Monday, May 5, 2008

There Is No Right To Vote

Again, I take my inspiration from liberal bloggers. But this time, I'm also trying to educate anyone who has failed so far to read the Constitution.

It all began with the Supreme Court's decision on voter ID, which begat another shootout on Dee's Blog. And while I have not read the whole case, I think I have the answer why this doesn't infringe on people's rights: THERE IS NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE!

One of the reasons for the chaos in the 2000 election was that the presidency is decided by electoral votes, and the swing votes in Florida were held up because Florida had a problem removing its electoral head from its ass. This is because it is the responsibility of the individual states to set the rules for election.
The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.
This is where the right to vote lies, with the states, not with the people. This is backed up with the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
And since there is no stated right to vote anywhere in the constitution, the states have the ultimate power in setting their voting regulations, with a few exceptions:

The 15th Amendments forbids denying voting rights due to race. The 19th amendment forbids denying voting rights due to sex. The 24th Amendments forbids denying voting rights due to the failure to pay poll taxes. And the 26th Amendments forbids denying voting rights to anyone due to age, as long as they are over 18.

In law, language is everything. The specific phrase used in each of these amendments, in some form is "shall not be denied or abridged." This does not mean you have a right. It means that you can't be denied any right or privilege for the reason stated.

There is no right to vote, unless it is conferred by the states. And therefore, any rules that the state sets are law, except if they are prohibited by an amendment. A state could, if they chose, ban voting by people with no teeth. This would most likely never pass, but you get the idea.

We do have a right, privilege, and a responsibility to vote, though. It is a right conferred by our state, a privilege to choose those who represent us, and a responsibility to know who we are voting for and why.

For this reason, there are far too many people that don't live up to the responsibility of voting. Whether it's a senile citizen that's shoved into the polls and told to vote, an illegal alien who still has yet to dry from his border crossing, or even the dead (especially in Chicago), there is a class of people that should stay home. And I include the woefully ignorant in that group.

Here's a simple test. Take the candidate you intend to vote for and write down their positions on Iraq, terrorism, health care, global warming, taxes, gas and food prices, and federal spending. If you can come up with an answer for these, then you may vote with my blessing. If you're staring at the screen and thinking hard and all you hear is packaged sound bites with no substance, then do us all a favor. Go find a shitty doctor, get lobotomized, then play hopscotch in the middle of and Interstate highway at night. Wearing all black.

I admit I believed at one point everybody should vote. But now, I say if you are an idiot, stay home and let the people who have invested a thought on voting for presidential candidates, rather than just figuring out who to boot off American Idol, take care of you. Here's your nipple.


Shaw Kenawe said...

When George W. Bush heralded the Iraqi elections, purple thumbs and all, everyone here thought that was a great achievement for democracy in the Middle East. We brought them what George W. Bush said was God's gift to humanity-- Democracy and purple thumbs!

Do you think all of those voting Iraqis were fully aware of the positions of each of the candidates they voted for?

No. Neither do I.

But that election was celebrated here as a very, very great achievement.

You want to start deciding who can or cannot vote by what they know about the individual candidates and you'll have about a dozen people who qualify.

There will be no democracy.

Even people who know what his or her candidate stands for votes mainly on emotion.

Look at Hillary. Most Democrats see her more aligned with John McCain and the moderate Republicans, but those Democrats still remain loyal to her.

It's insane. But politics is 1/4 intelligence and 3/4 emotion.

Sounds like you'd like to return to the voting days of the early Republic when only elites (land owners) could vote.

Remember what Rummy said: "Democracy is messy."


Dee said...

I wish that only educated people voted but unfortunately thats not how it works.

My producer was shocked when I talked about this on the show today. He just assumed everyone had to have a photo id to vote. One would assume you would need at "least" that. But how do you think so many dead people get away with voting???

Patrick M said...

Shaw: I think I see why you vote the way you vote:

It's insane. But politics is 1/4 intelligence and 3/4 emotion.

I can't say that everybody who votes is perfectly knowledgeable about every candidate and issue. However there are far too many people that pull the lever without even an attempt at thought.

Perhaps that's how we keep ending up with the idiots that we do.

But it's the ideal that I look for, and its by attempting to learn more (God bless the Internet) that we can hope to dig ourselves out of this hole.

The real problem though is that you and I are the exception. And as horribly and terribly wrong your choices for candidates may be, at least you have tried to learn something about them. I'd like to think there's some logic there.

Ok, better stop before more liberal jokes come.

Dee: My inspiration came from that story that lib on your site was spinning about her senile citizen grandmother who couldn't understand why she had to get an ID. That alone tells me she's pulling a lever with no understanding of why she's doing so.

Just think what would happen if only the people who could name the candidates before stepping into the voting booth were allowed to vote. I mean besides a Republican victory.

It is the vote of a willfully ignorant electorate that is the problem with voting in this country. And until people embrace the responsibility of voting, then it will continue to be a game of Brainwash the Voting Blocs.

Shaw Kenawe said...

It is the vote of a willfully ignorant electorate that is the problem with voting in this country. And until people embrace the responsibility of voting, then it will continue to be a game of Brainwash the Voting Blocs.

The problem with your implication--that the "willfully ignorant" vote, and mine (that politics is 1/4 intelligence and 3/4 emotion) means that Democratic, AS WELL AS Republicans, say like Ronald W. Reagan, were voted into office by stupid people.

Therefore, RWR and GWB were elected by the stupid.

See? Doesn't sound so logical when I put it in those terms.

Yes, it is true that voters should educate themselves on issues and where their candidates stand on them. But that takes time and work.

It is so much easier for the electorate to swallow inane sound bites that are half truths, and outright lies.

And to believe the talking hair-dos on the teevee.

Inaccuraate and sensational info from the media keep the voters dumbed down--both Republican AND Democrats.


Patrick M said...

Therefore, RWR and GWB were elected by the stupid.

I can't argue with you on this. The presidential races have become more beauty contests than serious discussions. And far too many people have no desire to learn any substance. I remember back in 2000, Lieberman and Cheney had a debate. The result? Most people said it was a serious and boring debate, as there were two people with deep and broad experiences having a serous discussion. Instead we were treated to sound bite debates between Bush and Gore that I can't remember. What I do remember is the Saturday night live skit where they summed up their candidacies in one word.
Bush: "strategery"
Gore: "lockbox"

Let's sigh some more.