Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:


Everyone shouldn’t have the right to vote. There’s that one controversial opening sentence that some say is required to draw a reader in. Yet there’s nothing at all controversial about that statement. From an ethical point of view, it’s a true statement once one considers the dangers of allowing anyone to vote. There are glaring issues in continuing to bestow this right on anyone who is 18 or older.

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This discussion hasn’t been ignored. Setting aside disrespectful and even hostile responses, there are important responses both under this thread and in my inbox. This weekend, I will look to write a response to everyone who has chimed in. I will address concerns about this issue being politicized, politicians abusing the system by basically rigging the exam, mass disenfranchisement, and the notion that being more inclusive will help matters along. I’m not convinced by any of these lines of thinking. Nor am I convinced by responses screaming “fascism” and “communism.” Again, so pronounced is my line of thinking that Neil deGrasse Tyson recently came forward and offered the following:  “When you have people who don’t know much about science and stand in denial of science and rise to power, that is a recipe for the dismantling of our informed democracy.” 

I can go further and add that the only reason people who deny science rise to power is because their constituents deny science. The lack of informedness begins with voters and the pretense of being misinformed is a politician’s way of catering to and winning over those very constituents. I’m not at all concerned with Paul Ryan’s pretense of denial; I’m concerned with the very real denial of voters. 

Again, the right to vote pales when compared to rights that are consistently infringed upon by ignorant voters; it doesn’t matter that most these voters belong to the Right. If your political affiliation matters more than the rights and lives of people you disagree with, you lack empathy and shouldn’t be voting in an election that affects millions of people who don’t think as you do. All this to say that while efforts have been valiant, I am not budged from my position at all because people are still missing that critical point. The right to vote does not matter when compared to, for example, a minority’s right to continue living.