwilling to pay a poll tax (24, 1964) and to people over the age of 18 (26, 1971).

In order for your idea to work, you would have to amend the Constitution to strip away the right to vote from these "Morons". So as it is right now today, your idea in itself is Unconstitutional and therefor would require an Amendment.



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
reply to post by slackerwire
 


So who decides who is a moron and who is not? You? Me? Bush? Who would decide how to gauge who is a moron and who is not? I may think you are a moron if you vote purely on your religious beliefs, but someone else may not. Of course in a case like that I would stress and point out the separation between church and state and say that religion should have no influence upon politics.

The reason why felons can not vote is because the Supreme Court found that the 14th Amendment gives the states clear permission to deny the vote to felons. See Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24 (1974) for more information.

The voting history of the United States is mostly one of extending voting rights from the few to the many, not the other way around. Over the course of our Constitution, rights have been extended to non-whites (Amendment 15 in 1870), to women (19 in 1920), to people unable or unwilling to pay a poll tax (24, 1964) and to people over the age of 18 (26, 1971).

In order for your idea to work, you would have to amend the Constitution to strip away the right to vote from these "Morons". So as it is right now today, your idea in itself is Unconstitutional and therefor would require an Amendment.
]

Could you go ahead and point out which section states everyone has a right to vote?



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 01:10 AM
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you will not find any section giving everyone the right to vote. It is generally considered a human right, it is considered an American right and in a Democracy it is a fundamental right. It is argued that the fundamental right to vote for every American citizen is implied in the Constitution, based on Supreme Court precedent. However, to exclude any certain group or persons from voting would require a Constitutional Amendment.

I have to be honest here, why are we even debating this? What we should be discussing is how to fix it. How does a Patriot go about educating people so that so many idiots are not continuing to vote based on misinformation and lies.

The FACT remains in order for your idea to work you must make a Constitutional Amendment, or the Supreme Court would have to find that you can legally exclude these "morons" based on an already existing Amendment. That is how the system works and I do not understand why we are debating this aspect of my original post.

edited to add the last paragraph.

[edit on 21-1-2008 by MrWendal]



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 02:05 AM
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Originally posted by slackerwire
...We ended up getting into a somewhat heated argument, she said I made her feel stupid (she did that on her own).

Why shouldnt we require a basic knowledge test before people enter the voting booth?

Because the idea is to keep people DUMB. If you make them smarter, they become harder to control, and are less responsive to mind control techniques.



posted on Jan, 21 2008 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
you will not find any section giving everyone the right to vote. It is generally considered a human right, it is considered an American right and in a Democracy it is a fundamental right. It is argued that the fundamental right to vote for every American citizen is implied in the Constitution, based on Supreme Court precedent. However, to exclude any certain group or persons from voting would require a Constitutional Amendment.

I have to be honest here, why are we even debating this? What we should be discussing is how to fix it. How does a Patriot go about educating people so that so many idiots are not continuing to vote based on misinformation and lies.

The FACT remains in order for your idea to work you must make a Constitutional Amendment, or the Supreme Court would have to find that you can legally exclude these "morons" based on an already existing Amendment. That is how the system works and I do not understand why we are debating this aspect of my original post.

edited to add the last paragraph.

[edit on 21-1-2008 by MrWendal]


1. We dont live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic.

2. Which constitutional amendment was passed that prohibits convicted felons from voting?



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