Should everyone vote?
Going out on a limb here, but, I have always been of the (somewhat unpopular) opinion, that not everyone should vote. Some think it is the right of every adult, U.S. citizen. Some think it is an obligation of every adult, U.S. Citizen.
True rights and true obligations, come from God, not from documents written by governments made of men. However, dispensing with this technical opinion of mine, I am saying that I do not believe that being an adult, U.S. citizen, should be enough of a qualification to vote. The voting should be a privilege, not a legal right. Actually, I think it might be a privilege already. As far as I know, felons are not supposed to be voting, so it seems to me that if that has been taken from them, we already recognize voting as a revocable privilege.
I think there is a reason, that we have a minimum voting age, and I suspect that the reason for this, is because we deem children to have insufficient knowledge and wisdom to take part in deciding policies for the country. Let's face it, children could conceivably vote to have candy bars and soft drinks everyday as a public school provided lunch.
If we recognize that children may not be the best mentally equipped people to take part in deciding matters of government, then why does that same concern NOT extend to adults? Does it really make sense, that people with and I.Q. of 40, should vote? Do we really want people, who do not understand or know, history, economics, germ theory etc, deciding matters like what form of government we should have, what manner of economic policies we should employ, or the types of things that the Center for Disease Control should be concerned with?
Supposedly rational, educated adults (the people in charge now) don't do that well of a job at these things, so maybe it would not hurt that much, but I prefer not to risk it. I believe there was a time, when only white, male, property owners could vote in this country. While I would not want to go back to that situation, I think in principle, there is wisdom in NOT having a one person, one vote policy.
For example, if it comes to the place where the impoverished in this country, significantly outnumber those financially better off, should we not expect that someday, the poor will rise up, and demand that their representatives tax the rich, confiscate their bank accounts, retirements, etc, in order to make the lives of the poor more pleasant?
Charity is a good thing, and should be encouraged, but the confiscation of property without an owners permission, is called theft. It would not be all bad, for the government to tax the rich to provide for the poor, after all, there could be a benefit to some in doing that. However, if such things are not done sensibly, then eventually, the rich will no longer be able to pay taxes themselves, and will not be building the businesses that keep people employed.
The founders of the constitution, were pretty smart fellows. They understood that people need to be protected from their government. When the people are not familiar with history, and the contents and purposes of the constitution, then they will undo it's benefits eventually, and repeat the mistakes of the past.
I am 64 years old, chances are I will not live long enough to see this country unraveled, but my children may. I hope they do not, but it seems to me as if, the U.S. is peculiarly missing from note in Bible prophecy. My suspicion is, that this is because in the future, the U.S. will be a minor player in terms of military might, economic solvency, and social influence in the world. I do not think that there is anything that is to be done to prevent that. I have no reason to really think that it needs to be, or should be prevented. However, I do think that it is a good thing, if citizens do what they can to do good at home and abroad.
It is my opinion, that responsible voting is part of that. I also believe that responsible voting, requires responsible voters. Voters should not be only interested in their personal welfare, but in the welfare of their neighbors. By neighbors, I mean everyone other than themselves.
When we naturalize a person of foreign birth, to become a U.S. citizen, we expect them to know a few things about what is to be their new country. I just took a test online, of sample questions, the sort of questions asked of those who desire to be U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens, have the right to vote in our elections. Does it make sense, that we allow people of U.S. birth, to vote in elections, who do not possess knowledge that we require of immigrants before we let them vote? Personally, I do not think it does.
The test I took, was at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0104/Could-you-pass-a-US-citizenship-test/Who-signs-bills/ .
When I finished, I saw this:
I am certainly no genius politically nor historically. I don't think public education was all that good when I was going to school. I suspect though, that it has become much worse, and I have to wonder if our current average citizen, could achieve the 58% percent expected of them on these tests. I think as Christians, we should be able to, but that is just my opinion!