Author: Philosophy Corner: Popularizing Philosophy

Democracy and Its DiscontentsThree authors engage with the…

Democracy and Its Discontents

Three authors engage with the threats to a liberal society.

By Arthur Goldhammer

Throughout the four and a half decades of the Cold War, the consoling myth of the self-styled Free World was that democratic politics constituted the end point of political evolution. It was an article of faith that once the blighted societies on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain attained democracy, the “end of history” would commence, as Francis Fukuyama memorably put it in 1989. Political contestation would not disappear, but the battle henceforth would be about mere “economic calculation” and “the endless solving of technical problems” rather than fundamental political ideology.

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Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

philosophycorner:

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. 

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

wonderthensleep:

thespectacularspider-girl:

alaija:

concentrated-sunshine:

caligulasterrarium:

thivus:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

remember when the post reconstruction south implemented literacy tests in an attempt to disenfranchise people based on race and secure their party’s hegemony in the region? hmmm

new ideology: nobody is allowed to vote anymore. all policy will be decided by chicken-based augury, as in rome.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

Well it sort of is. But only if you are saying they are wrong because they are a caricature of Leftist elitism and snobbery.

If you are calling them a caricature of Leftist elitism and snobbery because you think they are laughably wrong, then it is fine.

They seem to have forgotten the purpose of universal franchise in a modern representative democracy. Legitimacy.

“These people voted for somebody I didn’t like, lets fucking remove their right to vote”

-The OP summed up

Donald Trump graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science in economics.  If the article author’s perspective is that a university education would provide the reasoning skills to prevent decisions like the one’s Trump makes, I would say that assertion is clearly called into question.

And the author’s literacy test screening solution wouldn’t work.  You can’t chose arbitrary topics and expect people to have the background knowledge to give a well-reasoned argument on that topic.  Even well-educated people would be incapable of meeting that standard if the topic is on a subject that they don’t happen to know about.  The topics that the author has given as examples are ones that they assume the demographic they are attempting to screen out would have an opinion on, but that’s not guaranteed.  The author chose those topics based on demographic stereotypes.  The test fails to meet basic standards to provide a consistent basis for determination.

The solution to this issue is to give some articles on the topic and have people reason out answers based on the information provided.  However, this runs the risk of screening out some of the minority groups that the author seems to advocate for, such as those in poor, primarily black, inter-urban locations where the education systems suffer from frequent under-funding.  Reading and comprehending potentially brand new information, then constructing a well-reasoned argument in what is likely a timed test scenario isn’t an easy thing to do even without a clear educational disadvantage, and never mind if you are an individual with test anxiety or an immigrant who may not have a full grasp of English yet.

That’s not even to say that being able to give a well-reasoned argument is actually the real goal being presented by the author, who already has firm beliefs on what an acceptable response on the topics would be.  There’s no point in even attempting to construct a well reasoned argument that contradicts the author’s views, because the author would assume that any answer that contradict’s theirs has clearly ignored the points that make the Author’s answer the correct one, and as such is not a well-reasoned argument.  If there was a well-reasoned argument against the Author’s views that the author would accept, then there would be no point in implementing the screening to begin with.

So what we are left with isn’t a test on reasoning, but knowing and memorizing the answers that the test judges would accept.  A person is easily capable of memorizing an argument, even if they don’t believe the argument is correct.  So you get a bunch of people memorizing and writing the answers to the test, just like in grade school, and after getting their passing grades they get to go on their merry way and vote however they please.  Going on to get a university education does not guarantee that a person will develop the sort of mindset that the author desires, as the many Republican politicians holding university degrees would attest.  The screening test is an act of futility that would likely just get someone sued if someone tried to implement and enforce it. 

Isn’t it telling that Trump spoke more like a Democrat when he was younger? Maybe his senility has outstripped his education? I’m not sure where he’s gone wrong, but if Trump were able to articulate the reasons for his position on the gun issue and other issues, he would certainly qualify. As it stands, given how he clumsily bumbles on and speaks in fifth grade language, he probably wouldn’t qualify. Read my most recent response for clarification on what I mean by educated

As for the test, like others, you’ve missed the point. The questions I put forth aren’t set in stone. They wouldn’t necessarily end up on such an exam. The only reason I used them as an example is because of recent events. It’s something that people on all sides should be able to talk about and if they are sold on a perspective, they should be able to articulate why. 

Going back to the original post, I stated that it’s not about the “correct” answers,so yet again, you missed my point. How can it be about memorization if they would be short essay answers and if the second part of the exam would involve an oral presentation on a relevant political topic? The notion that the average voter doesn’t have or doesn’t have to have the background knowledge to answer such questions and articulate their positions is precisely what’s gotten us here. So it doesn’t matter that you’re one-issue voter, it doesn’t matter that you vote based on hatred for your political opponents, and it certainly doesn’t matter that you can’t defend your views. Opinions are sacred and that’s the end of it; go into the booth and vote to your heart’s content, I guess.

I also stated that it doesn’t matter if you’re for or against gun control. I stated that it’s not about providing responses that align with my own. I stated in another response that I would be far from this! I wouldn’t want to oversee this process, especially not without collaborators who can provide checks and balances of my authority. So far from being a despot who qualifies only people who agree with my views, I am most certainly allowing for disagreement, but not just any disagreement. 

I want well-articulated disagreement; I want to understand why the line is drawn at AR-15s and not elsewhere, and I want to understand why the right to bear arms implies the right to own a semiautomatic firearm. Furthermore, I want to understand why they think it’s a good idea to defund education, pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, and why it’s a good idea to defund Planned Parenthood (despite the fact that a small percentage of their services involve abortion). If you vote in an election that affects millions of people, many of whom you disagree with, you owe them n  answer or, at the very least, articulation as to why you consistently infringe on their rights – rights that are far more important than the right to vote.

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

drhanniballecter:

philosophycorner:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

momir:

philosophycorner:

momir:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

I can’t actually think of a single fucking post on this site that has made me more furious than this one. How does someone get to the point where they not only hold these views, but think they are moral ethical and intelligent?

How very fucking appropriate that OP has Socrates as his profile pic.

Read the post. Read the discussion. Tell me how allowing “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims,” “they’re trying to take our guns” folks to vote away does any good for millions of other people. The fact is that such beliefs are immoral and destructive, and this is demonstrable the world over. Think abortion!

Let’s do it their way. Let’s ban abortion! You know what happens? Survey countries that have actually done that. Women die. Poverty persists. The mental and physical health of children is worse. That’s what happens. If women can’t do it legally and safely, they find other ways and the results are disastrous. In turn, they may fail to abort an unwanted pregnancy and now they have yet another mouth to feed despite the fact that they’re poor. Given poverty, children are eating less healthy foods, have less access to healthcare, and due to that, they are generally unhealthier than children who have affluent parents. You may scream “protection, contraception!,” and overlook the fact that they live in highly religious countries that equate abortion and contraception. “If it’s god will for her to get pregnant, then she must give birth!” It’s the Catholic way in the Philippines and some Hispanic countries. 

Let’s let them keep their guns! We have so far. What happens? Shootings at schools, at churches, at theaters. Please tell me why an ordinary citizen needs an AR-15. Give me good reasons for why you think like you do.

My reasons for wanting to exclude those people from the voting process are entirely moral and despite your anger, you can’t prove that wrong. Tell me how the people who despise the kneeling protests during the national anthem aren’t exactly like dissenters of the Civil Rights Movement. Tell me how their apathy towards racial injustice doesn’t result in more police brutality and sexual assaults. Tell me how their voting in of candidates who overlook such injustice doesn’t amount to that blood being on their hands.

Now tell me if you wouldn’t want to exclude me from the voting process if I overlooked the fact that the candidates I vote for don’t care about your life and that voting them in might lead to you losing your life or going through unnecessary pain. While you overlook racial inequality and injustice, I realize that I’m not White and that because of that, I can be a victim of police brutality – even if I’m innocent. You can either go right ahead and prove your lack of empathy or change your mind and realize that despite your initial misgivings, my reasons are demonstrably moral, certainly more moral than you’ve given them credit for.

Government is not a moral system. It’s not trying to be. It’s trying to represent the interests of the people, regardless of what those interests are or if they happen to be immoral in your opinion. As soon as representatives try to do anything but follow the whims of their constituents, then the government has lost all legitimacy and it’s raison d’être.

Perhaps, but if the government isn’t a moral system, then why have it? If it resorts to apathy when lives are at stake, then why have it? And not lives willingly offered for the good of the country, like the lives of our Troops, but rather, the lives of ordinary citizens whose lives were cut short by a man with an AR-15. What good is an immoral government? How then are we any different from a dictatorship? How is this democracy then better than a Communist regime? Do you not see how you’ve dug yourself into quicksand?

Hey, I’m super sorry to jump in, but you know that Communist regimes were actively trying to put the idea of a moral government into practice, right? A big component of Marxism-Leninism is a state that adequately provides for the people and protects them from exploitation until the people are ready to protect itself: the party rules in the name and interests of the proletariat. The entire reason they have a one-party state is for the selfsame reason you want to prevent certain people from voting–they fear what would happen if people who didn’t respect human rights got into government.* Those regimes were trying to be as moral as possible, and just like you, they’ve found that there are some people who stand in the way of progress.

Now, it’s clear that we have different stances on communism, but you have to understand how your line of thinking is exactly the line of thought that led those regimes to do what they did.

*Many of these governments didn’t respect human rights, of course, and they deserve to be condemned for that, but that’s what ideologically they were committed to do: it’s much more a failure in practice than a failure in intention. And they did do some good: Communist governments vaccinated children by the millions, legalized abortion as early as 1920, openly advocated for women’s rights and racial equality, and eliminated malnutrition in Cuba entirely. While we can’t ignore the atrocities they’ve committed (of which there are many), many of these abuses pale in comparison to those committed by Western “democracies”, and the fact that only Communist regimes are have to account for their sins (though rightfully so) is misleading and dangerous.

No reason to apologize! This is a great response and the brief history lesson on its own is of great value. What you’ve shown is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. A government can start out with every moral intent and go astray. I can start out with an arguably moral idea and lose my way. This has happened and I’m not at all immune to human shortcomings. That, however, shouldn’t stop us from trying. Also, I’m not trying to be at the helm of the government or even of the very process I’ve offered – and certainly not alone lacking in collaborators and people who can provide checks and balances to my authority. In a sense, people who have chimed in have done so by pointing out that I can’t stop simply at the uneducated. Though I didn’t intend to do that, they’re not wrong. There are allies who have no college education and who can articulate well enough to pass such an exam. 

The point here is empathy and the capacity to think critically. So I want to exclude people who have no grasp of the pertinent issues and who vote on the basis of hatred and/or tribal thinking. “Vote the party,” “god hates fags” sort of people have no business deciding for millions of other people.

In any case, you’ve added value to the discussion and you’re absolutely right that Communist regimes are held more accountable than democracies like the US. I like that you put that in quotes by the way! The US has no such democracy; it’s a sham. The People don’t have real power. Corporations and big money lobbyists have surpassed the People in power and influence, and it’s a damn shame, and it’s high time we hold this government accountable.

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate it!

I get where you’re coming from. But I think there are still some dangerous points to what you’re saying:

1) The idea of a “critical thinking/empathy” test is really sketchy: this concept has been used as a tool of voter suppression before, in the form of literacy tests in the South. The fact that you said this test requires you to be “articulate” smacks of old-school classism and racism, especially with the historical connotation around that word. At a certain level, eloquence and ease in communication is learned, and so is the sort of critical thinking that would  cater to the academics who would design it: even if it’s not explicitly targeting the uneducated, it’s going to be used to do that anyway. The fact that a few will pass is irrelevant, especially when you consider that many wealthy bigots and idiots are going to pass easily. 

2) And therein lies the real problem–the issue isn’t the exploited poor, the issue is the wealthy people who con them. The poor whites who voted for Trump had reasons to hate the Clintons and the Democrats: Obama’s policies were almost identical to Bush’s, failing to take any real action against Wall Street or the people in government who let it happen. Trump just turned their economic desperation against the wrong targets (e.g. people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people). Yes, these people have disgusting beliefs, but they’re not the problem–the problem, like you said, is the capitalist class which impoverishes them to the point where they’re desperate enough that fascists can exploit their biases. Stopping these people from voting won’t stop the wealthy from doing what they’ve always done, especially considering that the Democrats are as bought and sold as the Republicans (and you probably wouldn’t get the rich bigots, because they know how to play the game, and they make the rules anyway.) To stop this, we have to stop the system itself, not slap a band-aid on the problem. I’m willing to bet that fewer people would care about immigrants stealing their jobs if your worth wasn’t measured by your economic success in the first place. (Of course, white supremacy will still be a problem, but racism as we know it today was invented by capitalists to divide the working class. You have to start somewhere.)

Sorry again to bother you!

You’re not at all a bother! You’re respectful and insightful and a marquee example of how to disagree politely and correctly. An interesting observation before I make some suggestions about what you’ve offered.

I had this conversation earlier in the week on Facebook. Interestingly, many on the Left don’t like the idea and it feels wrong to them. It’s interesting that the discussion took a similar trajectory with one person eventually condemning capitalism and labeling it the real problem. It’s interesting in a discussion about determinism. Is a discussion of this sort meant to take the same shape? Will it always follow the path of rude interlocutors followed by more thoughtful insights and ultimately, an indictment of capitalism? Is that perhaps the observation we are supposed to make in order to motion against the issues we face? I can’t be sure, but it’s interesting.

1) I understand that literacy tests in the past were used to oppress Blacks and were designed to “prove” that Blacks are less articulate and less educated or knowledgeable. Of course that’s classist and racist in every respect, and that’s not what I’m suggesting here. I’m Latino. By a racist’s estimation, I’m supposed to speak in a heavy accent, speak mostly in Spanish, and display little to no ability to articulate my opinions. Yet here I am. I have plenty of faith in my fellow minorities to do the same. Unfortunately, some won’t be able to due to lack of education, knowledge, or even care. Some people can’t be bothered with politics. Some Whites will fall in this category as well. Poverty affects them as well; let’s not forget that the majority of welfare recipients are White.

Also, I’m not sure wealthy and White bigots will play the system and pass. Recall the nature of the test I suggested. Can they defend owning an AR-15? Can they also oppose owning it? Can they address the slippery slope that’s implied in the right to bear arms? Where do we draw the line? Being affluent and even highly educated might not make a rich bigot more equipped to handle such questions with any respectful coherence. The questions would be designed to make people think clearly about their own views and values in addition to the views and values of their opponents.

2) Like the commenter on Facebook, you propose a top-down dynamic between the rich exploiting the poor and uneducated by appealing to deeply held anger and prejudices. You’re absolutely right that Obama didn’t go after Wall Street. Hillary wouldn’t have either and it’s one reason I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote Trump either. 

Your proposal is great, but it’s also the path of greatest resistance. Can we really go after the system as a whole? The rich and powerful have all the resources. It’s conceivable that some of them are tracking our very discussion to see if we can come up with some strategy to revolutionize the government. 

I have little faith that we can go after the system. Mobilizing the numbers needed to enact such change is nearly impossible. The political divide in our country has made it an exercise in herding cats. Never mind that getting people to abandon their posts at work and school and with their families is a lot to ask. We would also be asking them to risk their lives because it’s a major scale of protest. So we are absolutely obligated to start small! If we can’t go after the Trumps of the world by gutting capitalism and replacing the system with something that works better, we need to to go after their lifeline. That lifeline is the constituents that vote them in election after election. We can’t continue with this tit for tat. Look at the trend!

Bush Sr. then Clinton then Bush Jr. then Obama and now Trump. A democrat will no doubt win in 2020 or 2024 and thus, continue the cycle of the two major parties basically exchanging the highest elected office in this country. Congress is the same! The Republican majority will be replaced by a Democratic majority; that cycle will repeat itself. We’ll be long dead and this tit for tat will continue. The polarization we see among American citizens plays precisely into the hands of this country’s politicians. They want to give the People the impression that they’re as divided, but as you suggested, the point is to keep their money safe and empower Wall Street and lobbyists who can fund their agendas. It’s precisely the special interests Bernie Sanders was so concerned about; it’s why he went after the Citizens United decision.

So yes, I agree with you. I know what the real problem is, but it’s considerably a bigger fish! We can’t go after the rich and powerful, the people resourceful enough to watch our every move should we think of a large scale revolution of the sort. So we fry the smaller fish, their pipeline, their most abundant resource, namely the ignorant one-issue, hateful voters that continue to vote them in despite it being the proverbial shot in the foot. If only the non-college White realized and/or accepted that they have more in common with the inner city minorities than not. 

In trying to conjure up a nice image to get my point across, I couldn’t think of anything other than a man on stilts. If you wish to topple the man on stilts, would you start at the top? Or would you go after his stilts? Those in power exploit the ignorance of their supporters; those are the stilts they stand on. Starting at the top is a path much harder than going after the stilts. 

I’d love to hear what you think about this.

What I don’t understand here is the thought process around your fundamental premise that uneducated people shouldn’t be able to vote. 

Why should understanding and addressing the slippery slope in the right to bear arms be a necessity to obtain the right to vote?

why should the ability to coherently defend your thoughts and convictions determine whether or not you have a political voice? There are plenty of college educated non-white people who do not meet this criteria. This is human right, there shouldn’t need to be a standard of thought (however helpful it might be to have it anyway) you have to first reach to be able to have a right. And there doesn’t need to be, not when there are plenty of other ways to go about this. 

You keep saying that people who hold hateful conservative opinions shouldn’t have the right to make decisions on behalf of millions of other people, and I don’t disagree, but do any of us have the right to make decisions on behalf of millions of other people?  The fastest way to inspire a civil war would be to do what you’re suggesting. 

Pushing back against hate like that doesn’t at all seem to me like the path of lesser resistance, and rights-wise that’s about as unconstitutional as it gets. We can’t suppress voters, and take away their voice just because they don’t agree with us, even if we think we hold a moral high ground. We cannot morally or ethically violate their rights because of broken system. 

pedanticlecturer is right when they say that it’s not these people with these hateful opinions who are the problem but the system that takes advantage of them. And you don’t have to attack from the top to change that system. We can educate people to vote at a local level, which will enact change over time from the bottom up. We have to be proactive and aggressive but not oppressive, that will create more problems than it will solve. To have checks and balances within a system that already only allows one track of thought is meaningless. 

If we don’t want uneducated people to vote, then it’s our moral obligation to educate. If we don’t want people like Trump to be in power then we have to reform our electoral college, stop gerrymandering and vote. Not take away that right from other people, who think the way they do for a reason. And maybe those aren’t good reasons, but they’re still people, and they still deserve to have a say in the society they live in.

Before I reply to your questions, allow me to clarify. I didn’t intend for uneducated to be synonymous with having little to no college experience. While it can mean that or while it can be argued that having little to no college experience implies being uneducated, there are individuals with no college experience who are informed and are educated enough to articulate why it is they subscribe to a given point of view.

Notice that the questions I used aren’t set in stone. I used an example that’s germane, especially given recent events. There are people who think the second amendment is sacred and that the Constitution is fixed and that given that, the right to bear arms implies the right to own an AR-15. The Founding Fathers could not have predicted the advent of semiautomatic weapons, so I doubt that the majority of them would agree with continuing to allow ownership of such weapons. So it’s not so much that a would-be voter must answer the questions related to gun control. Those questions are merely suggestions that I put forth given recent events; it’s definitely easier to discuss given recency.

The slippery slope should be addressed, especially by people who support ownership of semiautomatic weapons. Again, what good reason can you come up with for owning such a weapon? If you think there is a good reason(s), why stop there? Why not C-4, a helicopter, a tank, or a fighter jet? Where is the line drawn? An incapacity to articulate your position on this not only makes you less qualified to share your opinion, but it makes you less qualified to make a decision that affects millions of people. 

Despite not having good reasons for supporting ownership of semiautomatic weapons, people like this vote in opponents of sensible gun control citing “they’re trying to take our guns!” No! We are trying to take away weapons of war that leave 17 people on a high school campus dead! So if you support ownership of semiautomatic weapons, you owe every single American an answer. You owe the parents of those dead children an answer! You owe people a well-reasoned argument for why you voted in opponents of sensible gun control and “it’s our second amendment right!” isn’t good enough because like I’ve explained, the Founding Fathers could not have predicted the advent of semiautomatic weapons.

You’re absolutely right. There are allies who won’t be able to articulate their reasons for holding to a given view. I recognize that. That’s why I’ve stated over and over that the point isn’t to oppress the entire demographic lacking a college degree. It’s about informedness and empathy. I would want the “god hates fags” people disqualified along with the Leftist who said under this very thread that he’d shoot me along with Conservatives. Apparently, I made him so angry, he’s basically admitted to having the sentiments of a domestic terrorist. Someone like that (!) shouldn’t have the right to vote in an election that affects millions of people – many of whom, by his own admission, he disagrees with and wants to harm. Unfortunately, there are more people like him on the Right – people with violent hatred for their political opponents. 

Here’s the issue! Those hateful people don’t care, for example, about police brutality. They don’t care if more minorities end up dead at the hands of corrupt law enforcement. Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, they aren’t just the past! They’re also the future! There will be more names, more deaths. There will be more sexual assaults of detainees. Conservatives turn a blind eye to this because “they’re trying to take our guns!” and “god hates fags!” and “build the Wall!” 

If Conservatives were suffering the kind of injustice that gets them seriously injured or killed, I wouldn’t overlook that! I wouldn’t vote in candidates who don’t care about their lives. Just because Conservatives disagree with me doesn’t mean they deserve to die! So any threat on their lives is as good as a threat on mine. Thing is, I have more than enough empathy to want the best for them; many of them lack the empathy to want that for me and people like me, and yet they get to decide in election and after election that “building a wall” is more important than remembering why people come here in the first place: the pursuit of the American Dream, of happiness.

So it’s not just lives here. It’s lives abroad because these very people were utterly against providing refuge for children in Honduras. Children! When innocents flee Mexico because of the violent drug war, they want to condemn them along with all of the cartel drug smugglers. They’re all one and the same. As Trump said, “they’re rapists!” I know plenty of Mexicans, both immigrants and children of immigrants, who have never seen an ounce of cocaine in their life; they have never handled a rock of meth. Yet they’re maligned and considered equal to cartel criminals, and as such, conservatives want to keep them out. The same with Muslims, hence the travel ban that’s been appealed on separate occasions and overturned due to the fact that it’s unconstitutional. So while you’re sitting there condemning my think piece for being unconstitutional, conservatives voted in a President and Congress that are bypassing the Constitution. 

In any case, you’re right: education is the answer. However, you are speaking as though education occurs in a vacuum. It would be much simpler if it did. While we’re trying to educate, as I’ve done here by inspiring people to think and stirring anger, there are people pushing back with ignorance and conspiracy theories, and the unfortunate truth is that they are well-marketed and have much bigger platforms. YouTube channels, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds belonging to the likes of Alex Jones and Joshua Feuerstein are seen as more credible than News channels. 

Fake news is everywhere and on every side of the political divide. White racists are claiming assaults during Black Panther screenings. Leftists are claiming the Parkland shooter had ties to White supremacist groups. Neither of these claims are based in fact! Yet people on both sides believe what they want. The truth is tying it’s shoes; lies are racing laps in a Formula 50 vehicle. The truth has fallen behind; philosophers have called this the “post-truth” era. More education sounds nice and all, but it’s not the answer because it can’t happen in a vacuum. It has to compete with very ugly realities, the likes of which I discussed here.

So the solution is to elevate empathy and informedness. We need to get people on all sides to question their assumptions and prejudices. It’s precisely what I’ve done here and it’s worked. It’s worked to the tune of a loss of followers, lots of anger, lots of misrepresentation, and people who understand my perspective and moreover, why I shared such a controversial view in the first place. What’s clear is that the lot of Americans who have responded resort to personal attacks, threats, and an unabashed refusal to defend their views. These are the same people voting in elections. These are the same people who have bypassed what I said, and now it’s worth repeating and in a nice white space all it’s own:

The right to vote pales when compared to women’s rights (namely reproductive rights), children’s rights (the right to an education), minority rights (immigration, police brutality), and general human rights (sensible gun control so that semiautomatics aren’t used to kill children at school). Despite me saying this, the right to vote apparently matters more than literal lives. They can continue to vote in candidates who overlook the fact that people have died and will die. Parkland is the past; Parkland is the future. There will be more mass shootings; more children will die at the hands of a shooter with a semiautomatic. That blood is on the hands of people who should have the right to vote despite lacking empathy and informedness. Their right is a “human right” that matters more than even the unalienable right to live. Their right to vote matters more than my right to walk to the supermarket without be stopped, frisked, and physically assaulted or killed because I’m assumed to be a threat. Their right to vote matters more than a woman’s right to have access to safe abortion. 

Despite the defunding of Planned Parenthood, despite Betsy DeVos cutting funding to education, especially in impoverished areas (never mind her threat to privatize education), despite a refusal to enact sensible gun control that’ll secure the lives of children, civilians, and churchgoers, the people who should maintain their right to vote voted in the President, his Administration, and the majority Republican Congress. Like most people who have commented so far, you’ve basically admitted that the right to vote matters more than any other human right. Yet I’m “vile” and “disgusting” and I deserve to be shot dead. I find that laughable and I am ashamed to see that so many people refuse to understand a commonsense point of view: the right to vote does not matter more than the rights I’ve listed. 

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

buttholesareforever:

philosophycorner:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

momir:

philosophycorner:

momir:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

I can’t actually think of a single fucking post on this site that has made me more furious than this one. How does someone get to the point where they not only hold these views, but think they are moral ethical and intelligent?

How very fucking appropriate that OP has Socrates as his profile pic.

Read the post. Read the discussion. Tell me how allowing “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims,” “they’re trying to take our guns” folks to vote away does any good for millions of other people. The fact is that such beliefs are immoral and destructive, and this is demonstrable the world over. Think abortion!

Let’s do it their way. Let’s ban abortion! You know what happens? Survey countries that have actually done that. Women die. Poverty persists. The mental and physical health of children is worse. That’s what happens. If women can’t do it legally and safely, they find other ways and the results are disastrous. In turn, they may fail to abort an unwanted pregnancy and now they have yet another mouth to feed despite the fact that they’re poor. Given poverty, children are eating less healthy foods, have less access to healthcare, and due to that, they are generally unhealthier than children who have affluent parents. You may scream “protection, contraception!,” and overlook the fact that they live in highly religious countries that equate abortion and contraception. “If it’s god will for her to get pregnant, then she must give birth!” It’s the Catholic way in the Philippines and some Hispanic countries. 

Let’s let them keep their guns! We have so far. What happens? Shootings at schools, at churches, at theaters. Please tell me why an ordinary citizen needs an AR-15. Give me good reasons for why you think like you do.

My reasons for wanting to exclude those people from the voting process are entirely moral and despite your anger, you can’t prove that wrong. Tell me how the people who despise the kneeling protests during the national anthem aren’t exactly like dissenters of the Civil Rights Movement. Tell me how their apathy towards racial injustice doesn’t result in more police brutality and sexual assaults. Tell me how their voting in of candidates who overlook such injustice doesn’t amount to that blood being on their hands.

Now tell me if you wouldn’t want to exclude me from the voting process if I overlooked the fact that the candidates I vote for don’t care about your life and that voting them in might lead to you losing your life or going through unnecessary pain. While you overlook racial inequality and injustice, I realize that I’m not White and that because of that, I can be a victim of police brutality – even if I’m innocent. You can either go right ahead and prove your lack of empathy or change your mind and realize that despite your initial misgivings, my reasons are demonstrably moral, certainly more moral than you’ve given them credit for.

Government is not a moral system. It’s not trying to be. It’s trying to represent the interests of the people, regardless of what those interests are or if they happen to be immoral in your opinion. As soon as representatives try to do anything but follow the whims of their constituents, then the government has lost all legitimacy and it’s raison d’être.

Perhaps, but if the government isn’t a moral system, then why have it? If it resorts to apathy when lives are at stake, then why have it? And not lives willingly offered for the good of the country, like the lives of our Troops, but rather, the lives of ordinary citizens whose lives were cut short by a man with an AR-15. What good is an immoral government? How then are we any different from a dictatorship? How is this democracy then better than a Communist regime? Do you not see how you’ve dug yourself into quicksand?

Hey, I’m super sorry to jump in, but you know that Communist regimes were actively trying to put the idea of a moral government into practice, right? A big component of Marxism-Leninism is a state that adequately provides for the people and protects them from exploitation until the people are ready to protect itself: the party rules in the name and interests of the proletariat. The entire reason they have a one-party state is for the selfsame reason you want to prevent certain people from voting–they fear what would happen if people who didn’t respect human rights got into government.* Those regimes were trying to be as moral as possible, and just like you, they’ve found that there are some people who stand in the way of progress.

Now, it’s clear that we have different stances on communism, but you have to understand how your line of thinking is exactly the line of thought that led those regimes to do what they did.

*Many of these governments didn’t respect human rights, of course, and they deserve to be condemned for that, but that’s what ideologically they were committed to do: it’s much more a failure in practice than a failure in intention. And they did do some good: Communist governments vaccinated children by the millions, legalized abortion as early as 1920, openly advocated for women’s rights and racial equality, and eliminated malnutrition in Cuba entirely. While we can’t ignore the atrocities they’ve committed (of which there are many), many of these abuses pale in comparison to those committed by Western “democracies”, and the fact that only Communist regimes are have to account for their sins (though rightfully so) is misleading and dangerous.

No reason to apologize! This is a great response and the brief history lesson on its own is of great value. What you’ve shown is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. A government can start out with every moral intent and go astray. I can start out with an arguably moral idea and lose my way. This has happened and I’m not at all immune to human shortcomings. That, however, shouldn’t stop us from trying. Also, I’m not trying to be at the helm of the government or even of the very process I’ve offered – and certainly not alone lacking in collaborators and people who can provide checks and balances to my authority. In a sense, people who have chimed in have done so by pointing out that I can’t stop simply at the uneducated. Though I didn’t intend to do that, they’re not wrong. There are allies who have no college education and who can articulate well enough to pass such an exam. 

The point here is empathy and the capacity to think critically. So I want to exclude people who have no grasp of the pertinent issues and who vote on the basis of hatred and/or tribal thinking. “Vote the party,” “god hates fags” sort of people have no business deciding for millions of other people.

In any case, you’ve added value to the discussion and you’re absolutely right that Communist regimes are held more accountable than democracies like the US. I like that you put that in quotes by the way! The US has no such democracy; it’s a sham. The People don’t have real power. Corporations and big money lobbyists have surpassed the People in power and influence, and it’s a damn shame, and it’s high time we hold this government accountable.

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate it!

I get where you’re coming from. But I think there are still some dangerous points to what you’re saying:

1) The idea of a “critical thinking/empathy” test is really sketchy: this concept has been used as a tool of voter suppression before, in the form of literacy tests in the South. The fact that you said this test requires you to be “articulate” smacks of old-school classism and racism, especially with the historical connotation around that word. At a certain level, eloquence and ease in communication is learned, and so is the sort of critical thinking that would  cater to the academics who would design it: even if it’s not explicitly targeting the uneducated, it’s going to be used to do that anyway. The fact that a few will pass is irrelevant, especially when you consider that many wealthy bigots and idiots are going to pass easily. 

2) And therein lies the real problem–the issue isn’t the exploited poor, the issue is the wealthy people who con them. The poor whites who voted for Trump had reasons to hate the Clintons and the Democrats: Obama’s policies were almost identical to Bush’s, failing to take any real action against Wall Street or the people in government who let it happen. Trump just turned their economic desperation against the wrong targets (e.g. people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people). Yes, these people have disgusting beliefs, but they’re not the problem–the problem, like you said, is the capitalist class which impoverishes them to the point where they’re desperate enough that fascists can exploit their biases. Stopping these people from voting won’t stop the wealthy from doing what they’ve always done, especially considering that the Democrats are as bought and sold as the Republicans (and you probably wouldn’t get the rich bigots, because they know how to play the game, and they make the rules anyway.) To stop this, we have to stop the system itself, not slap a band-aid on the problem. I’m willing to bet that fewer people would care about immigrants stealing their jobs if your worth wasn’t measured by your economic success in the first place. (Of course, white supremacy will still be a problem, but racism as we know it today was invented by capitalists to divide the working class. You have to start somewhere.)

Sorry again to bother you!

You’re not at all a bother! You’re respectful and insightful and a marquee example of how to disagree politely and correctly. An interesting observation before I make some suggestions about what you’ve offered.

I had this conversation earlier in the week on Facebook. Interestingly, many on the Left don’t like the idea and it feels wrong to them. It’s interesting that the discussion took a similar trajectory with one person eventually condemning capitalism and labeling it the real problem. It’s interesting in a discussion about determinism. Is a discussion of this sort meant to take the same shape? Will it always follow the path of rude interlocutors followed by more thoughtful insights and ultimately, an indictment of capitalism? Is that perhaps the observation we are supposed to make in order to motion against the issues we face? I can’t be sure, but it’s interesting.

1) I understand that literacy tests in the past were used to oppress Blacks and were designed to “prove” that Blacks are less articulate and less educated or knowledgeable. Of course that’s classist and racist in every respect, and that’s not what I’m suggesting here. I’m Latino. By a racist’s estimation, I’m supposed to speak in a heavy accent, speak mostly in Spanish, and display little to no ability to articulate my opinions. Yet here I am. I have plenty of faith in my fellow minorities to do the same. Unfortunately, some won’t be able to due to lack of education, knowledge, or even care. Some people can’t be bothered with politics. Some Whites will fall in this category as well. Poverty affects them as well; let’s not forget that the majority of welfare recipients are White.

Also, I’m not sure wealthy and White bigots will play the system and pass. Recall the nature of the test I suggested. Can they defend owning an AR-15? Can they also oppose owning it? Can they address the slippery slope that’s implied in the right to bear arms? Where do we draw the line? Being affluent and even highly educated might not make a rich bigot more equipped to handle such questions with any respectful coherence. The questions would be designed to make people think clearly about their own views and values in addition to the views and values of their opponents.

2) Like the commenter on Facebook, you propose a top-down dynamic between the rich exploiting the poor and uneducated by appealing to deeply held anger and prejudices. You’re absolutely right that Obama didn’t go after Wall Street. Hillary wouldn’t have either and it’s one reason I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote Trump either. 

Your proposal is great, but it’s also the path of greatest resistance. Can we really go after the system as a whole? The rich and powerful have all the resources. It’s conceivable that some of them are tracking our very discussion to see if we can come up with some strategy to revolutionize the government. 

I have little faith that we can go after the system. Mobilizing the numbers needed to enact such change is nearly impossible. The political divide in our country has made it an exercise in herding cats. Never mind that getting people to abandon their posts at work and school and with their families is a lot to ask. We would also be asking them to risk their lives because it’s a major scale of protest. So we are absolutely obligated to start small! If we can’t go after the Trumps of the world by gutting capitalism and replacing the system with something that works better, we need to to go after their lifeline. That lifeline is the constituents that vote them in election after election. We can’t continue with this tit for tat. Look at the trend!

Bush Sr. then Clinton then Bush Jr. then Obama and now Trump. A democrat will no doubt win in 2020 or 2024 and thus, continue the cycle of the two major parties basically exchanging the highest elected office in this country. Congress is the same! The Republican majority will be replaced by a Democratic majority; that cycle will repeat itself. We’ll be long dead and this tit for tat will continue. The polarization we see among American citizens plays precisely into the hands of this country’s politicians. They want to give the People the impression that they’re as divided, but as you suggested, the point is to keep their money safe and empower Wall Street and lobbyists who can fund their agendas. It’s precisely the special interests Bernie Sanders was so concerned about; it’s why he went after the Citizens United decision.

So yes, I agree with you. I know what the real problem is, but it’s considerably a bigger fish! We can’t go after the rich and powerful, the people resourceful enough to watch our every move should we think of a large scale revolution of the sort. So we fry the smaller fish, their pipeline, their most abundant resource, namely the ignorant one-issue, hateful voters that continue to vote them in despite it being the proverbial shot in the foot. If only the non-college White realized and/or accepted that they have more in common with the inner city minorities than not. 

In trying to conjure up a nice image to get my point across, I couldn’t think of anything other than a man on stilts. If you wish to topple the man on stilts, would you start at the top? Or would you go after his stilts? Those in power exploit the ignorance of their supporters; those are the stilts they stand on. Starting at the top is a path much harder than going after the stilts. 

I’d love to hear what you think about this.

fascinating discussion on an important topic

Keep in mind: green papers like this one are meant to push us to think differently and question our assumptions. They’re meant to be problematic and push an extreme view so that we can engage critically with the subject matter. They’re not meant to be policy papers to be acted upon; that’s what white papers are for…

Therefore, think long and hard, and challenge your assumptions before attacking this superficially and emotionally. It’s okay to have an emotional reaction, but you also have to stop and think about why you’re reacting the way you are

Someone who gets it! Thank you. I knew it was a controversial topic and I totally expected “vile” and “disgusting,” but certainly not “I’d shoot this fucker.” I don’t feel bad though. Though there have been quite a few rude dissenters, people have offered wonderful insights. The point of this blog is to generate discussions on relatable and sometimes controversial topics. From that perspective, I’ve succeeded even if it meant stirring up some anger.

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

momir:

philosophycorner:

momir:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

I can’t actually think of a single fucking post on this site that has made me more furious than this one. How does someone get to the point where they not only hold these views, but think they are moral ethical and intelligent?

How very fucking appropriate that OP has Socrates as his profile pic.

Read the post. Read the discussion. Tell me how allowing “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims,” “they’re trying to take our guns” folks to vote away does any good for millions of other people. The fact is that such beliefs are immoral and destructive, and this is demonstrable the world over. Think abortion!

Let’s do it their way. Let’s ban abortion! You know what happens? Survey countries that have actually done that. Women die. Poverty persists. The mental and physical health of children is worse. That’s what happens. If women can’t do it legally and safely, they find other ways and the results are disastrous. In turn, they may fail to abort an unwanted pregnancy and now they have yet another mouth to feed despite the fact that they’re poor. Given poverty, children are eating less healthy foods, have less access to healthcare, and due to that, they are generally unhealthier than children who have affluent parents. You may scream “protection, contraception!,” and overlook the fact that they live in highly religious countries that equate abortion and contraception. “If it’s god will for her to get pregnant, then she must give birth!” It’s the Catholic way in the Philippines and some Hispanic countries. 

Let’s let them keep their guns! We have so far. What happens? Shootings at schools, at churches, at theaters. Please tell me why an ordinary citizen needs an AR-15. Give me good reasons for why you think like you do.

My reasons for wanting to exclude those people from the voting process are entirely moral and despite your anger, you can’t prove that wrong. Tell me how the people who despise the kneeling protests during the national anthem aren’t exactly like dissenters of the Civil Rights Movement. Tell me how their apathy towards racial injustice doesn’t result in more police brutality and sexual assaults. Tell me how their voting in of candidates who overlook such injustice doesn’t amount to that blood being on their hands.

Now tell me if you wouldn’t want to exclude me from the voting process if I overlooked the fact that the candidates I vote for don’t care about your life and that voting them in might lead to you losing your life or going through unnecessary pain. While you overlook racial inequality and injustice, I realize that I’m not White and that because of that, I can be a victim of police brutality – even if I’m innocent. You can either go right ahead and prove your lack of empathy or change your mind and realize that despite your initial misgivings, my reasons are demonstrably moral, certainly more moral than you’ve given them credit for.

Government is not a moral system. It’s not trying to be. It’s trying to represent the interests of the people, regardless of what those interests are or if they happen to be immoral in your opinion. As soon as representatives try to do anything but follow the whims of their constituents, then the government has lost all legitimacy and it’s raison d’être.

Perhaps, but if the government isn’t a moral system, then why have it? If it resorts to apathy when lives are at stake, then why have it? And not lives willingly offered for the good of the country, like the lives of our Troops, but rather, the lives of ordinary citizens whose lives were cut short by a man with an AR-15. What good is an immoral government? How then are we any different from a dictatorship? How is this democracy then better than a Communist regime? Do you not see how you’ve dug yourself into quicksand?

Hey, I’m super sorry to jump in, but you know that Communist regimes were actively trying to put the idea of a moral government into practice, right? A big component of Marxism-Leninism is a state that adequately provides for the people and protects them from exploitation until the people are ready to protect itself: the party rules in the name and interests of the proletariat. The entire reason they have a one-party state is for the selfsame reason you want to prevent certain people from voting–they fear what would happen if people who didn’t respect human rights got into government.* Those regimes were trying to be as moral as possible, and just like you, they’ve found that there are some people who stand in the way of progress.

Now, it’s clear that we have different stances on communism, but you have to understand how your line of thinking is exactly the line of thought that led those regimes to do what they did.

*Many of these governments didn’t respect human rights, of course, and they deserve to be condemned for that, but that’s what ideologically they were committed to do: it’s much more a failure in practice than a failure in intention. And they did do some good: Communist governments vaccinated children by the millions, legalized abortion as early as 1920, openly advocated for women’s rights and racial equality, and eliminated malnutrition in Cuba entirely. While we can’t ignore the atrocities they’ve committed (of which there are many), many of these abuses pale in comparison to those committed by Western “democracies”, and the fact that only Communist regimes are have to account for their sins (though rightfully so) is misleading and dangerous.

No reason to apologize! This is a great response and the brief history lesson on its own is of great value. What you’ve shown is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. A government can start out with every moral intent and go astray. I can start out with an arguably moral idea and lose my way. This has happened and I’m not at all immune to human shortcomings. That, however, shouldn’t stop us from trying. Also, I’m not trying to be at the helm of the government or even of the very process I’ve offered – and certainly not alone lacking in collaborators and people who can provide checks and balances to my authority. In a sense, people who have chimed in have done so by pointing out that I can’t stop simply at the uneducated. Though I didn’t intend to do that, they’re not wrong. There are allies who have no college education and who can articulate well enough to pass such an exam. 

The point here is empathy and the capacity to think critically. So I want to exclude people who have no grasp of the pertinent issues and who vote on the basis of hatred and/or tribal thinking. “Vote the party,” “god hates fags” sort of people have no business deciding for millions of other people.

In any case, you’ve added value to the discussion and you’re absolutely right that Communist regimes are held more accountable than democracies like the US. I like that you put that in quotes by the way! The US has no such democracy; it’s a sham. The People don’t have real power. Corporations and big money lobbyists have surpassed the People in power and influence, and it’s a damn shame, and it’s high time we hold this government accountable.

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate it!

I get where you’re coming from. But I think there are still some dangerous points to what you’re saying:

1) The idea of a “critical thinking/empathy” test is really sketchy: this concept has been used as a tool of voter suppression before, in the form of literacy tests in the South. The fact that you said this test requires you to be “articulate” smacks of old-school classism and racism, especially with the historical connotation around that word. At a certain level, eloquence and ease in communication is learned, and so is the sort of critical thinking that would  cater to the academics who would design it: even if it’s not explicitly targeting the uneducated, it’s going to be used to do that anyway. The fact that a few will pass is irrelevant, especially when you consider that many wealthy bigots and idiots are going to pass easily. 

2) And therein lies the real problem–the issue isn’t the exploited poor, the issue is the wealthy people who con them. The poor whites who voted for Trump had reasons to hate the Clintons and the Democrats: Obama’s policies were almost identical to Bush’s, failing to take any real action against Wall Street or the people in government who let it happen. Trump just turned their economic desperation against the wrong targets (e.g. people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people). Yes, these people have disgusting beliefs, but they’re not the problem–the problem, like you said, is the capitalist class which impoverishes them to the point where they’re desperate enough that fascists can exploit their biases. Stopping these people from voting won’t stop the wealthy from doing what they’ve always done, especially considering that the Democrats are as bought and sold as the Republicans (and you probably wouldn’t get the rich bigots, because they know how to play the game, and they make the rules anyway.) To stop this, we have to stop the system itself, not slap a band-aid on the problem. I’m willing to bet that fewer people would care about immigrants stealing their jobs if your worth wasn’t measured by your economic success in the first place. (Of course, white supremacy will still be a problem, but racism as we know it today was invented by capitalists to divide the working class. You have to start somewhere.)

Sorry again to bother you!

You’re not at all a bother! You’re respectful and insightful and a marquee example of how to disagree politely and correctly. An interesting observation before I make some suggestions about what you’ve offered.

I had this conversation earlier in the week on Facebook. Interestingly, many on the Left don’t like the idea and it feels wrong to them. It’s interesting that the discussion took a similar trajectory with one person eventually condemning capitalism and labeling it the real problem. It’s interesting in a discussion about determinism. Is a discussion of this sort meant to take the same shape? Will it always follow the path of rude interlocutors followed by more thoughtful insights and ultimately, an indictment of capitalism? Is that perhaps the observation we are supposed to make in order to motion against the issues we face? I can’t be sure, but it’s interesting.

1) I understand that literacy tests in the past were used to oppress Blacks and were designed to “prove” that Blacks are less articulate and less educated or knowledgeable. Of course that’s classist and racist in every respect, and that’s not what I’m suggesting here. I’m Latino. By a racist’s estimation, I’m supposed to speak in a heavy accent, speak mostly in Spanish, and display little to no ability to articulate my opinions. Yet here I am. I have plenty of faith in my fellow minorities to do the same. Unfortunately, some won’t be able to due to lack of education, knowledge, or even care. Some people can’t be bothered with politics. Some Whites will fall in this category as well. Poverty affects them as well; let’s not forget that the majority of welfare recipients are White.

Also, I’m not sure wealthy and White bigots will play the system and pass. Recall the nature of the test I suggested. Can they defend owning an AR-15? Can they also oppose owning it? Can they address the slippery slope that’s implied in the right to bear arms? Where do we draw the line? Being affluent and even highly educated might not make a rich bigot more equipped to handle such questions with any respectful coherence. The questions would be designed to make people think clearly about their own views and values in addition to the views and values of their opponents.

2) Like the commenter on Facebook, you propose a top-down dynamic between the rich exploiting the poor and uneducated by appealing to deeply held anger and prejudices. You’re absolutely right that Obama didn’t go after Wall Street. Hillary wouldn’t have either and it’s one reason I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t vote Trump either. 

Your proposal is great, but it’s also the path of greatest resistance. Can we really go after the system as a whole? The rich and powerful have all the resources. It’s conceivable that some of them are tracking our very discussion to see if we can come up with some strategy to revolutionize the government. 

I have little faith that we can go after the system. Mobilizing the numbers needed to enact such change is nearly impossible. The political divide in our country has made it an exercise in herding cats. Never mind that getting people to abandon their posts at work and school and with their families is a lot to ask. We would also be asking them to risk their lives because it’s a major scale of protest. So we are absolutely obligated to start small! If we can’t go after the Trumps of the world by gutting capitalism and replacing the system with something that works better, we need to to go after their lifeline. That lifeline is the constituents that vote them in election after election. We can’t continue with this tit for tat. Look at the trend!

Bush Sr. then Clinton then Bush Jr. then Obama and now Trump. A democrat will no doubt win in 2020 or 2024 and thus, continue the cycle of the two major parties basically exchanging the highest elected office in this country. Congress is the same! The Republican majority will be replaced by a Democratic majority; that cycle will repeat itself. We’ll be long dead and this tit for tat will continue. The polarization we see among American citizens plays precisely into the hands of this country’s politicians. They want to give the People the impression that they’re as divided, but as you suggested, the point is to keep their money safe and empower Wall Street and lobbyists who can fund their agendas. It’s precisely the special interests Bernie Sanders was so concerned about; it’s why he went after the Citizens United decision.

So yes, I agree with you. I know what the real problem is, but it’s considerably a bigger fish! We can’t go after the rich and powerful, the people resourceful enough to watch our every move should we think of a large scale revolution of the sort. So we fry the smaller fish, their pipeline, their most abundant resource, namely the ignorant one-issue, hateful voters that continue to vote them in despite it being the proverbial shot in the foot. If only the non-college White realized and/or accepted that they have more in common with the inner city minorities than not. 

In trying to conjure up a nice image to get my point across, I couldn’t think of anything other than a man on stilts. If you wish to topple the man on stilts, would you start at the top? Or would you go after his stilts? Those in power exploit the ignorance of their supporters; those are the stilts they stand on. Starting at the top is a path much harder than going after the stilts. 

I’d love to hear what you think about this.

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

pedanticlecturer:

philosophycorner:

momir:

philosophycorner:

momir:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

I can’t actually think of a single fucking post on this site that has made me more furious than this one. How does someone get to the point where they not only hold these views, but think they are moral ethical and intelligent?

How very fucking appropriate that OP has Socrates as his profile pic.

Read the post. Read the discussion. Tell me how allowing “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims,” “they’re trying to take our guns” folks to vote away does any good for millions of other people. The fact is that such beliefs are immoral and destructive, and this is demonstrable the world over. Think abortion!

Let’s do it their way. Let’s ban abortion! You know what happens? Survey countries that have actually done that. Women die. Poverty persists. The mental and physical health of children is worse. That’s what happens. If women can’t do it legally and safely, they find other ways and the results are disastrous. In turn, they may fail to abort an unwanted pregnancy and now they have yet another mouth to feed despite the fact that they’re poor. Given poverty, children are eating less healthy foods, have less access to healthcare, and due to that, they are generally unhealthier than children who have affluent parents. You may scream “protection, contraception!,” and overlook the fact that they live in highly religious countries that equate abortion and contraception. “If it’s god will for her to get pregnant, then she must give birth!” It’s the Catholic way in the Philippines and some Hispanic countries. 

Let’s let them keep their guns! We have so far. What happens? Shootings at schools, at churches, at theaters. Please tell me why an ordinary citizen needs an AR-15. Give me good reasons for why you think like you do.

My reasons for wanting to exclude those people from the voting process are entirely moral and despite your anger, you can’t prove that wrong. Tell me how the people who despise the kneeling protests during the national anthem aren’t exactly like dissenters of the Civil Rights Movement. Tell me how their apathy towards racial injustice doesn’t result in more police brutality and sexual assaults. Tell me how their voting in of candidates who overlook such injustice doesn’t amount to that blood being on their hands.

Now tell me if you wouldn’t want to exclude me from the voting process if I overlooked the fact that the candidates I vote for don’t care about your life and that voting them in might lead to you losing your life or going through unnecessary pain. While you overlook racial inequality and injustice, I realize that I’m not White and that because of that, I can be a victim of police brutality – even if I’m innocent. You can either go right ahead and prove your lack of empathy or change your mind and realize that despite your initial misgivings, my reasons are demonstrably moral, certainly more moral than you’ve given them credit for.

Government is not a moral system. It’s not trying to be. It’s trying to represent the interests of the people, regardless of what those interests are or if they happen to be immoral in your opinion. As soon as representatives try to do anything but follow the whims of their constituents, then the government has lost all legitimacy and it’s raison d’être.

Perhaps, but if the government isn’t a moral system, then why have it? If it resorts to apathy when lives are at stake, then why have it? And not lives willingly offered for the good of the country, like the lives of our Troops, but rather, the lives of ordinary citizens whose lives were cut short by a man with an AR-15. What good is an immoral government? How then are we any different from a dictatorship? How is this democracy then better than a Communist regime? Do you not see how you’ve dug yourself into quicksand?

Hey, I’m super sorry to jump in, but you know that Communist regimes were actively trying to put the idea of a moral government into practice, right? A big component of Marxism-Leninism is a state that adequately provides for the people and protects them from exploitation until the people are ready to protect itself: the party rules in the name and interests of the proletariat. The entire reason they have a one-party state is for the selfsame reason you want to prevent certain people from voting–they fear what would happen if people who didn’t respect human rights got into government.* Those regimes were trying to be as moral as possible, and just like you, they’ve found that there are some people who stand in the way of progress.

Now, it’s clear that we have different stances on communism, but you have to understand how your line of thinking is exactly the line of thought that led those regimes to do what they did.

*Many of these governments didn’t respect human rights, of course, and they deserve to be condemned for that, but that’s what ideologically they were committed to do: it’s much more a failure in practice than a failure in intention. And they did do some good: Communist governments vaccinated children by the millions, legalized abortion as early as 1920, openly advocated for women’s rights and racial equality, and eliminated malnutrition in Cuba entirely. While we can’t ignore the atrocities they’ve committed (of which there are many), many of these abuses pale in comparison to those committed by Western “democracies”, and the fact that only Communist regimes are have to account for their sins (though rightfully so) is misleading and dangerous.

No reason to apologize! This is a great response and the brief history lesson on its own is of great value. What you’ve shown is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. A government can start out with every moral intent and go astray. I can start out with an arguably moral idea and lose my way. This has happened and I’m not at all immune to human shortcomings. That, however, shouldn’t stop us from trying. Also, I’m not trying to be at the helm of the government or even of the very process I’ve offered – and certainly not alone lacking in collaborators and people who can provide checks and balances to my authority. In a sense, people who have chimed in have done so by pointing out that I can’t stop simply at the uneducated. Though I didn’t intend to do that, they’re not wrong. There are allies who have no college education and who can articulate well enough to pass such an exam. 

The point here is empathy and the capacity to think critically. So I want to exclude people who have no grasp of the pertinent issues and who vote on the basis of hatred and/or tribal thinking. “Vote the party,” “god hates fags” sort of people have no business deciding for millions of other people.

In any case, you’ve added value to the discussion and you’re absolutely right that Communist regimes are held more accountable than democracies like the US. I like that you put that in quotes by the way! The US has no such democracy; it’s a sham. The People don’t have real power. Corporations and big money lobbyists have surpassed the People in power and influence, and it’s a damn shame, and it’s high time we hold this government accountable.

A sincere thank you to everyone that has chimed in so far. Despite a rocky start given one disrespectful interlocutor, this discussion is obviously worth having! It’s admittedly a controversial idea and though that’s not the reason for sharing the idea, that element has helped the discussion along.

That said, I’m not ignoring you if I haven’t responded! There are quite a number of responses and I’m just one person. My above average WPM count doesn’t help as much as I’d like it to. Keep sharing! Keep discussing. Keep thinking.

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

nico-nico-nwo:

philosophycorner:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

You missed the point and that’s okay; at least you aren’t rude. 🙂

Again, this isn’t about oppressing uneducated voters. Sure, I singled out non-college Whites because 65% of them voted for Trump. Crucially, 35% of them voted against Trump. It’s not simply about education or intelligence, and the idiot blogger you reblogged from was clearly disingenuous. It’s about empathy. 

So I don’t care about age, gender, education level, religion, and so on. If you can’t articulate your reasons for subscribing to a view and thus, demonstrate your own lack of informedness, you fail the exam. You don’t get to vote. It’s that simple. You need to understand exactly how your decision affects millions of other lives. So I don’t want you going into the booth because you believe that “god hates fags and Trump does too” or “Muslims should be banned and Trump will get that done” or “keeping out immigrants is good, so let’s build that wall.” More importantly, I’m looking for empathy from all sides; I want you to be able to find good reasons for holding the beliefs of your opponents

Notice my questions: What are arguments in favor of someone owning a semiautomatic weapon? What are arguments against this? Why can’t this individual own a nuclear arm? The latter question implies a slippery slope. Who drew the line at semiautomatics? Perhaps it’s time to push that line further back, especially in light of the fact that an AR-15 has featured in too many of the more recent mass shootings? 

I want you to see that reasoning and to find your own errors in thinking as your opponents do. It’s something I do all the time! And guess what? I can’t think of any good reasons why an average citizen should be able to legally purchase a weapon of war like an AR-15. In the end, any one of us might be brave enough to tackle a shooter with a handgun. Few of us are brave enough to try to take down a shooter with an AR-15. It’s unfortunate that one teacher had to shield students from bullets; he sacrificed his life in a senseless act of violence. Ultimately, the shooter shouldn’t have been able to purchase that specific weapon. If you think so, then why draw the line there? Why can’t someone with the means purchase an Apache chopper? 

Anyone who can’t deal with these kind of questions hasn’t thought through the issue enough and it’s questionable whether their opinion on the matter is valid. So far from trying to exclude uneducated voters, I’m trying to exclude inarticulate and more importantly, non-empathetic or even apathetic voters. I’m not your enemy by virtue of disagreeing with you and you shouldn’t want me six-feet under in a box because I don’t subscribe to your religion or sexual orientation or political party. It’s senseless that anyone thinks like that and uses that as basis for casting their vote. That’s my point!

“It isn’t about oppressing uneducated voters, just the ones that voted against my political interests because I believe they’re all mindless idiots that are wrong” is what you’re saying here. The fact you then immediately say anything like it being about empathy is almost shockingly disgusting.

Did you ever attend a rally and speak to the people who you’d like to strip of their voting power? Moreso did you speak to any of these people in a nonhostile setting at length to listen and understand? I don’t believe for a second you understand the first thing about empathy.

You’re hiding behind this idea that they simply aren’t “properly” informed or are inarticulate about their reasoning as a way to reject their beliefs. You apparently can’t come to grips with the idea that anyone could not agree with you without being absolutely wrong which is frankly sad.

Let me ask, why do your beliefs matter and can you really prove they are right? Right now all I feel is disappointment in how base your thinking is, and I have to question the merit of your opinions as much as I question the opinions of the cariacatured non-college white you’ve painted.

@apostalism I’ve lost ten years off my life for your amusement, I hope you’re content.

That is actually a caricature, a straw man. I said nothing about people who “voted against my political interests.” I have most certainly spoken to people on the Right, both in person and online. The setting starts off very civil. I haven’t offered you any hint of hostility, have I? I haven’t threatened you; I haven’t cursed at you. And I won’t. But who do you think is more likely to call me a “Communist,” a “faggot lover,” or a “spic”? After all, who started hurling insults, me the Leftist or Right Wing dissenters? 

The Right very often creates hostility before any line of thinking can be understood. I wouldn’t be proposing this if not for a continuing failure to reason with many on the Right. They lack empathy and don’t want to understand contrary perspectives. Many of them don’t want to silence my vote; they want me dead and they’ve made that clear with their “if you ever step foot in my state, I’ll shoot you dead.” I’ve received quite a number of unprovoked (death) threats.

Actually, I know people can disagree with me without being absolutely wrong. The Right isn’t wrong about small government or about less spending. I just threw you an olive branch. Please don’t find that surprising. There are millions of disagreeable positions, political, scientific, philosophical, historical, etc. I can disagree charitably and respectfully. That doesn’t mean that I’ve misrepresented the kind of voters I have in mind. 

Why do my beliefs matter? Which exactly? I have many views about a number of things, but let’s keep on topic. Why do I believe that excluding uneducated, racist, sexist, Bible Belt Christian, gun toting voters will help matters? 

The rights of millions of other people will be secured. Women will continue to have access to reproductive healthcare. Abortion will remain safe, accessible, and legal. Women will continue to push the bar as it concerns equality, especially in the workplace. The rights of immigrants, even illegal ones, will be taken into consideration. An illegal immigrant won’t be taken by force by the ICE while trying to get his kids to school. The rights of minorities will matter more. Police brutality will become a central issue. Minority lives will be saved; women will no longer be sexually assaulted by law enforcement. Did you know that some states have legalized sex with a detainee? The rights of non-Christians and homosexuals will be secured. There won’t be any of this fuss over “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays” and all of these demonstrations of Christian privilege. The shootings are due to prayers revoked in schools supposedly and yet there are shootings in churches. Why didn’t prayer stop those shootings? This is about securing the rights of millions of people some on the Right have painted as enemies. This is about saving lives.

Again, this is the moral decision! The right to vote belonging to a band of idiots pales when compared to the health and lives of the millions of people they openly despise. Or do you think I’m lying about what I’ve heard from the Right? Do you honestly believe that some people on the Right aren’t filled to the brim with violent hatred for people who don’t think like them?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?

Who Should Have the Right to Vote?:

momir:

philosophycorner:

momir:

nico-nico-nwo:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

apostalism:

philosophycorner:

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.

Continue Reading

In all seriousness, here’s a passage from the piece.

Imagine the elitism, the snobbery, the condescending mindset of the writer. How much better they are than you.

I say ol’ chap is that a white, working class voter who couldn’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars to be indoctrinated at a Leftist university? And he is Christian!? I will not stand for this!

And where exactly is your well-articulated criticism? All I see here is an accusation of snobbery and elitism (i.e., ad hominem) (boy, you people can’t reason today huh!?), an underhanded way of admitting that yes, I’m smarter than you are and can articulate my position better than you. Gifs and one-liners might work on Tumblr, generally speaking, but it won’t work to push back against an idea like the one I suggested. A White, working class voter doesn’t need hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend college. Ever heard of scholarships? Grants? Financial Aid? “Indoctrinated” at a Leftist university? Because suddenly they can’t choose to go to a Christian university that, at the very least, helps them to articulate their positions better? 

Here’s the thing, I know a number of such Christians and not surprisingly, they aren’t the “abortion is murder,” “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims” sort of folks. Go figure! I wonder what’s the difference between them and the Bible Belt idiot that gets to make a decision that affects millions of other people. I’m not a Christian by the way; I’m far from one. 

What a shame you use a gift showing an actress that’s far more intelligent than you are, one that, should she disagree with me, would articulate her reasoning much better than you have. She’s also college educated, so perhaps there’s nothing curious about that coming from someone who thinks there’s a such thing as “Leftist universities” that “indoctrinate” people after they spend “thousands of dollars” out of their own pockets. If this is how you disagree, you don’t deserve to vote! Thanks for being a good example of the kind of person I’m looking to exclude from the voting process. I’m definitely an elite and I’ll be as snob as I like once I’m accused of it for no good reason at all. Never mind that your snippet from my post contains important hyperlinks. My my! How you overlook details to make a failed point. 

It feels so good to read this in conjunction with the original post.

Oh, and to be clear, no one has a right to vote. It is a privilege, and no one deserves it.

It is not ad hominem to say you are a caricature of Leftism elitism and snobbery, as you admit. It is factual. Whether or not it hurts your feelings is beside the point.

@philosophycorner are we also stripping the right to vote from non-whites who have not completed a degree program too? I mean, since they’re uneducated as well, they clearly aren’t smart enough to decide policy or vote for representatives.

I can’t actually think of a single fucking post on this site that has made me more furious than this one. How does someone get to the point where they not only hold these views, but think they are moral ethical and intelligent?

How very fucking appropriate that OP has Socrates as his profile pic.

Read the post. Read the discussion. Tell me how allowing “god hates fags,” “ban the Muslims,” “they’re trying to take our guns” folks to vote away does any good for millions of other people. The fact is that such beliefs are immoral and destructive, and this is demonstrable the world over. Think abortion!

Let’s do it their way. Let’s ban abortion! You know what happens? Survey countries that have actually done that. Women die. Poverty persists. The mental and physical health of children is worse. That’s what happens. If women can’t do it legally and safely, they find other ways and the results are disastrous. In turn, they may fail to abort an unwanted pregnancy and now they have yet another mouth to feed despite the fact that they’re poor. Given poverty, children are eating less healthy foods, have less access to healthcare, and due to that, they are generally unhealthier than children who have affluent parents. You may scream “protection, contraception!,” and overlook the fact that they live in highly religious countries that equate abortion and contraception. “If it’s god will for her to get pregnant, then she must give birth!” It’s the Catholic way in the Philippines and some Hispanic countries. 

Let’s let them keep their guns! We have so far. What happens? Shootings at schools, at churches, at theaters. Please tell me why an ordinary citizen needs an AR-15. Give me good reasons for why you think like you do.

My reasons for wanting to exclude those people from the voting process are entirely moral and despite your anger, you can’t prove that wrong. Tell me how the people who despise the kneeling protests during the national anthem aren’t exactly like dissenters of the Civil Rights Movement. Tell me how their apathy towards racial injustice doesn’t result in more police brutality and sexual assaults. Tell me how their voting in of candidates who overlook such injustice doesn’t amount to that blood being on their hands.

Now tell me if you wouldn’t want to exclude me from the voting process if I overlooked the fact that the candidates I vote for don’t care about your life and that voting them in might lead to you losing your life or going through unnecessary pain. While you overlook racial inequality and injustice, I realize that I’m not White and that because of that, I can be a victim of police brutality – even if I’m innocent. You can either go right ahead and prove your lack of empathy or change your mind and realize that despite your initial misgivings, my reasons are demonstrably moral, certainly more moral than you’ve given them credit for.

Government is not a moral system. It’s not trying to be. It’s trying to represent the interests of the people, regardless of what those interests are or if they happen to be immoral in your opinion. As soon as representatives try to do anything but follow the whims of their constituents, then the government has lost all legitimacy and it’s raison d’être.

Perhaps, but if the government isn’t a moral system, then why have it? If it resorts to apathy when lives are at stake, then why have it? And not lives willingly offered for the good of the country, like the lives of our Troops, but rather, the lives of ordinary citizens whose lives were cut short by a man with an AR-15. What good is an immoral government? How then are we any different from a dictatorship? How is this democracy then better than a Communist regime? Do you not see how you’ve dug yourself into quicksand?