Should We Require Intelligence of Voters?
Paul Whitfield of the Los Angeles Times thinks some people are too stupid to be allowed to vote. Specifically, he thinks that anyone who believes that President Obama is a Muslim is too stupid to be allowed to vote:
Forget voter ID laws. What this country needs are laws to keep stupid people from voting.
Now, I’m not talking about folks who can’t recite the preamble to the Constitution, or who can’t tell you what the 1st Amendment covers, or how many Supreme Court justices there are. I’ll even exempt those poor souls who don’t know who the first president was, or can’t name the two houses of Congress, or don’t know the name of their representative.
But, if you were to show up at the polls in November, and the poll worker were to ask you “Is President Obama a Muslim or a Christian?” and you answered “Muslim,” then — bzzzzzt — you’d be automatically disqualified from voting, on the grounds you’re just too dumb….
[I]f Republicans want me to produce a photo ID to prove I’m the same person who’s been voting for four decades, then Democrats have the right to demand some basic level of intelligence from the other side.
I, for one, agree with him, but would contend that his focus on the Obama-as-Muslim question is way too narrow. Here are a few other questions that should be asked of voters to determine if they are smart enough to take part in our elections:
1) Did George Bush steal the 2000 election? (Every independent examination that has been done of the Florida vote indicated that he would have won even if the recount ordered by the state Supreme Court had gone ahead rather than being stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.)
3) Is more hate crime directed at Muslims than any other religious group? (No–the FBI reports five times more bias-based crime against Jews than against Muslims.)
4) Do gays and lesbians make up 10% or more of the American population? (No—the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found a 3.8% LGBT identification rate in 2010. The American people, however, think it’s more like 25%, with Democrats and self-described liberals thinking it’s even higher.)
5) Do you believe that the mainstream media in America tells the truth about politics, government, economics, social issues, and religion? (Yes, this is a trick question with no empirical right-or-wrong answer; however, it does give strong indicators: as of 2012, 71% of Democrats think MSNBC is “fair and unbiased,” while 64% said that of the New York Times. See my point?)
This is really a fun game, and I invite readers to offer suggestions in the comments. What questions should be asked of voters to determine if the are too stupid to be trusted with a ballot? Or, if you don’t like that one, you can try this: what questions should be asked of newspaper columnists to determine if they are too stupid to be trusted with a word processor?
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