Monday, May 4, 2009

The Privilege to Vote

If I had to describe my views on politics, I would probably just label myself as an ultra conservative (I'm kinda more of a libertarian in certain respects, but to be easy, I'll say conservative).

Anyway, I listen to the radio and watch the news all the time. I read the newspaper and random Internet news blogs. I also read various economic magazines and articles online. I'm pretty much very aware of the news.

The other day I was listening to Sean Hannity on the radio when he had his man on the street segment. And while it really shouldn't have come as a surprise, I was absolutely dumbfounded by the amount of stupid, ignorant people walking on the streets today. I mean, it's ridiculous. And I'm not one to judge people favorably as it is. I mean, I'm the type of person who meets people and assumes they're dumb until proven smart, and yet, I still find myself astonished by the world's stupidity.

Anyway anyway... I decided, that in honor of the United States of America, I will create an exam which should be simple enough for the average US citizen. Each person trying to register to vote will be required to take this test. If they pass, they are given the PRIVILEGE (I don't think it should be a right any longer, with all the stupid people) to vote, if they don't, they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Each voter will have to retake the exam prior to every major (senate, congress, president) election. If they cannot pass it, they cannot vote in that election.

The test will have two parts, the basic part (which will only have to be taken once), and the current events part (which will have to be taken prior to every election)... Here is an example of the basic part:

1- Who becomes President after the President dies?
2- Who is the VP?
3- Who becomes President if both the President and the VP die?
4- Who is your state governor?
5- Who are the two US senators of your state?
6- Who is the house representative/congressman that represents your district?
7- Who is the Senate Majority leader? Which party does s/he represent?
8- Who is the speaker of the house? Which party does s/he represent?
9- Who was the first president of the United States?
10- How many states are in the United States?
11- In what year was the Declaration of Independence signed?

Questions like that...

Ohh...there will be *NO* translations, if you can't freakin speak the language, you shouldn't be voting here!

The "Current Events" type exams will look like this-

1- Which country has a standard of living second to none?
2- What happens when a government forces banks to lend money to people who cannot afford to pay them back?
3- How much money did Barack Obama make from the corruption in Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac?
4- Which President spent more money in his 100 days in office than all 43 presidents before him (that should give it away) combined?
5- What's it say about a party that willingly uses a jackass to represent itself?

Yea, ok, the second questions are a bit biased, but they're fun!!!!! Here are the serious ones:

1- True or False: Former President George W. Bush made embryonic stem cell research illegal.
2- True or False: Pres. Barack Obama nominated a tax cheat to be the head of the IRS.
3- True or False: Muslim fundamentalists attacked the United States on 9/11/01?
4- True or False: A nuclear Iran is dangerous.
5- True or False: Rep. Nancy Pelosi agreed to allow water boarding, before she [recently] started speaking against it.
6- True or False: While preaching fiscal and eco responsibility, Barack Obama allowed Air Force One to leave a carbon-footprint over NYC for a photo-op that could've been easily be done using photo shop?
7- True or False: You give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a life-time.-
8- True or False: Communism failed everywhere it was tried.
9- True or False: The American founding fathers started the American revolution because they liked the idea of having a large government figure dictate how they should spend their money.
10. True or False: Guns have brains and kill people on a whim.

Can you earn the privilege to vote?


Mikeinmidwood said...

Number 3 on the true or false was a tough one,I'm probably listening to too much liberal radio.

Child Ish Behavior said...

I don't think I would get to vote based on your criteria. Personally I think it is a slippery slope. Who decides what the body of knowledge is that everyone has to have. Maybe we should add some more questions. Maybe less. your basic questions 5-8 are something that most people don't know unless they really care about something in particular and they want to complain. And seriously why should I have to know some stupid current events. This is America, Gosh Darn it. Though I do agree with you on the English thing, if you can't speak the language, why should we accommodate you?

frumskeptic said...

child ish- you think people would know 3 of the basic? Most people I asked didn't.

Anyway, these are basic questions that are required to become a citizen. It's actually rather pathetic that people don't know this stuff.

frumskeptic said...

oh...and I think I knew who the state Senators were before I ever even cared to think about who would be Pres if both the Pres and VP die.

And I don't complain

Anonymous said...

ooh, this is fun! yeah, here's one--a great piece of civic knowledge any American should know before they vote:

the constitution, as interpreted over and over by the supreme court, considers voting to be:

a) something only for the elite, who can prove they "deserve" to vote
b) an undeniable right fundamental to democracy, tempered where it can go wrong by the electoral college
c) only for English speakers

if you said a) or c)--congratulations! you are a bigot! this means you are not only ignorant of America's civic ethos, but also unpleasant to be around!

this is fun. how 'bout:

people who call everyone else stupid:
a) are probably right, and smarter than everyone else
b) should probably start reevaluating their own comments, to put it mildly and subtly
c)will especially call you stupid if you disagree with them, and will never grow because of this.

the fun thing about this one is that both b) and c) can be true!

true or false:
complex political issues can be resolved by putting them into dumb dichotomies in which one tries to frame the opposition so it sounds idiotic.

true or false:
you can use these true or false questions to prove anything you want, because if a fact is true, it means the conclusions or responses I believe in are also true

mlevin said...

Anonymous - why such a violent reaction. FS is not talking about requiring people to know complex issues. She wants people who vote to simply be able to answer simple questions such as who is the current vice president of the United States.

Every vote determines the future of this country. Presidents and Senators and Congressmen all make decisions which affect us all.

And here we have people who are so ignorant that they don't even know who is the vice president making these decisions. These people obviously know nothing. Yet they are voting... End result we end up electing someone into the office like Obama, Shumer, Weiner, Polosi and etc. Why? Because they are better looking than their opponent?

frumskeptic said...

mlevin- don't bother responding to those who lack the balls to sign some sort of name to their statement.

afterall, he's probably just pissed off he can't answer some of the basic questions concerning those who are currently in-power in this country.

Moshe said...

I still prefer Robert Heinlein's criteria for voting. "If you want to vote, serve in the army so that you know who and what you're protecting. You don't serve, you don't vote"

I'd fail this too. Don't know 5-8.

6 and 7 are not required to become a citizen.

frumskeptic said...

moshe- I don't agree with the quote. I don't think you actually have to serve in the army to understand who the country needs to be protected from. and it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that that a strong defense deters the enemy (plus not everyone is capable of serving in the army)...

My spelling could be wrong but...:

5- Chuck Schumer and Kirsten GIllibrand
6-Anthony Weiner
7- Harry Reid, Democrat
8- Nancy Pelosi, Democrat

IN order to know #3 you should know #8... you need to know #3 for sure to become a citizen...

I find it sad that you don't know this. Unlike the idiotic implications of anonymous's rant, it doesn't take an elitist to open a newspaper or visit a news website and learn who is in power in their country.

Moshe said...

Why do you need to know who the speaker of the house is to know that he/she follows the VP?

I know who goes after whom, the branches, the meaning of the flag, but names of everyone other than pres and vp, whatever. As for local, no reason to know district rep. And considering all the recent scandals in NY, knowing your senators, governors, etc. is way too much work.

Now let me ask you a for citizenship question and see if you can answer w/out looking it up. Name the 13 colonies.

frumskeptic said...


"Why do you need to know who the speaker of the house is to know that he/she follows the VP?"

Then why know who the VP is by name? This is the person 3rd in line for power. The bronze medalist... they're kinda a big deal. Plus, they actually (usually) do stuff... for example, Nancy Pelosi controls Obama. She wrote the retarded stimulus bill that no one read yet passed, with 9000 earmarks in it. She's kinda important...

"I know who goes after whom, the branches, the meaning of the flag, but names of everyone other than pres and vp, whatever. "

That should definitly be added to the questions "What are the three branches of government?"

"As for local, no reason to know district rep."

He's our representative in congress.. you know... he is our electoral vote... umm... yea... he's not exactly "local"

"And considering all the recent scandals in NY, knowing your senators, governors, etc. is way too much work."

Ummm... Blind dude (Patterson) followed the cheater Spitzer. Schumer has been US senator for gd knows how long, and is currently one of the idiot's trying to find a way to silence talk-radio by reinstating the fairness doctrine under another name...

Guillibrand I can understand not knowing, she just got power into power (she was a congresswoman for district 20, which is now run by Scott Murphey, who won the special election that was given to fill her seat).

"Now let me ask you a for citizenship question and see if you can answer w/out looking it up. Name the 13 colonies."

Oh yea...thats a good questiont too, Tho I think its not an important one, its more important to actually understand WHY the colonists united against the british tyrannical bastards...
but here goes (not in order, I'm not that good)

1- Delaware
2- Virginia
3- Pennsylvania
4- NJ
5- NY
6- Connecticut
7- Massachussettes
8- Rhode Island
9- Maryland
10- New Hampshire
11- Georgia
12- South Carolina
13- North Carolina

I think I'm I dunno.

sara said...

Anonymous - well written!
FS - you cannot think of a better adjective than the word "retarded" to describe the stimulus bill, yet you call others stupid. Interesting.

frumskeptic said...

I can think of many other adjectives to describe the stimulus bill, but why use so many words, when just one word fits so well?

aztecqueen2000 said...

Ah, the good old days of the voting test! Here's another question:
True or False: Voting tests are legal.
True or false: Voting tests have been used to deny undesirables the right to vote.
Question 1: False. Per the 24th Amendment, voting tests and poll taxes are illegal.
Question 2: True. Until the passage of the 24th Amendment in the 1960s, literacy tests were a means used to bar blacks in the South from voting.
Here are a few more questions for your little test:
1. Name all ten amendments to the Constitution that make up the Bill of Rights.
2. Name five departments in the President's Cabinet
3. What are the powers delegated to each of the three branches of government?
4. What is the "elastic clause?"
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security."--Benjamin Franklin

frumskeptic said...

aztecqueen- I'd be able to answer those, but I don't remember the bill of rights in order. and I cannot remember at all what the elastic clause is. sounds familiar.

here's my point:
1- I'd still pass. so I'd still be able to vote.
2- this post wasn't about who stayed up in history class, its about who knows what's going on in the world. People who have no idea who or what their candidate stands for, should *not* be voting. if they have no idea how the governing body of the country functions, or have any idea how much power these people potentially have, they should *not* be voting.

its like you have all thse frum people screaming to get an anti-abortion candidate. please. how many of these frummies are aware of the unlikelihood that anything major will change? what's the nost a conservative will do- give the rights back to state governments to decide?

and about illiteracy, do tell how someone who can't read a ballot would be able to properly vote, whether it is due to illiteracy or the inability to speak english?

%Shocked% said...

Nice post. I'm a dual-citizen, meaning that I'm both Canadian and American. I lived in Canada for most of my life, so I'm not going to claim that I know all of the questions you asked, but I could answer a fair share of them I think. Personally, I have no clue if it's appropriate to rescind a citizen's right to vote because they aren't current on public affairs. It's an interesting question. But I did notice that you made a 'pleasant' comment about someone who commented anonymously. I wrote a blog post about anonymous commenters a few weeks ago. Check it out lol.