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There are very educated people who have very little understanding of the US tax system, including many politicians.
That's exactly the problem that such a requirement would seek to address.
Then why require it to vote? Why not require it as part of the drivers license test? If education is the purpose.
Education isn't the end goal. It's part of the process toward the ultimate goal of voters who know what they are voting for. It doesn't matter if a vote is right/wrong, biased/unbiased, etc.
All that matters is that when someone goes to vote, they know that their President has veto power but can't write the bills. They know what a basic progressive tax system is. They know their rights as an American citizen. I think those are reasonable expectations for voters.
The important thing to remember is this should impact both parties. I'm just as sick of republicans saying "Obama is gonna take the guns away" as I am of democrats who don't understand the fiscal policy they voted for with Obama. Obama can't take your guns away. He doesn't have that power. Only Congress can do that. I'm a huge supporter of gun rights, but while everyone else panics I'm completely calm because I actually understand how the three branches work. That should be a minimum expectation.
I think most people just give the top man credit/blame.
Every person has a right to cast a vote, even an ignorant vote. I understand the premise of this thread and I agree that too many people are uninformed or underinformed. But the government can't really set a standard for minimum information level in order to vote. The rest is supposed to be up to private citizens, the media, non-profits, and the candidates themselves. More people need to depend on sources like Politifact and the media needs to do more fact checking (and less "here's what Bob in Cincinnati thinks about this issue").
The problem with ignorant voters is that the media basically controls them. Whatever channel they watch determines who they vote for.
Exactly. Fox News watchers hear Obama is going to take their guns and people who watch other media outlets hear that every issue can be blamed on the House Republicans.
I agree completely. The problem is that much of the media coverage is "Here's what that dude said. Others disagree. Let's go to the Tweets to see what viewers think." Then there's the left/right wing editorials that say "Here's what that dude said. It's a massive conspiracy and you should be outraged!!" That's all useless. It should be "Here's what that dude said. Here's the reasons why that's bull. The truth is this..."
But see this goes back to the main point here. Allowing the ignorant to vote, is actually giving the media and whoever controls them power over the entire country.
Me and you may see things entirely different and may not agree on a damn thing. But we are aware of what is going on, and how the system operates. Even if we reach different conclusions there are informed. Most of the country couldn't name the Secretary of State, and many probably don't even know what he does. Yet we are allowing them to make choices for the country. Choices that are entirely influenced by the media they take, or what the most people around them are doing.
It doesn't even have to be news, it can be several types of media. This is why politicians are being look at in the same light as celebrities, getting elected based off of looks etc.
It's why slogans, and sound-bytes, and repeating the same nonsensical garbage over and over again no matter how erroneous actually works.
This is a major problem, and is very bad news for the country. We have to do something about this. And barring clueless people from the polls would be helpful. If they want to live a life of blissful ignorance that's fine, but they shouldn't be allowed to make decisions for the rest of either.
I agree with all this, but the government can't "do something" other than providing avenues for people to get educated if they choose. Ignorant voting has been an American tradition for a long time. ("I shall vote for this fellow, for I have heard tale of his humble background being born in a log cabin and drinking whiskey.")
But it's ridiculous. Why are we letting people who might watch two hours of news in four years, all of a sudden act like they give a crap? This is a terrible idea.
What can we do that wouldn't violate individuals' right to vote? My contention is that we can't do anything. Suggestions?
If we can bar felons, why not stupid.
Who determines what qualifies as "stupid"?
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You should prepare yourself to live with the consequences of your decisions, whatever they may be.
The test. I guess the hard part is determining what goes on the test.
But seems if you can't answer basic questions about the system of government, or basic economic questions you probably shouldn't vote.
This post was edited by TroyTide 16 months ago
There's a big difference between "shouldn't vote" and "are legally not allowed to vote."
Eh - again, really slippery slope. What qualifies as "basic"? What might be basic knowledge for someone with a decent public school education might be advanced learning for someone who went to a terrible school.
Not to mention that there are numerous reasons why people vote. A person may not understand how our bicameral legislature works, but could feel really strongly about some issue. Similarly, a person could be completely ignorant about foreign policy but care about something totally different. Or maybe somebody just finds a particular candidate to be more appealing. (That is one of the inherent downsides of democracy: people are susceptible to persuasion and/or misdirection)
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