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Mon May 23, 2016, 04:32 AM

 

We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate (Washington Post Op-Ed)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/we-must-weed-out-ignorant-americans-from-the-electorate/2016/05/20/f66b3e18-1c7a-11e6-8c7b-6931e66333e7_story.html

Never have so many people with so little knowledge made so many consequential decisions for the rest of us.

A person need only survey the inanity of the ongoing presidential race to comprehend that the most pressing problem facing the nation isnít Big Business, Big Labor, Big Media or even Big Money in politics.

Itís you, the American voter. And by weeding out millions of irresponsible voters who canít be bothered to learn the rudimentary workings of the Constitution, or their preferred candidateís proposals or even their history, we may be able to mitigate the recklessness of the electorate.

No, we shouldnít erect physical barriers to ballot access. Letís purchase more voting machines, hire additional poll workers, streamline the registration process, mail out more ballots for seniors and produce more ďRock the VoteĒ ads imploring apathetic millennials to embrace their civic duty.

At the same time, letís also remember that checking a box for the candidate whose campaign ads you like best is one of the most overrated obligations of the self-governed. If you have no clue what the hell is going on, you also have a civic duty to avoid subjecting the rest of us to your ignorance.

Unfortunately, we canít trust you.

Now, if voting is a consecrated rite of democracy, as liberals often argue, surely society can have certain minimal expectations for those participating. And if citizenship itself is as hallowed as Republicans argue, then surely the prospective voter can be asked to know just as much as the prospective citizen. Letís give voters a test. The citizenship civics test will do just fine.


snip





wow, just wow

57 replies, 4721 views

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate (Washington Post Op-Ed) (Original post)
AntiBank May 2016 OP
Bucky May 2016 #1
sendero May 2016 #2
rjsquirrel May 2016 #3
Bluenorthwest May 2016 #6
rjsquirrel May 2016 #7
Bluenorthwest May 2016 #12
rjsquirrel May 2016 #14
cali May 2016 #9
rjsquirrel May 2016 #13
alarimer May 2016 #15
rjsquirrel May 2016 #17
BillZBubb May 2016 #32
Octafish May 2016 #40
rjsquirrel May 2016 #41
Octafish May 2016 #42
gollygee May 2016 #11
Eleanors38 May 2016 #46
Scootaloo May 2016 #53
n2doc May 2016 #4
bemildred May 2016 #5
CrispyQ May 2016 #34
Bluenorthwest May 2016 #8
gollygee May 2016 #10
Jeffersons Ghost May 2016 #20
alarimer May 2016 #16
ileus May 2016 #18
Jeffersons Ghost May 2016 #19
ileus May 2016 #23
L. Coyote May 2016 #21
YoungDemCA May 2016 #22
Thor_MN May 2016 #45
bravenak May 2016 #52
Javaman May 2016 #24
Shandris May 2016 #25
rock May 2016 #26
jeff47 May 2016 #27
PeteSelman May 2016 #28
latrun May 2016 #29
Iggo May 2016 #30
apnu May 2016 #31
Blue_Tires May 2016 #33
BillZBubb May 2016 #35
gollygee May 2016 #39
elleng May 2016 #36
spin May 2016 #37
AgerolanAmerican May 2016 #54
spin May 2016 #56
pmorlan1 May 2016 #38
Skittles May 2016 #43
liberal_at_heart May 2016 #44
0rganism May 2016 #47
davidn3600 May 2016 #48
Odin2005 May 2016 #49
Ino May 2016 #50
applegrove May 2016 #51
Albertoo May 2016 #55
boobooday May 2016 #57

Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 04:40 AM

1. Yes, weed them out. Cause what else could a newspaper possibly do to make voters smarter?

Geeze. Like amputation for a hangnail.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 04:43 AM

2. Another reason..

... the MSM is totally irrelevant at this point.

Big Labor, are you fucking kidding me?

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 05:33 AM

3. Senior editor at The Federalist

 

Last edited Mon May 23, 2016, 07:51 PM - Edit history (1)

And yet this right wing elitist is saying what I hear many Sanders diehards say, that Hillary voters are dumb or poorly informed or don't know their own interests.

Losing candidates and their supporters often blame voters for being dumb. What they rarely realize is that doing so is one of the best ways to ensure they never ever come around to your side. On the left we have plenty who spin the same condescending nonsense (cough Thomas Frank cough).

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:16 AM

6. Link please because I never, ever believe unsubstatiated accusations.

 

In fact, I highly distrust those who make such smears in response to this sort of crap. This crap, by they way is from the Washington Post, which has lied about Bernie Sanders regularly. 'Those photos are not Bernie Sanders' they falsely claimed in bellowing tones. I don't believe the Post, and I don't believe the rest of the gossip mongering.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:20 AM

7. It's an op Ed

 

Do you know what that means? It's a guest piece, not "by the Post." And the writer is Hess of
The Federalist Society, a far right think tank.



What is it you want a link for? I didn't make any substantive claim other than that both left and right have voices saying voters are stupid.

And voters don't like that.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #7)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:24 AM

12. You offer you own assertion, being a snarky rude poster does not remove the need for you to

 

support your assertions. You smear other people, you get asked to prove your smears. I don't buy into gossip mongered to me.

You smear, but you can't prove that your smears are valid. And that has now been demonstrated, all you have is nasty bluster. It's toxic:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=profile&uid=313560&sub=trans

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #12)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:28 AM

14. What assertion do you mean?

 

Can you be specific?

Also cali calling people snarky and rude is a hoot.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:21 AM

9. Put up or....

 

You are pulling.... out of your......hat

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:27 AM

13. What point do you mean!?

 

I honestly don't understand what you want me to substantiate?

Or I wouls be happy to do so. Do you mean my assertion that Bernie supporters have referred to minority Clinton voters as voting against their own interests or out of ignorance? Bernie himself has said as much (black voters in the south are more "conservative" he said at the last dem
Debate). Such opinions are all over du -- blaming voters for supporting the wrong candidate for their best interests is practically a trope of leftist politics. It is the core argument of T Franks' vastly overrated "Whsts the Matter With Kansas?" book, stupidly treated as serious analysis by Dems for a decade now.

Just tell me what point you need help with here. I'm not being coy. I don't understand your rage.

Edited to add a direct quote from Bernie disparaging southern voters as insufficiently smart enough to vote for him:

"Look, let me acknowledge what is absolutely true. Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the deep South. No question about it. We got murdered there. That is the most conservative part of this great country. Thatís the fact. But you know what? Weíre out of the deep South now. And weíre moving up."

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #13)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:03 AM

15. That quote does not say what you think it does.

He said they didn't vote for him because they are more conservative, not dumber. In any case cherry-picking quotations is a game anyone can play.

I personally don't think Hillary supporters are dumb. I think they are WRONG.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #15)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:16 AM

17. In progressive parlance

 

"More!Conservative" means "dumber."

I can find a million more quotes though. Start with anything idiotic Thomas Frank has written in the lat 10'years. Or read the Bernie butthurt threads around here whenever he loses badly. It's always either a conapiraxy, a fraud, or voters who don't realize Marxism is their friend.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #17)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:58 AM

32. Leave it to squirrel to stand up for conservatives! Birds of a feather and all...

Nice shot at red baiting too. That's pathetic even for you.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #32)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:10 PM

40. rjsquirrel thinks Don Siegelman belongs behind bars.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #40)

Mon May 23, 2016, 06:23 PM

41. Correct. Because he committed a crime

 

And I agree with Sonia Soramayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It's you who has the strange conspiracy beliefs. About this and so much more.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #41)

Mon May 23, 2016, 06:44 PM

42. You can call me crazy or a conspiracy theorist, I don't care.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:24 AM

11. I was thinking it was probably a Republican complaining about how other Republicans are

Voting for Trump.

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:32 PM

46. Stupid oped=Bernie supporters?? "Went to the fights and a hockey game broke out."

 

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Response to rjsquirrel (Reply #3)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:22 PM

53. Funny, considering WaPo has spent a year being the Official Anti-Bernie Newspaper.

 

You know, the news outlet that once ran 16 false anti-Bernie hit pieces in under ten hours?

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 06:23 AM

4. Well if we did that the Republican Party would cease to exist n/t

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 06:30 AM

5. This from the same jerks that want to gut the education system and "privatize" it. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #5)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:00 PM

34. I was going to suggest that maybe we educate them instead of weeding them out. -nt

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:21 AM

8. History repeating itself....this link shows the literacy tests used to prevent African Americans

 

voting in various States:

Voting Rights
Are You "Qualified" to Vote?
Take a "Literacy Test" to Find Out
Literacy Tests & Voter Applications
http://www.crmvet.org/info/lithome.htm

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:22 AM

10. Since the Voting Rights Act has been gutted by the SCOTUS

I imagine we'll read more and more about how we should keep people from voting, with suggestions of how.

A citizenship test. I know literacy tests have been used. Is this a new method or is it re-hashed from Jim Crow days?

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Response to gollygee (Reply #10)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:40 AM

20. This is typical Jim Crow stuff...

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:06 AM

16. Well, then you couldn't vote either, Mr. Op-ed writer.

This is the most elitist thing I've read that wasn't written by David Brooks or George Will.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:18 AM

18. Maybe we should require a minimum of a BA degree to vote.

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Response to ileus (Reply #18)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:37 AM

19. I am listening to PBS radio, right now. It is about racism. Shall we start rechecking other things?

When did women achieve the right to vote? Can we exclude people, who Trump called "Bimbos?"

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #19)

Mon May 23, 2016, 10:05 AM

23. Maybe a woman can't vote if she's married and the male votes.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:50 AM

21. Republicans will be very upset when they are not allowed to vote.

But hey, that's the price of ignorance.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:56 AM

22. "Ignorant people" is code for minorities and the poor

 

Pretty noxious sentiments.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #22)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:18 PM

45. Ignorant people is code for "Anyone who disagrees with me".

 

These days, at least.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #22)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:17 PM

52. I agree

 

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:42 AM

24. what an inane opinion piece...

it's as if the writer believes that the public has "suddenly" become colossally misinformed.

ignorance in politics, the political system, the politicians running and the what it is all based upon is a tried and true tradition of the American population.

are we to suddenly have tests at the polls? or should only land owners or people of a certain economic level be allowed to vote?

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:48 AM

25. That people are reading this and not seeing how fascism has long-ago infiltrated thought...

 

...is something that bothers me quite a bit.

This is why the "Trump is a fascist" thing never sticks. Few care because most people now hate 'the other side' (lol) so much that they're happy to oppress them to 'teach them about how the world works' or 'prevent their stupidity'.

It's like a life-long game of kindergarten dodgeball, only the teachers are robbing the rest of the world while the kids play at 'control'.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:53 AM

26. Oh no you don't

I'm wise to that game. As Asimov said, "We'd be the ones selected!" (I believe he was talking about choosing the slaves and the masters.)

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:54 AM

27. Golly, if only they had something they could use to inform the voters

about candidate's positions or the rest of their complaints.

But they only run a newspaper.

Now, on to the 5000 word article on which candidates you want to have a beer with.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:54 AM

28. Four fifths of the people who vote would be eliminated.

Nearly all of the Republicans and most of the Democrats would be ineligible.

There's a reason the founders didn't want mob rule.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:55 AM

29. So typical a discussion

Thomas Frank would say this thread is typical of the Democratic and progressive drift in politics wherein all the replies are expert technicians and the people are basically ignorant. What does "We, the People..........." mean anymore?

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:55 AM

30. Or, you know, educate them. (n/t)

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:55 AM

31. 'weed out'?! what a bad choice of words WaPo!

We don't need to and should not weed anybody out. What "we" need to do is educate people!

Education cures almost all of our political, economic, and social ills.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:58 AM

33. But if we did that, only I would be allowed to vote...

Not that I'm complaining...

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:02 PM

35. Typical elitist crap. The voters make far fewer mistakes than the politicians.

How about instead we test all the politicians AND pundits? Then the people would get a real choice between reasonable options.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #35)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:09 PM

39. That's often true

The people who are going to be affected by issues often have a more intuitive, and accurate, response to them than the people who have looked at them only in a theoretical or studied way.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:02 PM

36. By David Harsanyi May 20 David Harsanyi is a senior editor at the Federalist.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:07 PM

37. One of the most important items for a well functioning representative democracy...

is a well educated electorate.

It does seem to me that the quality of our educational system has deteriorated over the years.



Once my son in law asked five high school students we knew to list in proper order WWI. WWII, the War 0f 1812, the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. Only one knew the proper order.

One of the most prophetic movies I have watched in recent years was Idiocracy. The film portrayed a society 500 years in the future but might have been more realistic if it had been only 50 years from now.

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Response to spin (Reply #37)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:27 PM

54. The problem with leaving education to the government

 

is that a government owned in whole by an oligarchy doesn't want educated people - it wants worker drones

"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is" - Isaac Asimov

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Response to AgerolanAmerican (Reply #54)

Tue May 24, 2016, 12:49 AM

56. A well educated electorate poses a risk in an oligarchy. ...

If the voters become wise to the fact that the rich run the government they might attempt to alter the system so that the rich are no longer in charge.

Perhaps in the end there might be a strong middle class that could start new businesses that might replace old established ones.

Perhaps the voters might elect representatives who would actually create a single payer medical system like so many other developed nations have and are happy with.

Perhaps this middle class and even the poor might have access to state sponsored quality college education that would be free or actually affordable. That might erode the advantages of being a child of an wealthy family.

Perhaps instead of fighting all over the world to overthrow dictators and impose on unprepared nations American style "democracy" our military would only be used when absolutely necessary. That might curtail profits for the military industrial complex.

Returning to a well functioning representative democracy (where elected representatives represent the voters) might upset the apple cart for the oligarchs and their lackeys. You can bet the oligarchs will do everything in their power to prevent that from ever happening.






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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 12:09 PM

38. Let's Start With the Editorial Page Members

at the Washington Post. They obviously are totally ignorant about this issue. If we could get rid of snobby elitists like them in all of our media maybe we could begin to have an informed citizenry.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:13 PM

43. LOL, if they had such a test, 95% of repukes would fail it

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:15 PM

44. WTF? I know we're not a democracy anymore but this is taking it way too far.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:34 PM

47. comes off as "crass elitism"

(from the op-ed)
"Now, some of you will accuse me of peddling crass elitism."

indeed i will. fuck you sir, fuck you very much. "weed out ignorant Americans"? how about "educate the American electorate" instead?

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 07:53 PM

48. Elitism at its finest

 

Only the "smart" people should vote.

Seems some have lost the sense of what democracy really means.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 09:08 PM

49. Sadly, some of the more economically privilaged posters here agree with such sentiment.

Look at how us poor rural folks are continuously mocked and made the butt of jokes, called "dumb rednecks" and "stupid, gun-toting hicks".

As far as I'm concerned there is very little difference to me between the Latte Liberals and the Country Club Republicans.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:12 PM

50. They can start by weeding out Jonathan Capehart (nt)

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:15 PM

51. Cause it worked so well in the south

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 11:31 PM

55. Gee, 40 answers+, and nobody mentioned the writer 'might' have been having a bit of fun?

 

The writer is just toying with the idea that in Athenian democracy, citizens (beyond being males of wealth) had to prove worthy.

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Response to AntiBank (Original post)

Tue May 24, 2016, 06:34 AM

57. God forbid we should combat ignorance

Instead of disenfranchising people.

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