Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Obama's Farewell and My Suffrage Plan

The President's Farewell Address

Overall, I enjoyed Barack Hussein Obama's inspiring, emotional farewell address to Congress and the nation tonight.  I enjoyed his recounting of accomplishments and encouragement to others to participate in government.  Overall, I liked the speech and feel grateful to have heard it.

Obama has set an admirable standard for public manners, decorum, and humor that people of all races throughout the USA should aspire to match in their personal comportment.

I did not like his divisive references such as to the impoverished fighting for scraps while the rich wallow in money, as though government owes a better living to the impoverished without imposing any requirements upon them to demonstrate responsibility.

I did not like his reference to our nation/government as a "democracy," which I consider a vile justification for "mob rule."  I would have preferred to hear him refer to our "REPUBLIC" instead.

And I did not like his assertion that everyone should have a right to vote because he did not condition voting rights upon demonstrable responsibility.

Responsibility and Sound Suffrage

In the early days of the nation, states allowed only free white propertied men over 21 to vote. 

That was a responsibility test.  Being white was luck of the draw, but in those days most people were white and non-whites were  slaves, Indians, or Mestizos generally considered irresponsible.  Anybody who owned land or had disposable gold or silver was ipso facto responsible.  Anybody over 21 had already been working for a living or engaged in military service for several years, another element of demonstrable responsibility.   Such people had something to LOSE if government employees behaved badly.  So they could be trusted to vote wisely.

Nowadays, government lets all kinds of relatively irresponsible people vote, including  the abysmally stupid, drug and alcohol addicts, people on welfare, stay-at-home women who have no interest in government, homeless people, hopelessly indebted people, and in some areas even felons and aliens.  That is, simply, INSANE, that is what Obama wants and always wanted (so such fools would vote tax-and-spend Democrats into office), and it must change. 

The POINT.  While everyone should have some say in government, only responsible voters should sway elections.  In a related family paradigm, wise parents let children participate in the decisions of family government, but children never win when the parents' wisdom opposes them.  Children might vote for the kids to go for a joy ride in the car, but wise parents will override them and say NO, and then explain why.  That is one way parents can teach children their wisdom.

Limit Suffrage while Everybody Votes

I recoiled at the President's declaration that everyone should vote because I know that is idiotic, unless the President wants an irresponsible electorate. 

Nevertherless, I concluded that my general call for massive changes to the Constitution to limit suffrage to the responsible goes a bit overboard and ignores a fundamental truth.  People tend to care about what they have a hand in supporting and running.  Participation in government lets the stupid and criminal behave irresponsibly through their votes.  But when they have no say at all, they reason that they might as well hate and actually attack government and its ideals to get their fair share.

Therefore, I have decided to modify my call for denying suffrage to the irresponsible into a call to give limited suffrage to the irresponsible, sufficient for them to know they have a say in government, but not sufficient for them to overwhelm responsible people as they become an ever larger percentage of the population. 

I want the suffrage system to encourage people to become more responsible so that they might have more influence on government through their votes.

Thus, I recommend a system of scaled voting rights. 

Scaled Voting Rights

The least responsible and most ignorant should have the right to cast a minuscule percentage of a vote.  The most responsible and best educated should have the right to cast multiple votes or voluntarily to cast fewer votes or split his votes to cast some for one candidate or issue, and some for an opposing candidate or issue. 

A suffrage commission should study and set the scale and percentages for each level of voting rights, and establish a means of testing citizens to determine which level of voting rights they possess, and a means by which people can get a higher voting percentage by becoming better educated and demonstrating greater responsibility or by which people get lower voting rights by demonstrating less responsibility or failing to get high marks on knowledge tests. 

The most important test of knowledge should deal with the constitutions of the US and the State of domicile, followed by formal education, apprenticeships, work experience, and ad hoc education.  Since most issues upon which people vote have to do with government and civilization, people with the best educations in the ideals of good republican government and of advancement of civilization should have better voting rights.

Yes, many fights will break out over what advances and what retards civilization and what improves and what worsens government, but so what?  It needs to happen. 

Right now we have pathetic standards for voting rights. One must be a US or State citizen in most jurisdictions to vote, and must not be a felon to vote in most jurisdictions, and must not have been adjudged insane, and must be over age 18.  In time, the irresponsible will become the majority of voters, judging from immigration and procreation statistics.  We need to stiffen the suffrage standards with the scaling system.

Examples of Scaling

Here are some examples of scaling voting rights according to education alone:

  1. Minimum voting age to exercise one full right to vote should become 25 years of age, the age at which the brain becomes fully developed, and also the age by which most people will have had experience in work or military to give them some reasonable nexus to society and to government as a responsibility-bearing citizen.  Prior to that, people are too immature to take voting as seriously as a responsibility to provoke them to study the issues and Constitution and candidates.  
  2. To exercise one full right to vote one must have obtained a high school diploma with a minimum passing grade of C (70% or 2.80).  Citizens can pay for a retraining course and retake the tests to obtain higher grades and increase voting rights. 
  3. Obtaining an Associates degree would increase voting right to by .25,
  4. Bachelor's degree would increase by an additional .25,
  5. Master's degree an additional .25, and
  6. PhD, MD or equivalent an additional .25 vote.
  7. MD internship completion would add .25 vote
  8. Apprenticeship completion would add .1 vote

Instead of the above percentages of a vote added to voting rights, the single vote could be scaled down or up by a percentage factor based on marriage, legal separation, divorce, arrests, convictions, sentences, behavior in prison/jail, behavior in schools, going on or off of welfare, becoming indebted for luxuries, paying off debts, traffic and other accidents, drug and alcohol and gambling addictions, mental incompetence, being diagnosed with a mind-deficient condition (including depression), savings, investments, growth of savings and investments, constitution competence testing results, completion of marriage training, out of wedlock pregnancies, accidental pregnancies, academic performance of a voter's school age children, acts of heroism, military service including awards and type of discharge, and employment and social commendations.

Think Before You Slap

Before you slap your forehead and slam your fist on the table in outrage over my suggestion, consider that the founders of our nation gave voting rights based on DEMONSTRATIVE responsibility, and I merely recommend re-instituting, improving, and refining that tried-and-true requirement with the aid of computer technology that can track all of the above qualities of responsible citizenship. 

Remember that the electorate must improve in order for government to improve.  The scaled system rewards and encourages responsibility, competence, success, prosperity, education, wise handling of money, proper rearing of children, etc.  It improves the electorate while granting irresponsible a measure of limited opportunity to influence government, and it will thereby improve government.

Feel free to send me your comments or post them on my blog.  If you agree with the scaled suffrage system, propose it to your legislators.

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Bob Hurt
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