I’m going to make a suggestion that could get me in hot water. That is because we have become so conditioned to voting rights for anybody and everybody in this country. We think it’s a good thing that everybody should have a voice in our government; that it’s a sign that we must be a more “civilized” democracy today than we were back in the early days of our country.
Well, to that I say, “Hogwash!”
How many people do not take the time, or perhaps I should say they do not HAVE the time, to become learned in the issues and political systems so that they can make an intelligent and educated vote? How many young people today regret voting for Obama? (or any other office-holder, for that matter?)
When I was a youngster, I was all for anybody who would do what I thought was good, like end the war in Vietnam, give poor people money and jobs, and all that. I loved President Carter when he was first elected. But by the time the 1980 election rolled around, I was all for Ronald Reagan. Why? Because my political views had not only changed, they had matured.
In 2008 I was frustrated by all the kids in their late teens and early twenties who were out going door-to-door trying to get people to vote for Barack Obama. I couldn’t help but think that many of them really didn’t understand what, and who, they wanted in the office of President. We all know Obama was about change. Those kids weren’t looking any farther than that; they were jumping on the bandwagon. Many didn’t make an informed, intelligent vote.
Anyway. What am I getting at? What if a vote was much more valuable in our culture? What if not just anybody could vote? Wouldn’t people be much more careful about who they cast that vote for?
I understand that way back in the early years of our country, voting was reserved for the landowners — white, male, landowners, at least 45 years old. You can imagine what kind of results they got; things and people that appealed to rich, white, male landowners over 45.
Now I’m not suggesting we go with white, male landowners over 45. We certainly couldn’t discriminate against people of other races, or women, or people who don’t own land. But it’s conceivable in my mind that voting could be restricted to people who do have responsibilities. How about restricting the vote to family units, one vote per family unit. That family unit would consist of whomever lives at a particular address, spouses, children, whoever, and the voter would have to be at least 30 years old. One family — one vote.
Now I know there would be a lot of details that would have to be worked out, and the whole idea may be unworkable, or even unconstitutional. But it’s just an idea, and the idea is to make the vote a much more valuable thing in this country, so people wouldn’t cast their votes foolishly or frivolously. Voting should be seen as a solemn responsibility, not as something a person can do or not do at their whim, or that they can vote for people without knowing anything about those people or the offices for which they are running. That should never happen, and it’s one reason we have the things happening in our government that are happening today. Voting is a sacred honor, a solemn trust we have been given by the founders of this country, and we should treat it as such.