Monday, October 13, 2008

Restrictions on Voting?

I received an email today from my dear friend Zach, with a link to this video. It's basically a puff piece from 20/20 illustrating why many of today's youth shouldn't be voting.

In the same email was this response - a parity for sure - but still rather negative and the subject is more a refutation of the video above than a logical argument about why everyone should indeed be encouraged to vote.

The 20/20 video blatantly suggests that voters who don't know enough about the way the political system works should stay home on election night. It's degrading the value of the "naive" voter...a voter who still believes in their country even though they don't understand the inner workings. It insinuates that if someone doesn't understand politics, they can't possibly have a credible opinion as to who should be leading the country.

In the video, someone likens uninformed citizens voting to uninformed friends giving medical advice. In my opinion, that comparison should be made about giving advice on choosing a doctor. We aren't going to be performing the surgery ourselves, we're merely helping to decide who we trust to do it.

Do I think that the country would be better off if everyone who voted took the time to familiarize themselves with the issues at hand before they cast their ballot? Absolutely. But elections are about choosing someone to represent *YOU* and your beliefs. In this country, you're entitled to believe whatever you want to believe, no matter what your level of education. If you want to write in Santa for president, go ahead. Sometimes it's the believers who get the most done.

In conclusion, democracy works best when it remains democratic.

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