Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pandering to the Ignorant

By Doug Patton
April 2, 2012

Omaha, Nebraska — Every election year, politicians and the media decry the low voter participation in our elections. Indeed, it is a pathetic record, with any turnout greater than 50 percent generally considered high. However, contrary to popular opinion, not everyone should vote. In fact, most people should not vote.

As I have written before, voters should have to pass a basic civics test, especially to vote in federal elections. If you can list the top three contestants on American Idol, the final four teams in NCAA basketball, and the names of the characters on Jersey Shore, but you can’t name the vice president of the United States, the Speaker of the House, at least two Supreme Court Justices, and the three branches of the federal government, then I don’t want you helping to choose my leaders. Go home and watch South Park.

Imagine how many potential Obama voters could be eliminated by such a test. Remember Peggy the Mooch in Grant Park on election night telling us how great it was going to be under this president because she would no longer have to pay her mortgage or fill up her tank? Wouldn’t you love to run into her at the pump today and ask how she likes $4.00 gas?

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Or the people lined up waiting for “Obama money.” Remember them? When asked where Obama got that money, they replied, “We don’t know. From his stash! He’s the president! That’s why we love him!”

So what makes anyone believe that voters like these have the first clue what Obamacare is all about? Free health care! Whoopee! HOPE AND CHANGE!

Do you think they understand the ramifications of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s newfound powers — under Obamacare — to countermand the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion? Do you think they even know who Kathleen Sebelius is? It doesn’t matter. O-BA-MA! O-BA-MA!

Is there any chance that even a slim majority of Obama voters know what he will do to the Supreme Court if he is re-elected, or even that he has the authority to appoint Supreme Court Justices? No they don’t, but YES WE CAN!

One of the reddest states in the country is right here in Nebraska, and until Barack Obama pulled one electoral vote out of the state in 2008 by winning the predominantly urban 2nd Congressional District, no Democratic presidential candidate had managed to win anything here since Lyndon Johnson carried the state against Barry Goldwater in 1964. So it may surprise some to learn that even Nebraska is falling prey to the ignorance of the Obama era.

Recently the Douglas County Board in Omaha voted to cut the county budget, thereby mandating that Election Commissioner Dave Phipps reduce the budget for his department by $115,000 per year. A Republican appointee who obviously takes his fiscal responsibilities seriously, Phipps dutifully proceeded to make the necessary cuts by eliminating roughly half the polling places in the county.

Of course, in this era of the allegedly disenfranchised liberal voter (no one ever squawks about disenfranchised conservative voters), the shrieks from the left have been deafening. Never mind that any voter in the state can request an early ballot by mail — no questions asked — to fill out in the comfort and privacy of his or her own home, an option now exercised by roughly 30 percent of those who bother to vote. That doesn’t seem to matter to the whining PC crowd, who claim these cuts are “unfair” to the poor, to minorities, and to the elderly.

At the same time, Nebraska’s one-eyed, dysfunctional, “non-partisan” Unicameral Legislature in Lincoln rejected a bill requiring photo identification to vote. The mere introduction of such a bill led to cries of racism from the usual suspects — the chronic complainers on the left who have a vested interest in seeing illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals acquire and keep the right to vote.

And therein lies the secret of Barack Obama’s hopes for re-election: pander to the ignorant who buy the lies of the left and would not have a clue how to survive without a nanny-state to take care of them.

© 2012 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors.