Oh come on now, I know voting is an unalienable right for every American citizen. But you know as well as I do that most people don’t even do it. Watch the news; the results are everywhere. Anyway, I got into an involved discussion with a colleague last night about a hypothetical situation: What if everyone who voted had to take a test first, just a test of basic knowledge of political issues, common sense solutions, etc.? Hypothetically, of course. What would happen?
The question arose because both of us know people who should never vote. No, I don’t mean “uninformed” as in those not having the benefit of formal higher education. Some of the smartest people I know don’t. And no, I’m not referring to people who don’t agree with my political views. I'm referring to people who likely can’t read the ballot, let alone understand what’s on it. And we all know people who don’t even care what’s on the ballot. Let me give you a few examples:
I know of a woman who made a point to vote in the last presidential election – for the first time in decades – just to vote against Obama based on his skin color. That was it. The color of his skin. She didn’t know anything about his platform, nothing about his voting record as an Illinois senator. His skin was simply too dark.
A checkout lady at Kroger made a point NOT to vote in the last presidential election because she was having a bad hair day. She had run out of her brand of hairspray and had to use whatever was in the ladies’ room. True story. I’m kind of glad she didn’t make it to the polls.
When I was standing in line waiting my turn to vote in November 2008, I was behind a couple who had hauled all three of their children to the polling place with them. No big deal really, except the parents were both smoking, ashes falling indiscriminately on the oldest kid’s head and into his hoodie. They argued the entire time about who the other was voting for, taking intermittent swats at their little human ashtray, finally agreeing to be happy that each vote would cancel out the other. Uh, OK. The entire time, I was afraid little Junior was going to combust.
A relative of mine voted for Bill Clinton because she thought he and Hilary made a cute couple. Talk about misguided.
You may remember my recent post about the woman dressed in camouflage at the car repair shop. She actually thought Obama and Pelosi were husband and wife. How can you draw breath in this country, walk through a Wal-Mart or order a Happy Meal, and think that? She voted. She said so.
Oh well, the question was only hypothetical. I believe so strongly in the right to vote in this country, the privilege of voting, and I know that everyone 18 and over here legally has that right. Still - makes you think, doesn’t it?