Monday, March 23, 2009


My greatest worry in this post will be coming off as offensive. I am often condescending towards others, but this time it's less about drama/hyperbole and more about being reasonable.

In my previous post, I suggested that there is something wrong with allowing mentally impaired people the right to vote. I did not give much reason behind it because I thought that the logic behind said position was fairly concrete.

However, my dear friend "Howling Mad" Murdock commented
How about 'All men are created equal'?
Equal representation? The constitution?
First, let me deal with "All men are created equal."

Of course the mentally impaired have an equal right to life.

However, they depending upon the level of their impairments, they do not necessarily enjoy liberty--some may need full time care that comes with restrictions--or property.

Some people are so impaired that they can be declared non compos mentis (i.e. "not of sound mind"). Such cases would permit caregivers from restricting where their patients can go and what they can do (e.g. You wouldn't allow them to drive a car--even if they could pass the licensing exam--, handle knives, walk to the park alone, etc.).

Similarly, some might be so unimpaired that they cannot legally sign a contract, so out with the right to own property such as a car or a home.

Remember that the quote is "All men are created equal," and not "All men are created equally."

As to Murdock's second point: "Equal representation."

I'm not sure what he means by this. Is he suggesting that there should be members of the House and Senate who have Down Syndrome? Or is he alluding to that old, "One man, one vote" thing?

This is somewhat to my point: not every man (or woman) should be voting. Certainly no one whose primary source of income is the government, and persons with DS and other impairments are considered disabled and receive benefits from Social Security.

The cost of entitlements should be disenfranchisement. This will ultimately curb what Bastiat called "legal plunder." We need to reform (or do away completely with) Social Security, but any candidate who even makes the suggestion dooms himself to failure because the elderly--who reap most of Social Security's benefits--vote en bloc to protect their grasp on your and my wallet.

Let's just consider that mentally impaired people are simply not that bright. Their education and reasoning are limited. There was once a time when white men assumed that white women (who were denied most educational and professional opportunities) and minorities (especially Black-Americans, Indians, and Chinese) were similarly limited. This was the primary reason for keeping them from the polls.

However, it is now abundantly clear that race and gender do not render a person mentally impaired.

However, people who are impaired enough to be labled "disabled" and receive money from the government for their support are not competent to vote.

I've heard it said how tragic or pathetic it is that so few Americans actually vote.

I hold that it is tragic how many Americans vote, for many--if not most--of them shouldn't.

I have the gall to make such an assertion because I see voting as casting a lot in favor of committing (or at least threatening) violence to those in opposition, and should, therefore, not be taken lightly by some ignoramus whose entire source of insight into the candidates and issues is the media, be it Fox News or MSNBC.

Think about it.

Government's exist and carry out their policies because they can legally deprive people of their lives (cops kill people; capital punishment), liberties (prisons; tethers; don't leave the state), and properties (fines; confiscations). Why else do you pull over when the cop hits the lights? Why else do you pay your taxes? Normally, if some guy in a suit told me to pay up or else, I'd tell him to kiss my butt. But an IRS agent in a suit has the backing of men with guns, big guns, guns bigger and better than I am (conveniently--for the Feds) allowed to own. If I tell that thug in a suit to kiss my butt, then he sends his goons after me and my property. What happens if I try to defend myself and my property? I end up injured and in prison or just plain dead.

That said, voting should never be taken lightly. If it's to be considered a "right," then proper education and ability should be considered a responsibility; and those unable to acquire an education or maintain said ability should not vote.

Of course, Murdock is correct about the Constitution. According to the 15th Amendment:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Since the 26th Amendment, any citizen over the age of 18 can vote. This means that, constitutionally, a mentally impaired person can vote.

My objection was that although such people currently can vote, they still should not vote.

I decline to accept that when the 15th and 26th Amendments were ratified, it was so that people who cannot sufficiently think for themselves could vote. The 15th Amendment was enacted so that African-American men in the South could vote for Republicans who had no other source of support in that region (savor the irony). The 26th Amendment was ratified in order to justify sending 18 year-old boys to kill and die in Vietnam (if you're going to force/draft young men to fight, then they should be able to vote for those who send them).

What we have is a complicated situation. We might abolish government completely, which would render moot the question of who should vote; or we might set certain but specific criterion to ascertain who should be allowed to vote and who should not be allowed.

The danger of the latter is that the state will almost certainly stack the cards in its failure. The danger of the previous is that we try what hasn't been tried before.

Let's talk about real change. That's right, Mr. Obama. I'm not just talking about less government (though you are talking about vastly more goverment).

What if government itself was the cause of so many of our woes?

Governments wage war.

Governments who interfere with the economy cause, in the very least, the business cycle. In the very worst, government causes famine (see the consequences of Stalin's and Mao's policies).

If the Constitution allows people reasonably declared as mentally impaired to vote, then the Constitution needs to be amended. This statement isn't very revolutionary. In fact, it makes sense. For nearly 100 years, the Constitution not only allowed but protected slavery. The 13th Amendment ended slavery. Now it's time for the 28th Amendment.


  1. I think you missed a crucial point to your argument. If an 18 year old can go off and die for his/her country, they should be able to have a beer as well.

    I agree that stupid people and mentally challenged people should not vote. If you need more evidence, look at Detroit's city council. Proof positive that stupid people should not be allowed to vote.

    But then again if stupid people could not vote, then there goes the democratic party.

  2. You are right about the beer. Seriously, a person is "qualified" to decide who should control the largest arsenal of weapons-of-mass-destruction should be "qualified" to opt for the Budweiser over the Coke.


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