27 September, 2006

I Am An Elitist Snotface

Is this a good idea? Do we truly want to encourage Bram666, Vampire In Training to vote?

I'm so torn between the philosophical beauty of a democratic republic and the cold hard reality of letting some people have an equal say in the process.

Ultimately I believe that equality is the essence of Americanism, and that the ability to vote responsibly is the greatest exercise of that equality. But the older I get the more I feel like registering people to vote without giving them any further access to information is like handing out drivers' licenses without a road manual. Or being saved at a Billy Graham crusade. (Oh yes. I went there.) You've given people a first step without follow up. (Now is the time for all of you who've been to a BGCrusade to step in and point out that they now do intensive followup with new converts. This would put my mind at ease.)

We can Rock the Vote, we can Get Out the Vote, we can even MySpace the Vote, I guess. But until we educate the voters I am sorely tempted to view these grassroots efforts as nothing more than a compromisation of every educated, pondered and serious vote out there.

I look forward to all of the comments and emails telling me that I'm wrong.

11 Comments:

At 8:28 AM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Loonytick Skook said...

BGCRusade they always have a big group of volunteers from local churches who are there to talk to people who make a decision, and they encourage them to find churches, etc. So they plug them into a network that's already in place. My mom has volunteered for them before.

How effective that system is depends on the individuals involved-both the volunteer and the person they're helping. But it is there.

 
At 9:08 AM, September 27, 2006, Blogger John H said...

Unless there is a serious amount of money involved, the young whipper-snapper population (under 30) ain't gonna vote as a rule.

Lord knows we tried to motor-voter em', rock em', etc. etc. They just, as a rule, can't be bothered.

Re an informed electorate, John Jay Hooker was almost elected as governor once...I'm not sure that information is always the coin of the voting realm...

 
At 12:22 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

I think some folks might be emphasizing the MySpace aspect a little too much, as though it's users are necessarily idiots, or more idiotic than the general populace. I'm not convinced that the fact of someone being a MySpace user necessarily means that person is less informed that other voters. There are plenty of uninformed and underinformed voters already, and people who vote one way just because Daddy did, and I doubt MySpace is going to make that much worse. I do think it's important to be informed prior to voting, and that pushing the button is a responsibility, but we don't actually require people to have any level of general intelligence or specific political knowledge in order to vote.

FWIW, I'm under 30, I have a MySpace account, and I've voted in every election since I turned 18.

 
At 12:36 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

You're wrong, wrong, wrong...

Ok, now onto my real comments...:)

Like you, I wish that our pouplation would be better informed when it came to voting. I often question why people vote for certain candidates--is it following party lines? It is the one who is best looking? Are they really voting on things that matter?

I did find it funny about getting out the vote....

I was passing the CrazyHorse GoldClub this morning (it's on my way into work...dont' ask) and the sign flashed up you can register to vote there. Yeah, cause when I go to the strip club, my first impulse and thought is--I should really vote...

 
At 1:26 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Yeah. "On your way to work".

I believe that. ;-p

Rachel, I actually have a MySpace account too. (It's cheaper than Classmates.com for catching up with my classmates.)

My main problem isn't really that I think all MySpace users are intellectually bankrupt, although I love to joke about it. My main problem is that if someone doesn't have enough get-up-and-go to register through the long-existing official channels, I don't see why we're catering to their inertia.

 
At 2:08 PM, September 27, 2006, Anonymous Glen Dean said...

You're wrong Katherine. You are not an elitest snotface.

 
At 2:13 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Rachel said...

Kat - I definitely understand that. I suppose the rationale is that so few people vote in general, that the nonvoters should be reached out to where they are. Whether they bother to become informed or not is the problem.

 
At 5:34 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Loonytick Skook said...

Don't forget thought, registering doesn't mean actually voting. I'd think that most people who have to be chased down and convinced to even register aren't going to bother actually going to the polls unless news about a particular race or two catches their attention. I'm actually more worried about the hyper-patriotic types who feel they must vote in EVERY election and can't skip ANY race, even if they have no clue about who is running for what.

 
At 5:44 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger dolphin said...

People who make the effort to stay informed want to vote, but it works the otherway to a degree as well. People who make the effort to vote frequently want to stay informed so that they can feel good about their vote. The more people you get registered to vote, the more informed of a population you should have. Granted not everyone who registers is going to go educate themselves, but some will.

 
At 6:54 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger John H said...

Rachel - you are a clear exception in my world view of whipper snappers. You are wise beyond your years. You, I trust...now all those other 'youts'...i dunno about them

 
At 7:45 PM, September 27, 2006, Blogger Ed Buckby said...

Neh, you're not an elitest or a snotface. I think you reflect what lots of people feel i.e. they spend lots of time examining the issues and the candidates, place their vote, and later found out they were "nullified" by a guy who simply chose the person with the coolest name.

I talk a little about qualifying for voting on my blog. I wrote an article for another blog, and they had a hissy fit. Go figure.

My only beef with it is exactly HOW do we qualify people.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home