Friday, July 27, 2007

Should Voting be a Right?

In his commentary for this week Ted S. McGregor, Jr. concludes, "Despite what I've written above, I'm against restricting the right to vote — and I believe it is a basic human right. This column is just another way of saying we should treasure our freedom and our right to vote, not take them for granted."

I think he gives up too easily. SHOULD voting be a right? Should public office go to the wealthiest and most willing to manipulate and confuse an ignorant electorate? Or, should we make voting more like citizenship for immigrants? Why shouldn't voting eligibility depend on one's ability to pass a simple civics test? Why shouldn't the direction of our country be more determined, in principle, by voters who have at least the first clue about who is running and what difference it makes? To restrict voting by race, gender, or class was obviously antithetical to most of the founding principles of America - but what about bolstering those very principles by assuring that those who actually do vote know the difference between John McCain and John Edwards or Mike Gravel and Mitt Romney?