Should Dumb People Be Allowed to Vote?
Not you, of course, you’re fucking brilliant. I mean that idiot you secretly thought of when you read this title.
You know, the person with the different skin color, or gender, or age, or sexual preference, or religion, or education, or t-shirt color than you. The one who is kind of annoying whenever you try to succinctly explain how the world works. Yeah, should that dumbass really be allowed to vote?
Look at what just happened in England. If we let them, dumb people might cause a disaster for America in November. Shouldn’t we stop them?!?!
We don’t let people drive a car if they prove too much of a moron to pass the test. We don’t let any intellectually-challenged person off the street watch our kids or our pets, right? From as soon as children start to walk, our educational system brackets them into dumber and smarter, tries to separate the chalk-eating kids from the ones who are actually reading and counting, so dumb must be a real thing.
After the historic Brexit vote for England to leave the EU was cast Thursday night, Google reported a surge of Britons searching phrases such as, “what is the EU?” The basic implication is that the vote to leave was largely won by people who voted without really knowing what they were doing, just swayed by two-second sound bites and catchy phrases that appealed to their worst fears or wildest hopes. Sound familiar?
Maybe you’re thinking of your friend that keeps repeating the phrase, “Make America Great Again,” yet never bothers to define what “great” means. Or maybe someone who kept tearfully whispering “Hope and Change” the past several years, even as we watched pretty much nothing change, and the world arguably become a much less hopeful place.
That’s right; there are dumbasses on both sides of the political fence. They’re the ones that don’t really think about anything deeply or objectively, but are quick to slap on their political button or colored t-shirt. They buy into the belief that somehow only two political choices can encapsulate the will of over 320 million people spread over 50 states, with 320 million different lives and experiences.
Those dummies vote based on either ridiculously simplified answers to the most complex problems in the world, utter self-interest, or even worse, for their ego. They don’t bother to try to understand the issues from all sides, but vote with loyalty for a particular party in hopes that people will perceive them as smart, or strong, or moral, or loving, etc… etc.
The dumb people vote regardless of the woeful results both the Democrats and Republicans have provided for most of all our lifetimes, and continue to insist that the chalk-eaters from elementary school are entirely, and only, on the other side.
Only problem though, maybe the chalk-eaters in elementary school actually had a calcium deficiency. Maybe some people who didn’t get as high of a grade as you on a certain math test did so, not because they were stupid, but because they were a creative genius, their brains flooded with a wealth of quantum brilliance from the universe that your simple mind could never comprehend.
Maybe that person with the different skin color, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, or t-shirt color than you has faced entirely different challenges in their lives, and if you had walked in their shoes you would think the same things as they do. And maybe, when they read the title of this article, the dumb person they thought of was you.
Socrates, arguably one of the smartest people to ever live, said, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” If we apply Socrates’ test for wisdom to ourselves going forward, I wonder how our upcoming election would turn out, if the increasing hostility gripping the country would start to resolve?
For what if the biggest threat to our peace and cohesion this coming November is the hubris of thinking we understand all the issues for everyone in this vast country. Instead of trying to explain to others why our side is correct, or why our blue or red t-shirt is the better color, imagine if each of us tried asking someone on the other side what they would actually like the country to look like going forward, and tried to find similarities. If we tried, without judgment, to find the good core at the reason they are considering voting they way they are, and tried to emphasize common ground and compromises.
If we don’t, America could be facing a disastrous conclusion this fall which will make the Brexit vote look like child’s play. Granted, it’s much easier to repeat catch-phrases and just choose either a red or blue t-shirt to feel accepted with all your friends, than actually give people with different views the benefit of the doubt and engage them in respectful conversation. Every time you do that though, it actually makes you the dummy.
Every time you buy into a Republican versus Democrat argument, every time you support the notion of left versus right, us versus them, you’re actually the one who is wrong. Life’s more complicated than red versus blue, and on some level you know that, that the two-party system is deeply flawed, and our time is running out to move past it.
Or maybe, if you still buy into it, you’re just the one who shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
But what do I know, I’m an idiot.
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