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The W - Current Events & Politics - Andy Rooney tells stupid people NOT to vote.
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Cerebus
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Since: 17.11.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.74
..and I gotta agree with him for once.

Last night, did anyone else here watch 60 Minutes?

Andy Rooney, god bless his aging, decrepit soul, said he didn't want 'stupid people' to vote. He also said he wanted people who read the newspaper daily AND who can name both of their senators to vote. He said he didn't want stupid people to cancel out his vote.

Am I just getting old, why the hell am I agreeing with the man...



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Since: 1.8.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
I couldn't agree with him any more, actually.

One thing I can't stand is people who vote, and have no idea why they are voting for who they are.

I have gotten flack for this before, but I really do think that there should be some sort of test before you are allowed to vote, or something. Yeah, "everyone has the right to vote" according to the constitution, but for something as important as running the government, you should be making your decisions on something much more than "X Sucks" or "so and so said X is a racist" or "I am a ____, so I will only vote _____"

If you can't see past all of the campaign BS and look at what is really going on in government, you shouldn't be voting.

So please - stupid people SHOULD find something else to do on election day. It is better for the nation...



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Since: 20.6.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.99
Ah! You would THINK that eliminating the stupid from the voting process would be a good idea.

However, if any group of people (even if they ARE stupid) are eliminated from the electoral process, then that doesn't leave much of a democracy, now does it?




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Since: 1.8.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
Its really not as black and white as all of that...

I mean, certain jobs require a degree of qualification. I would imagine that selecting the leaders of your government, and casting a vote about ballot propositions is something of pretty steep importance.

"Everyone having the right to vote" is a lofty ideal. But impractical when you think about it. Look at the some of the boneheads who get elected to office. Look at all of the things that really NEED to be accomplished, but those in office count on people being too stupid to realize that their "solutions" are nothing more than window dressing to a problem.

I am not saying we go to a dictatorship - I do agree that the people having no rights is bad. But it is not evil to suggest that sometimes, the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction. Sure, I think everyone should have the right to vote. If they can pass a test.

You wouldn't trust someone who couldn't make change for a $20 to run your cash register, why should you trust someone who can't even tell you the name of the current vice president to cast a vote in an election? And forget about local issues - 99% of the people I know of who vote have no clue who they are voting for in local races... If you can't bother to be informed about what you are voting on, why should your opinion be taken seriously?

I think Hannity has nailed it perfectly when he does his man on the street thing. You ask someone who they are voting for "John Kerry!" You ask them to name one thing he has voted for that you support, and you get - "uuuhhhh..... I don't know!" I KNOW there are people like that on my side of the aisle. That is just wrong. Why vote for someone you know NOTHING about?

It is still a democracy the way I would see it. Well, still a Democratic Republic. And if one of the "stupid" would care to bone up and become knowledgeable about the things they are voting on, then sure, let them vote. I just don't see why it has to be "all or nothing." It is still Democracy - it is just a way of adding a safeguard to make certain people are actually voting on an issue, and not just "fillin in bubbles."

(edited by Pool-Boy on 27.9.04 1503)


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Since: 7.1.04

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.74
This is along the lines of Billy Martin's suggestion as to how to shorten baseball games - eliminate the bad calls by the officials.

Stoopid people are part of the electorate, and some folks are paid good money to influence the sheep. Besides, there is not too much difference between the candidates who have a chance to win.

Instead of keeping people out of the electorate, why not get more people to actually go vote? The low turnout is a disgrace - too many potential voters just don't care about the process or candidates.
Cerebus
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Since: 17.11.02

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.74
Upon reflection, there's another thing he mentioned that really struck a chord with me.

He mentioned how different companies were getting behind registering people to vote, like MTV's Rock The Vote. Sadly, WWE's Smackdown Your Vote wasn't mentioned, but having gone to too numerous live wrestling shows and from watching current MTV programming... I REALLY don't want these people deciding who should be President either.

Seriously, just because you have a right to vote, doesn't mean you SHOULD vote.

Cause: I can't spell.

(edited by Cerebus on 27.9.04 1914)


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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.46
it makes sense but it is undemocratic. you have to consider where the line gets drawn on "stupid people". i mean what if it was decided only people with mensa level intelligence could vote, then what? its frustrating to talk to people who know and care very little about politics but they should have the right to vote, its the american way.

on a side note about companies getting behind people i saw today that taco bell wants me to vote and can register me from their website, whats that about?
Roy.
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Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.56
My problem with the groups and companies telling me to go vote is that they all have an agenda. They all say "go vote" but they all also make it pretty clear that you should vote for Bush or Kerry.

There's also the insidious advertising that goes on. Taco Bell wants me to vote and then buy a burrito. Smackdown Your Vote? WWE advertising, plain and simple. And I found it odd that I was agreeing with Andy Rooney, of all people.

(edited by Roy. on 27.9.04 1859)
ges7184
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Since: 7.1.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.80
This is probably not as big as a problem as you might think. Most people I know who don't think the political process is important enough to follow the rest of the time don't suddenly decide it's important in early November every 4 years. Keep in mind, most people don't vote period.

I also do think people have a right to determine their own representation based on ANY criteria they want. I mean, they are paying taxes, so I think they earn that right, and if they want to vote based on hair color, sex appeal, whatever, that is their prerogative. I think that is a waste, but I do think that is their right as well. I mean, the person elected is as much their representive as they are mine, so I don't have any more right to set decision criteria than they do.

Anyway, a test would never fly as it would instantly be deemed discriminatory. It doesn't help that the south already tried testing as a means to get around the whole 'blacks have a right to vote' thing, so testing is unconstitutional, you would have to pass an amendment. I would be suspicious of anyone pushing such an amendment.



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Since: 1.2.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37
What pisses me off is people who bitch and complain about the state of things, but won't vote to make a difference. I'm sure it pisses you off, too.



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fuelinjected
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Since: 12.10.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.90
I call bullshit. You could be a rocket scientist and not have given one ounce of thought about who you're going to vote for but you go vote anyways. You're smart, right? You're brilliant but the political process has never interested you for whatever reason.

Maybe we should safeguard the voting process not to allow women to vote again? I mean, why should women have the right to vote? They don't know anything but what their husbands tell them anyways! While we're at it, anyone around the poverty line shouldn't vote either because what are their lazy asses contributing to society anyways?

I'd say that the majority of people who already vote are friggin' morons who vote because of what their daddy drilled into their head since birth. The disenfranchised are probably BETTER voters because they actually be more open minded about the whole thing. And if they're only voting based on one issue that's important to them, that's showing more involvement in the political process then anyone who labels themselves a "Democrat" or a "Republican" (Or a Liberal, PC, NDP, etc homer), IMHO.


    What pisses me off is people who bitch and complain about the state of things, but won't vote to make a difference. I'm sure it pisses you off, too.


Of course but that's a cycle too. I think its obviously left up to the individuals to break it, though. The politicians don't cater to the young voters because they don't vote and the youth doesn't vote because nobody is paying attention to them. It would help if learning about the political system wasn't so discouraged in high school.

(edited by fuelinjected on 27.9.04 1651)


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Since: 3.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.81
I'm sure that if the Founding Fathers didn't want stupid people to vote, they would have set up some sort of voting qualifications from the beginning. Surely they argued over this very issue. Isn't this why State Legislatures used to elect Senators instead of by direct vote?

And how come everyone always assumes the stupid people will cancel out their vote? That assumes that stupid people only vote for the other side. (Well, gee, if they agree with me, they must be smart, right?) There should be enough stupid people voting for each candidate that in the end, they wind up cancelling each other out, leaving the "real" votes to decide who wins. And if not, then maybe we should spend more time making less of the populace stupid and less time complaining about 60 Minutes?



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Since: 7.4.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.37
Since one of the principles this country was founded on was the notion that taxation without representation was tyranny, then those who support the notion that "stupid" people shouldn't be allowed to vote must obviously also believe that "stupid" people should not have to pay taxes (be they local, state, or federal; income, sales, property or estate). After all, to force people to pay taxes without allowing them to vote would be anathema to a representative government. It would be tyrannical. It would be un-American. Quite frankly, it would be stupid. At least, IMHO.




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Since: 2.1.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.27
It must be the libertarian in me, but I can't believe that anyone would actually buy into an idiot like Andy Rooney advocating taking the vote away from people. Leaving aside the fact that the first ones excluded in any sort of poll test would be those whose political viewpoint differed from those who wrote the exam, I have to wonder about the survival chances of our country if only the "intelligent" are allowed to vote. Quite frankly, having spent the better part of the past 10 years in academia, I'd rather rely on the common sense of my mechanic than on the allegedly rational and intelligent decision making of that segment of the intelligent.

"Intelligence" does not guarantee anything other than more elaborate and involved ways of justifying voting yourself bread and circuses while asking the less "intelligent" to pay for your selfishness. Honestly, and I don't mean to offend although I probably will, the only reasons I can see for supporting a statement like this are racism, bigotry, sexism, or some other utterly irrational fear of those who are different than you in some way.

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Since: 9.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.48
Is stupid people that vote really a problem? Is there someone out there who doesnt care about the issues but is taking the time to vote anyway? Considering how many smart people dont vote I cant imagine there would be many "stupid" people lined up at voting booths. Show me someone that voted for something totally superficial like hair color,and Ill be totally shocked. He ought to be asking for all the smart people to get up off their asses and go vote.



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Since: 1.8.02
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.72
For me it is all about knowledge of the process.

I don't care how SMART a person is, per se (I merely was going off the quote), but I do feel a basic understanding of what you are voting on would be preferable than people making voting decisions based on superficial things.

I mean, really, do you want the leader of the country in a time like this to be the one with the best hair?

I am not talking a serious SAT style test, I would picture something like a driver's license test. Questions like "Who is the current Vice President?" and "Name the 3 branches of the federal government" would be the sort of thing I think would be included. Nothing about ideology, nothing about political stances - pure fact based questions regarding the way the government works. Stuff that anyone, with the slightest amount of effort, would be able to learn.

Yes, this is discriminatory, but not in an evil, "racist" way. More along the same lines as "you can't vote until you are 18." We set rules like this all the time. 16 year olds can't vote because we as a society have decided that they are not yet ready for that responsibility. We have discriminated against them.

Discrimination based on things like sex and skin color is wrong. I am not suggesting anything like that. Why is it so wrong to suggest that people should be expected to know a few basic items before being trusted with a vote? It isn't "taxation without representation," anyone can vote, just pass the damned test.

I can well appreciate anyone who is opposed to the idea, but to liken it to a form of racism is a bit sensational. I think the Founding Fathers did a fairly good job with forming our style of government, but they didn't get it perfect. They knew it, that is why they designed it so that it can be improved. Correct me if I am wrong, but initially, wasn't it a requirement that you own land to be able to vote? I know blacks were not allowed to vote, at first, nor were women.

Their qualifications were way wrong, but they seemed to believe that there was a portion of the population that were not responsible enough to handle the duty of voting. Their solution was extremely racist and sexist, but that doesn't mean the problem they tried to address wasn't real.

If not a "test," then what? The system we have now is clearly far from perfect. We can't grow and improve as a culture if we look at our government and say "system is as good as it can possibly be - if you disagree, you are racist."







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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.07
Americans are free to be as knowledgable or ignorant as they want to be. As they should be. Full stop.

Geniuses who worry (and they tend to worry aloud) about, say, ten stupid voters tipping the scales... you'll find that most of the time they're ALSO too lazy to bother with any attempts to persuasively sway at least five -- or even one -- of those people. And who can blame them? It's sooooo much easier to complain about the process than to engage and get involved!



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Since: 2.1.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.27
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    For me it is all about knowledge of the process.
    I don't care how SMART a person is, per se (I merely was going off the quote), but I do feel a basic understanding of what you are voting on would be preferable than people making voting decisions based on superficial things.
    I mean, really, do you want the leader of the country in a time like this to be the one with the best hair?
    I am not talking a serious SAT style test, I would picture something like a driver's license test. Questions like "Who is the current Vice President?" and "Name the 3 branches of the federal government" would be the sort of thing I think would be included. Nothing about ideology, nothing about political stances - pure fact based questions regarding the way the government works. Stuff that anyone, with the slightest amount of effort, would be able to learn.


Cool, so you've got no problem with my 7 year old daughter voting? Given the criteria you've established, I'm certain that she and most of the other children in her class who just finished a unit on civics could pass this test and would be eligible under the intelligence section of your proposal. Now that you've moved the terms of the argument from intelligence to memory, I still find it problematic that you would want to argue that memory is an essential characteristic of the ideal voter. Knowing the process does not mean that you will be any better at knowing or understanding the issues.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    Yes, this is discriminatory, but not in an evil, "racist" way. More along the same lines as "you can't vote until you are 18." We set rules like this all the time. 16 year olds can't vote because we as a society have decided that they are not yet ready for that responsibility. We have discriminated against them.

    Discrimination based on things like sex and skin color is wrong. I am not suggesting anything like that. Why is it so wrong to suggest that people should be expected to know a few basic items before being trusted with a vote? It isn't "taxation without representation," anyone can vote, just pass the damned test.


Again, what does passing a test like this prove? Nothing, other than the well known fact that some people can memorize better than others. And, as soon as you begin testing things that do matter, like candidate's stands on issues or ballot proposals, ideology rears it's ugly head and we end up with subjective decisions about who is eligible to vote.


    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I can well appreciate anyone who is opposed to the idea, but to liken it to a form of racism is a bit sensational.


Why? You're saying that there are certain people who meet the basic criteria to vote who are less equal than other citizens based on some really arbitrary standards. One of the reasons that we changed the qualifications for the vote was because those provided by the founding fathers were racist and misogynistic. Now, you seem to be substituting one form of bigotry for another when you start arguing that there should be a special class of sub-citizens who need the paternal and guiding hand of those who are better than them to make decisions for and about them. I don't see it as sensational to compare the position you're espousing to racism when the arguments you are making are directly comparable to those made by many racists.


    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I think the Founding Fathers did a fairly good job with forming our style of government, but they didn't get it perfect. They knew it, that is why they designed it so that it can be improved. Correct me if I am wrong, but initially, wasn't it a requirement that you own land to be able to vote? I know blacks were not allowed to vote, at first, nor were women.
    Their qualifications were way wrong, but they seemed to believe that there was a portion of the population that were not responsible enough to handle the duty of voting. Their solution was extremely racist and sexist, but that doesn't mean the problem they tried to address wasn't real.


Actually, the qualifications you mention had almost everything to do with class and very little to do with responsibility, race, or gender. Race and gender weren't a problem because it was universally understood that only white men were people. Other races and genders were less. The reason for the property qualification was to perpetuate the dominance of the landed aristocracy over the growing mercantile middle class, not to disenfranchise the unfranchisable women and slaves.

    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    If not a "test," then what? The system we have now is clearly far from perfect. We can't grow and improve as a culture if we look at our government and say "system is as good as it can possibly be - if you disagree, you are racist."


I don't know that we need change in the way you suggest. It's not perfect, but I think the problem is lack of informed participation, not how we can limit participation even more than it already is. I don't believe that I ever said that the "system is as good as it can possibly be" because I firmly believe that there are systemic participation problems as well as systemic issues with candidate selection and presentation at the national level. As for the middle part of your "quote", I'm certain that I never suggested that disagreement about real systemic problems was problematic or wrong or racist.

So, that leaves the last part of your statement. What do you call a position that argues that there are people who are less equal, who need guidance from their betters, are incapable of making important decisions regarding their representatives, and are to be disenfranchised based on nothing more than a test? It may not be racism or sexism, but it's certainly analogous. More than that, I see it as a morally and ethically indefensible position. Age is a criteria that has a definite end that is coincidental with the legal assumption of adulthood. Most of the other reasons for not being able to vote involve issues of personal choice; felony convictions, dishonorable discharge, loss of citizenship, etc.. What you are arguing for removes the franchise from a select class with no real benefit to those who retain the franchise and the possibility of immense damage to those who've lost the franchise, unless you think the electorate is far more altruistic and less self centered than we've proved ourselves to be.

Tim



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Since: 17.2.04
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.63
I'll make it simple. No. Do I like that uninformed people make decisions as to who leads them? I don't like it. But you could make an effort to educate them, and maybe if elections weren't made up of fact schewing sound bites it wouldn't be so much a problem.

Oh well. Let the masses vote, it's their right. And the right is far more important than the people it is gifted to.




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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
Yeah, I agree with Andy - Stupid people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Or People who don't own land. Or black or Brown or yellow people. Or women.

Geeze, Andy, move into the 19th century, for cryin' out loud. Some "stupid people" know more about politics and current event than any "smart people." Just like I never, ever, read a newspaper.

It's called the internet, Andy.



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