Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Duty Not to Vote?

John Stossel raises the question of voters who, if honest with themselves, are too uninformed to cast a thoughtful vote. He's not talking about restricting the franchise by law. What he's suggesting is that a duty may exist to self-censorship.

I know I'm swimming against the tide. Get-out the-vote groups now register young
people at rock concerts.
HeadCount cofounder Andy Bernstein told me: "We registered over a 100,000 people. It is so imperative that this generation's voice is heard."
But wait. Is that really a good idea? Many kids don't know much. At a HeadCount concert, "
20/20" asked some future voters, "How many senators are there?" One said 12, another 16, and another 64. One girl guessed, "50 per state."
Most kids didn't know what Roe v. Wade was about. "Roe vs.
Wayne?" asked one. "Segregation, maybe?" "Where we declared bankruptcy?"

After all, in the words of the great 20th Century American philosopher, Harry Callahan, "A man's got to know his limitations."

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