Sunday, December 09, 2007

Who Is To Blame

As often is the case during a time of political campaigns we are currently inundated with news concerning candidates from both political parties seeking to become our next president. As voters, we are given the opportunity to watch the debates between the candidates and make a choice as to who we think is best qualified to be the next president. My question is this, what makes the people of this country qualified to make an intelligent decision concerning an issue of such great importance?

It is widely accepted that all Americans over the age of 18 have the right to vote. However, if you look back through our nations history that wasn’t always the case.

At the time the Constitution was written and ratified, only white male property owners held the right to vote. That meant that only about 10-15 percent of the population of the United States could vote for their elected representatives. Over the course of our nations history the right of suffrage has undergone many changes. In 1870 the 15th amendment granted former slaves the right to vote. In 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. In 1924 the Indian Citizenship Act granted Native Americans the right to vote. In 1964, the 24th amendment banned the poll tax as a requirement for voting. In 1971, the 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18.

It is now widely accepted that voting is a right that all citizens of this country enjoy. The thing about rights is that along with them come responsibilities. The right to drive a car also comes with the responsibility of knowing the traffic laws and obeying them as to not endanger yourself or others while on the road. The right to own a firearm also comes with the responsibility of safe handing practices, such as knowing your target and what lies beyond it, always treat your firearm as if it is loaded, always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, and never point it at something unless you intend to shoot. All rights have some sort of responsibility that goes along with them, and voting should be the same way.

Voters should be aware of the Constitutional role of government, what it can and cannot do. They should be fully aware of the various branches of government and the restrictions placed upon them.

At one time this was the case. In the 60's there were literacy tests required by prospective voters. However the intent was not to ensure the voters were informed as to their responsibilities as citizens. Instead they were used as tools to block the illiterate poor, mainly African-Americans, from voting. However, and example of the 1965 Literacy Test from the State of Alabama is worth a read. I would be hard pressed to find a high percentage of the people I come into contact with who could pass it.

Take it yourself and see if you can get at least a 75% score. You might be surprised at how poorly you do.

And that my friends is the topic of this paper, the American people's total lack of understanding of what the role of government is. I hate to say it but I find the majority of people I come in contact with to be totally ignorant, bordering on absolutely stupid, in regards to government and the powers our Constitution grants it.

I hear people at work making asinine comments like, "It is about time for a woman president, that is why I am voting for Hillary." Or "Oprah is supporting Obama, and if Oprah says he is okay I am voting for him too."

When I hear people talk like that it becomes apparent that our country is in such sad shape not because of our elected representatives. It is because we as a nation have elected these buffoons to represent us and we have allowed them to stay in office once they have proven themselves to be buffoons.

Just because a candidate has breasts and female reproductive organs does not mean she is qualified to be our president. Just because some talk show host says a candidate is the best one to be president does not mean that you have to agree with her.

People these days just do not think when it comes to politics. They listen to these people make promises and the one who makes the most promises concerning issues that benefit them personally are the ones who get the votes. It does not matter if the candidate has no constitutional authority to enact legislation based upon their promises. It does not matter if those promises will cost us billions in wasted tax dollars. What mattered is that their promises appealed to the largest majority of voters.And that is why we are in such sad shape, because the voters themselves have not the foggiest idea of how our government is supposed to function.

I don't see things getting any better in the future as long as the people of this country believe that our elected officials are Constitutionally authorized to keep the promises they make on the campaign trail. As long as we, as people, continue to vote for candidates who make us promises that are not authorized by our Constitution, or we re-elect officials who have violated their oaths of office while serving, this country will continue to get what it deserves, rotten scumbags picked from the cesspool of a society that is illiterate in regards to the role of government.

Maybe it is time to reinstate the Literacy Test for voting. Maybe until we can prove that we are educated enough concerning the role of government we ought to lose that right as well. Then again maybe things will never change, because maybe, just maybe, things are just the way those in power want them to be. A mass of uneducated ignorant voters who are willing to buy into their lies and b.s. without the slightest clue that they are being lied to and deceived.

Just for your own enlightenment, take the Alabama Literacy test. Maybe, just maybe you will change your mind about who you had planned on voting for. But then maybe I am just dreaming.

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