Just Another Effin' Observer

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Location: Huntsville, Texas, United States

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Clueless Majority? Spare Me!

As per usual, I am weighing in on this subject a day late and a dollar short. So what else is new?

I’ve seen a lot of rumblings all over the blogosphere of possible – or at least the appearance of (and that’s supposed to be just as bad, isn’t it?) – vote fraud in the Presidential totals in the state of Wisconsin. As if that Blake Edwards movie that’s been playing in Washington weren’t enough, now the Cheese-heads have to get into the act.

I’m not going to rehash the story here, but for the seriously interested, here are some places to get the full dirt: Powerline; Michelle Malkin; Captain’s Quarters; Stranded On Blue Islands; Boots and Sabers. There are others – a great many others, in fact – but I don’t want this post to look like that copy of The Prophet by Khalil Gibran that David Bromberg referred to in his song Bullfrog Blues (the one “with all the significant passages underlined; every word in the book is underlined”).

I have to admit that I am of two minds over these revelations, if revelations they actually turn out to be (as opposed to mere tit-for-tat sniping: “I’ll see your Ohio, and raise you Washington and Wisconsin.”)

On the one hand, I must confess that I can’t quite bring myself to care a whole lot about this, at this point. The election is over. The Electors were selected in each state according to Article 2 of the Constitution, those Electors cast their votes in their respective state capitals, the votes were transmitted to the House, the House certified the results, Bush won. Like I said: it’s over. Let’s tear a page out of MoveOn.org’s book and, unlike MoveOn.org, actually move on. If there has been any serious attempt at vote fraud, then it was singularly ineffective, in that they failed to make off with the booty; despite all of the Democrats’ alleged efforts to steal the election, they still lost.

On the other hand, that humiliating knowledge of abject failure is only likely to persuade some people to try harder next time, on the theory that, well, practice makes perfect. Clearly, something must be done to discourage this possibility. So I would like to see these matters fully investigated, and if anything is proven, then the parties responsible should be held fully accountable. I’m talking some extended stays at the House of Many Doors, here. And a thorough wood-shedding at the polls in the next election would probably be in order, too – even in the absence of any convictions.

Anyone who insists that “every vote be counted” should set off alarm bells far and wide – because it’s an odds-on bet that that person knows full well that a lot of those votes shouldn’t be counted, because the “people” who cast those ballots had no legal right to do so; some of them may not even be people. And that person probably has a pretty good idea who those votes are for. It is the law in every state in the United States that, in order to vote, certain qualifications must be met. You have to be a citizen of the United States; you have to be at least 18 years old; you have to be a resident of the state and community in which you are voting (verified prior to casting a ballot, and not after the fact – except, of course, in Wisconsin, where same-day registration seems to be the “root cause” of most of the “irregularities”); in most jurisdictions, you cannot have been convicted of a felony; and, of course, you have to be alive. Shouldn’t these requirements be enforced?

But more important, we need some serious examinations of the states’ procedures for registering and qualifying voters. Some people seem to believe that the more voters you have, the better; that the level of participation should trump all other considerations.

I submit that, in the immortal words of Willie Nelson, “that ain’t necessarily so.”

Could someone please explain to me why an election decided by the majority of 160 million clueless mouth-breathers is ipso facto a better result than one decided by, say, the majority of 80 million informed citizens, each with enough interconnected neurons to make a rational decision? Or 60 million? Or 30 million? The qualifications for voting in any election should involve rather more than the ability to punch a hole in a piece of cardboard - particularly since even that seems to be beyond the capabilities of a sizeable portion of the voting population.

Where is it written that, just because you have a pulse – and even that is pretty much optional, given the “graveyard” vote in many jurisdictions – you have an unassailable right to vote, irrespective of any and all other considerations, up to and including whether or not you meet the legal qualifications to vote, or whether or not you know who is running for office, or even what those offices are?

Allow me to offer a modest proposal: in order to cast a vote in any election, for any office, every voter must:

  • Be registrered. And I mean before the fact. If you can't take five minutes out of your busy schedule to fill out and mail in a voter-registration card at least one month before the election, then I submit that you are insufficiently engaged in the process, inadequately informed on the issues, and therefore unqualified to participate. Do us all a favor and sit this one out;

  • Show up. You want to vote? Then get up off your lazy butt, get into the car, and drive down to the polling station. Don’t have a car? Ask a friend for a ride. Call a taxi, take a bus. Walk, even, like they did in Iraq. Because if you’re too damn lazy to put forth a bit of effort to vote, you damn well don’t need to be voting. And as for Internet voting, heh, not in this life, lard-ass;

  • Be able to spell the last names of at least two of the candidates for that office. This would at least provide some assurance that the voter actually has some semblance of a clue as to what he is doing. Then, no one would ever again be able to assert that anyone was “disenfranchised” because of long lines at the polling station; they would be disenfranchised because they were clueless nitwits.

And that’s a form of disenfranchisement that I think I could live with.


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