John Stossel says, “Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn’t vote.”
How dare he say such a thing?! But many Americans don’t know anything about the issues of the day or the candidates themselves beyond the “D” or “R” beside their names. Of what value is their opinion about government and the national direction?
Stossel quotes Marc Brownstein of the voter registration organizing group HeadCount:
“Democracy is not about taking the most educated portion of the society and having them decide who’s going to run the entire society. Democracy is about every individual having a voice.”
That’s certainly part of the American equation. But being informed about important matters also counts for something. As I wrote yesterday, simply voting for Candidate X because he/she gives you a bigger piece of the federal goverment’s giveaway pie is not a good thing. In fact, it’s a long-term disaster.
Economist Bryan Caplan, author of “The Myth of the Rational Voter“, says it perfectly.
“This is very much like saying, it’s our civic duty to give surgery advice,” Caplan said. “We like to think that political issues are much less complicated than brain surgery, but many of them are pretty hard. If someone doesn’t know what he’s talking about, it really is better if they say, look, I’m going to leave this in wiser hands.”
“Is it elitist to say only some people should do brain surgery? If you don’t know what you’re doing, you are not doing the country a favor by voting.”
That’s one of the problems with groups like ACORN running around registering everyone who’s breathing. Not only are they turning in thousands of fraudulent registration forms – as if that’s not reason enough to shut them down – but the majority of the people they’re so proud of signing up to vote either don’t give a damn about voting or don’t have a clue who to vote for based on anything more than what that nice young man from the ‘burbs said while he was signing me up.
Yes, every American who is even halfway up to speed about the challenges our country faces should absolutely get out to the polls next Tuesday and vote.
But be honest: if you don’t know who and what you’re voting for, help the rest of us out and stay home!