Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Light Through Old Windows

In the late eighteenth century, America's Founding Fathers (salute) came together in Philly, declared the colony's independence from England, established a constitution and very possibly invented the cheese steak sandwich. The first two accomplishments are irrefutable facts.

We remember many of these Founding Fathers (there were no Founding Mothers, and this is an important fact as you will see directly) as literate men of property, education and creativity. Most of them were Christians--with the exception of a handful of the most influential--all of them were Caucasian and all of them wore silly pants, which were the rage at the time. Many wore wigs, a style that has pretty much faded away, except in some sectors of the entertainment business. These men clearly saw themselves as qualified to lead the country and to be selected and re-selected by voters who were similar to them: literate, educated, land-owning white men.

I suspect, that if the Founding Fathers were to learn that in today's America we encourage to vote anyone who is at least 18, can prove legal citizenship and can fog up a mirror, they would be horrified. Women voting? Nonsense. Negroes? You surely jest. Illiterate workers? Outrageous. Indians? Now you are just being silly.

The "All men are created equal" thing was limited to the aforementioned "men" and to a certain class of capable men, in other words, the Founding Father archetype.

Eschewing current political correctness, let me opine that our Founding Dads had a point. Wait, put down that rock and hear me out.

I strongly believe that citizens of the female persuasion, Blacks, Indians, non-property owners, laborers, et al, who were originally left out of the voting equality equation should be included, just as they are now. However, if any of these folks is a certifiable moron, I don't want them helping me select representatives or to run for office themselves. Moron inclusion is the standard now and it is a major contributor to the fact that we get a fair share of morons in state and federal legislative seats. The fact that we don't have effective moron screening as part of the voter or candidate registration process is unconscionable.

Let me be clear, I don't mean to denigrate morons and for those of you who are morons, "denigrate" means to "put down" or "to make fun of".

Seriously, we don't let people drive cars who can't pass the driver's test but we let people vote--no, we encourage people to vote--who know virtually nothing of the policies, implications and nuances of the issues at hand or the machinery and purposes of the three branches of government. Many of these voters likely don't have the capacity to be informed voters, much like some people can't safely merge onto a freeway. Both are dangerous types in their own special way.

There is a faint but growing wail building in the distance as the liberals amongst my readers began to understand my rather conservative take on voter's rights. My take is simple: an adult U.S. citizen has a right and duty to vote but only as long as there is some evidence that he or she has the mental capacity to think clearly and independently.

Along with the right to vote comes the obligation to be informed instead of merely influenced by those who would twist and spin the facts. If one is unable to think rationally for themselves, someone else will always be available to think for them, rationally or not. Based on much of what I see and read on the Internet, it's clear that some citizens, many of whom would probably make good next door neighbors and/or drinking companions, should be kept away from the polling station through threat of force because they are political and policy morons. Ergo, we get the government that we deserve.

Some may argue that I just don't want people voting or serving in office who do not agree with my personal political views. Au contraire. There is always room for disagreement and ideological differences between people of informed goodwill. For instance, I believe that the current proposed health care legislation is better than doing nothing, although it is far from being adequate to solve the problems of the system long term. Others, on the other hand, may think that an entirely different approach is the better way to go; I'm glad to hear them out, maybe even give their ideas a try. However, if you carry a sign showing corpses at Buchenwald and equate that horror to "Obama's health care solution", your right to vote or hold office should be immediately revoked because you are a moron.

I haven't solved the moron screening conundrum and so I can't provide a simple solution today. Perhaps science could invent a machine similar to a metal detector that emits a silent alarm when a moron passes through. It would be silent so that the moron not be unduly embarrassed. Surely they suffer enough embarrassment by routinely saying and doing moronic things, i.e., former Congressman and soon to be convicted scofflaw Tom DeLay appearing on Dancing with the Stars. A moron screening machine could have caught him before he even ran for Congress.

I will be interested in your thoughts and comments regarding voter and candidate registration moron screening. Be advised, if what you write is moronic, names and embedded cookie identifiers will be archived for possible future use.


Observoid of the Day: Willie Nelson is the son that Ozzie and Harriet never mentioned.


  1. This si by far the best one yet....I laughed/agreed all the way through it. I love the Moron Detector idea. Hey, that can be your next venture. Good Luck! Brooke

  2. I would like to see the cutoff a little above the moron level, because, frankly, that's probably why we are where we are today. We used to have a property ownership standard to vote, but even I will admit that fools sometimes inherit. And, I had to quit watching Jay Leno when he interviewed people on the street that couldn't talk, and whose knowledge of history didn't even go to yesterday. Right now, it looks like we are destined to be ruled by people elected by morons, and you can see what we've got so far. Expect it to get worse.
    Bill grant


  3. Perhaps some education reform is in order. If we want to have an electorate that understands the least thing about being a responsible voter and citizen, bring back some civics class. This is more than the US Govt kind of class that just analyzes the govt and its history. These classes taught people what their part is in maintaining a civil society. A good curriculum in logic should be required too; otherwise you don't have a chance against the sly and just silly fallacies put forth by the pols and many reporters and talk hosts - whatever their bias. I just read and could recommend "How to Win Every Argument" by Madsen Pirie. Middle & HS logic ought to be part of an integrated curiculum - it touches on math, science, English, and social studies. Then we could develop a generation with a higher level of civil discourse - and probably a better quality of life.

  4. Bruce-- One of the best, if not the best, pieces you've written. Personally, I'd like to add the Financial Barons to the moron detector, not just because they practically destoyed the world's financial system (that has to count as moronic), but also because they "convinced" someone to give them the H1N1 vaccine before the people who really need it were able to get it at all. Like me.

    But, David, you query, you work for a hospital; aren't you high on the list since you are around the people who are really so sick with H1N1 they have to be hospitalized?

    "Yes, Boots, I do, indeed," I answer. But actually getting the vaccine apparently is just plain irrelevant. Procuring enough of the vaccine for the hospital staff has been just damnably maddening. I did get my shot, though. I went to the county health clinic and had nary a problem.

    Perhaps the hospital should change its name to a bank or brokerage house. "Make a deposit with us, and receive as a gift one splenectomy, free of charge. If you would prefer to keep your spleen, we'll give you a half-off coupon on a total knee replacement, good for as long as you keep your account with us."

    I feel better having vented my spleen on that one.

    And how 'bout our Frogs! Its just too bad that Horned Frog is not spelled "Florida" or we really would have a chance for a BCS bowl game.

    Keep working on that moron detector.


  5. Interesting debate. I've thought about it and while I generally agree, I don't think there is any way for everyone to agree on who is not a moron.

    Maybe a more achievable goal might be to only allow people to vote who truly care. You must attend several multi-hour courses that go over basics of government and our history. No tests required, just the will to attend and pay attention. No phones or magazines in class. After completing the third class you are ready to vote.

    That might just do the trick. Anyone who would not go through that for the right to vote doesn't deserve a vote. And I bet that would eliminate 35% of the population.

    And to take it a step further - if you miss a certain number of voting opportunities you have to re-take the class.