Viewpoint: Political illiterates should lose the right to vote

2012-09-12T20:05:00Z Viewpoint: Political illiterates should lose the right to voteBy Gene Williams Ravalli Republic
September 12, 2012 8:05 pm  • 

This information is available on a website, Poll Tax - United States American History (www.us-history.com/pages/h425.html.

The poll tax was used in the South during and after Reconstruction as a means of circumventing the 14th Amendment and denying civil rights to blacks. This form of taxation gradually fell out of favor in the South in the mid-20th century, but it was not until the adoption of the 24th Amendment that poll taxes were made illegal as a prerequisite for voting in federal elections. That same prohibition was later extended to all elections.

Poll taxes are a thing of the past and thankfully so. Their intent was to prevent poor people, black and white, from voting in federal elections, but blacks were the primary target of those laws in Southern states. I instinctively recoil from any impediment to American citizens being able to vote for candidates of their choice.

Special sanctions were placed on those southern states that used whatever means possible to prevent black Americans from voting. It was actually a completely pragmatic decision to do that aside from any racial animosity, which was certainly prevalent prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Whites in those states who held political power knew that there were so many blacks in the South that if they were permitted to vote they would wrest power from the hands of white leaders.

But today I am dismayed by the efforts of The Democratic Party to make it possible for anyone to vote without proof of identification being confirmed by a photograph. The Obama Administration is suing some states, claiming that mandating voter ID is discriminatory and intended to prevent minorities, traditional Democratic Party supporters, from voting. That argument is specious and will not pass Constitutional muster.

In 2005, the Justice Department approved a Georgia law with the same provisions and protections of the one Eric Holder rejected for South Carolina. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that an Indiana law requiring photo ID did not present an undue burden on voters. No matter how the DOJ suit is decided, I predict that voter fraud will be widespread.

The Holder DOJ is attempting to penalize states for practices that have been abolished since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Holder knows this, but he is using the power of his office to achieve a political objective. That is disgraceful, but par for the course when it comes to Eric holder.

Given my negative view of poll taxes or other impediments to legitimate voters, it is uncomfortable to consider a possible solution to a problem that creates one step before being permitted to vote. People should be required to demonstrate at least a rudimentary knowledge of who their elected representatives are.

It should be mandatory for voters to know that voting is a privilege that carries with it a responsibility. People living in dictatorships around the world are denied the right to vote Many have died attempting to gain the vote. Our military has been fighting and dying to preserve that right for Americans.

But in spite of that there are Americans who do not even know who the governor of their state is. They don’t know who their senator or their representatives in Congress are. They don’t know that George Washington was our first president. But these same people can tell you whether their favorite celebrities take cream with their coffee.

That is a national disgrace. It should not be tolerated. Anyone who is that ignorant about the political process that will determine whether the democratic Republic the Founders gave us survives, should not be permitted to vote. I am certain that some people will take offense at that proposal. I can understand that. But truthfully, I feel compelled to say it.

America is at a critical point in its history. Whether this country survives as a free nation depends on the coming elections. Political illiterates, especially those who can provide chapter and verse on entertainers or their favorite athletes, should not be permitted to jeopardize the future of America by voting on issues they have no understanding of.

Gene Williams

Hamilton

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(41) Comments

  1. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - October 11, 2012 9:24 am
    Mike Miller:
    Thanks
  2. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - October 09, 2012 2:48 pm
    You would rather vote for someone who gives money away, vs someone who makes it, huh? We see how that is working out.

    Your answer is no. I see his point, though.
  3. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - October 09, 2012 11:34 am
    Mile Miller:
    OK, I looked it up.

    I think it's a stupid, repressive law he should not have signed.

    Does it erode my support for Obama?

    No.

    Do you believe we have to agree with EVERYTHING a president does to support him?

    You are not that clueless.

    I have every intention for voting for the President again for two reasons: 1) It's in my own personal financial interest and 2) I believe with all my heart, soul and intellect that Obama is a better candidate than Mitt Romney who has PROMISED to return to the Bush-era fiscal policies that caused the Great Recession, an economic calamity that is the sole reason I could not retire at age 62 as I had planned. (See reason 1.)

    Now, Mike, yes or no?

  4. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - October 06, 2012 10:45 pm
    Sanity:

    Your response to remarks I made on Sept. 27 are below my posting. I missed it, so I have been slow in responding. You said;

    :Yes I have read those statements Gene. I will say however I think you are missing the point entirely. Just as you say the Democratic leftists seem hostile to their own country, I say the same is true of the radical right in the House of Representatives who have been obstructing this country from moving forward"

    Republicans, myself included, do not agree with the policies of this administration. You say that they are obstructing the country from moving forward. I ask you what we are moving forward to? We obviously do not agree with where Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are taking the country.

    I didn't understand your remark;

    "Coincidentallly, my education really has no bearing on my feeling that way. It isn't rooted in some economics course somewhere, it's based on my situation, and what I have experienced under presidents of different parties."

    Did I ever say that your views were connected to any economics course? What this boils down to is that we are on opposite sides of the political isle. When you say that you have examined the policies suggested by Romney and that they will be no more effective that Obama's, I think that is something I would like to hear more about. I do not understand you when you say that you don't agree with Obama's policies, but add that he is defied by several people on the far right. What people and why do you see them as being on the far right?

    Obama has been president for four years. His economic policies are a failure. No one has to have studied economics to see that. Why wouldn't Republicans oppose him? You sound knowledgeable. Why don't you lay out a plan of your own.? How does your plan differ from Romney's and Obama's?
  5. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - October 04, 2012 3:11 pm
    Again, go eat your beans like your mother told you. Then go look up "Obama NDAA" yourself and figure out what I'm talking about. Don't worry about what I think about Gene's proposal, worry about what Traitor Obama has signed into law.
  6. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - October 03, 2012 9:02 am
    Mike Miller:
    Here are the questions you posed:

    "Lee, tell us how you feel about Obama and the Constitution when he bypassed Congress and started sending money to a government run by a radical muslim group that overran our embassies and killed our citizens?"

    Answered Oct. 1 at 1:10 p.m.

    "Or when Obama signed into law authorizing our own military ro come snatch up our citizen's home and arrest without warrant, crime, or legal defense?"

    Can't answer because I don't know what you are talking about.

    "When he signed into law authorizing the Secret Service to arrest people for saying things they didn't like? Consider yourself now informed these acts have been conducted by our current president, which are not only UN Consitutional, but traitorous."

    Answered Sept. 25 at 10:35 a.m.

    Now, yes or no, do you agree that U.S. citizens who are not as politically informed as Gene Williams requires should lose the right to vote?

  7. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - October 02, 2012 12:34 pm
    Now Lee, regarding your earlier question: Again I say, "I am waiting for you to answer my questions that I asked first".
  8. Sanity
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    Sanity - October 02, 2012 10:01 am
    Yes I have read those statements Gene. I will say however I think you are missing the point entirely. Just as you say the Democratic leftists seem hostile to their own country, I say the same is true of the radical right in the House of Representatives who have been obstructing this country from moving forward. You see this isn't about Republicans or Democrats, it's about policy, and what each of us believe will help our country. To be honest, I have given Mitt Romney a fair look and I honestly believe what he is saying he will do for our country is not good for our country at the moment. Those policies will not help our current situation any more than what is being attempted by our President in defiance of several people on the far right. Coincidentallly, my education really has no bearing on my feeling that way. It isn't rooted in some economics course somewhere, it's based on my situation, and what I have experienced under presidents of different parties. If it were strictly based on the economics, we'd be in the same situation because even those schools of thought are not in agreement in their ideology.
  9. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - October 01, 2012 1:10 pm
    Mike Miller:

    Finally had a few minutes to get caught up on these posts.

    The foreign aid to Egypt is RESUMING; it's been going there since Jimmy Carter engineered the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. No matter what you think about foreign aid, its a key component of U.S. foreign policy.

    I think Obama was spot-on in his characterization of the new Egypt – neither ally nor foe. Our nations’ relationship will develop over time, and American funds will, at least for now, be part of that equation.

    Would you prefer we simply ignore Egypt and give the more radical Muslims total control without the leavening influence of American ideals as personified by fine public servants like Chris Stevens? Or perhaps you think it would be a good idea to bow out of the region and let China dominate Egypt as they are beginning to dominate sub-Saharan Africa.

    Here's the truth as I see it in the Middle East. A wave of democratic reforms is washing over the region that George W. Bush could only dream of, and it’s the freedom-seeking Arabs themselves responsible for that resplendent tide, not American force of arms as we tried in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    When these newly freed people vote, some winners will be radical Muslims, a situation that will develop, for better of worse, as these newly democratic nations decide their future for themselves.

    Blame Obama if you want, but what’s happening in the Middle East is beyond his power – or any American president’s power - to control. Influence, perhaps, but not control. America can never again to be a puppeteer, pulling the strings of leaders like Hosni Mubarak in these desert nations. The future and fate of the Mideast lay in the hands of those who live there, an all-together appropriate reality, don’t you think.

    Now Mike, regarding my earlier question, yes or no?
  10. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 28, 2012 1:47 pm
    Lee, I see you have not been eating the beans your mother and I told you you should have. I am waiting for you to answer my questions that I asked first.
  11. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 28, 2012 1:44 pm
    Actually, I read The Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-resume-aid-to-egypt/2012/03/22/gIQA3B3UUS_story.html
  12. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 27, 2012 5:17 pm
    Sanity:

    You said;

    " The two party system in our country represents two different views on how to govern our societies. To say that having an education in the history of our country will make one feel different about their ideology is a bit far-fetched. I feel those beliefs are much more deep-rooted, emotional, built mostly upon personal experience. Having a test certainly will not work, because many will just find a way around that. (Look at illegal driver's licenses for example."

    I never said that an education in the history of our country will affect ideology. It might help counter some of the radical leftist ideas students are subjected to in universities all over America. Historical revisionism is a reality in our educational systems.

    You also said;

    "Voter education would help in the areas of different parties portraying themselves as the opposite party (political party misrepresentation), because voters would know the candidates better."

    You share my skepticism about the political Parties. A knowledge of history shows that the Founding Fathers warned us about the danger of allowing a political class to become a reality. I think they said that the Republic could not survive the machinations of a political class. (Those are my words, but they reflect my understanding of the reason those men gave us that warning.)

    My article referred to those people who were stopped on the streets of America and asked questions about who their representatives in Congress were. Or who the Governor of their state was. They had no idea. Not only did they not know who the their elected representatives were, but they had no idea of issues that impact their lives. Those are the people I was talking about.

    I have also said that the two Party system is good for America. I oppose the control of the Democratic Party by radical leftists who seem hostile to their own country. Have you read those statements?

  13. Sanity
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    Sanity - September 27, 2012 9:52 am
    Eliminating party affiliation is a good start, however I think people will just end up labeling who is affiliated with what party and you might have the same result. This gets back to the core of what I was trying to say. People are not married to one party or the other, they are married to the ideology of that party. The two party system in our country represents two different views on how to govern our societies. To say that having an education in the history of our country will make one feel different about their ideology is a bit far-fetched. I feel those beliefs are much more deep-rooted, emotional, built mostly upon personal experience. Having a test certainly will not work, because many will just find a way around that. (Look at illegal driver's licenses for example.) Voter education would help in the areas of different parties portraying themselves as the opposite party (political party misrepresentation), because voters would know the candidates better. However which ideology better servers our country? That is what has kept the two-party system in place for hundreds of years. Neither is perfect, and one could almost argue that our country is better off with an "oscillation" between the two different parties getting their ideas passed. I can think back over history how one parties ideology was better for the country at the time and vice-versa.
  14. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 27, 2012 9:25 am
    Come on, Mike Miller:

    Yes or no

  15. blodgett view
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    blodgett view - September 27, 2012 8:39 am
    So, first I asked -"who will be creating the test, how deep will the questions go, who gets to determine if the answers given are the "correct" answers" and the answers that Gene William feels were so complete that he has the right to distainfully dismiss my participation in this discussion was-"First of all there would obviously have to be lots of discussion and public input before any test was put together." and then he went off topic with his usual criticism of education in the United States. He has likened the voters in the United States to a bunch of fools on a late night talk show. Because, I suppose that's really how life works in his mind.
    I realize that all of my comments yesterday took awhile to post. There was a lag between the time the short, questioning comment showed up and the longer, more indepth responses with quotes and citations. I don't know why, but I'll give the Ravalli Republic staff the benefit of the doubt and assume they were being read to make sure that they were not offensive.(Not that offensive things aren't posted here a lot)
    However, I'd like to make a point of order. The empirious way that Gene Williams has assumed to the role of "dialog police" has to be addressed. He certainly has more than his fair share of moments when he obviously has no idea how foolish he sounds to those of us who do not subscribe to his philosophy and perception of life. Whenever someone calls him on his opinion, he whines mightily about how people are trying to "destroy" him.
    Gene, the fact that you submit a very high percentage of opinions to this forum to the contrary, this is a public discussion. You are not the final authority.
  16. David
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    David - September 27, 2012 7:50 am
    I don't get how people can vote to raise property taxes. When they dont even pay property taxes aka "school levy's.....ect". Well any ways back to Mist of Pandara.

    David
  17. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 26, 2012 1:06 pm
    blodget view:

    Every question you asked in your post was addressed previously. Once again you have demonstrated that you are incapable of participating in a discussion. And you have no idea how foolish you sound.
  18. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 26, 2012 9:29 am
    Gene:
    Once again I disagree with you.

    Your words: "Unfortunately there are some on this blog who will never examine what I say on its merits. They do not believe that anything I say has merit."

    I think, occasionally, you have a valid point to make. The problem is, that rare nugget of reason is so overwhelmed by the majority of crud you write, it's like knowing there's a quarter at the bottom of a septic tank: it's just not worth the effort to find it.
  19. blodgett view
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    blodgett view - September 26, 2012 9:26 am
    "tell us how you feel about ...when Obama signed into law authorizing our own military ro come snatch up our citizen's home and arrest without warrant, crime, or legal defense"
    I'm assuming you are referring to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The Act that funded all of the Armed Forces for the year 2012.
    The Act itself was sponsored by Democrat Carl Leven, and Republicans John McCain (remember him?) and Lindsey Graham. The targets for the law are "A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces"
    In his Signing Statement, President Obama explained: "I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed . . . I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of
    suspected terrorists."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedges_v._Obama
    The challenges in court are current and ongoing. The portrayal that President Obama is angling toward "snatching up citizens without warrant, crime or legal defense" is pretty farfetched.
    You are trying to portray the many nuanced issues of federal government in black and white terms. Again, who gets to decide if the answers in this hypothetical "voters test" are correct?
  20. blodgett view
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    blodgett view - September 26, 2012 8:48 am
    So, back to original premise of this viewpoint, that voters need to be educated to exercise their right to vote- who will be creating the test, how deep will the questions go, who gets to determine if the answers given are the "correct" answers and why does Gene Williams want to overturn the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, The Voting Rights Act of 1965 which was readopted and strengthened in 1970, 1975, and 1982?
  21. blodgett view
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    blodgett view - September 26, 2012 8:47 am
    It's easy to figure out what Mike Miller is referring to by "googling" the most inflammatory keywords he uses. I just searched "Egypt bypass congress" and found a wealth of sites by such neutral, reasonable "news" reporters as brietbart, creepingsharia, world under control, independent sentinel , etc. All hollering down the echo chamber to instill even more fear into the frightened masses.
    By doing a little more digging, I found a report by the Congressional Research Service entitled Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations, Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, September 13, 2012
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33003.pdf
    which explains how the United States is working toward building Democracy in Egypt. The funds that Mike Miller referred to were already allocated by the Congress and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in March that Egypt had hit the marks necessary to be eligible for those funds. " Overall, Congress has supported new Obama Administration proposals for Egypt but with conditions. P.L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, provides the full request for Egypt ($1.55 billion), authorizes debt relief, and authorizes and appropriates funding for the creation of an enterprise fund to promote private sector investment. However, Section 7041 of P.L. 112-74 specifies that no funds may be made available to Egypt until the Secretary of State certifies that Egypt is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. It further specifies that no military funds be provided until the Administration certifies that Egypt is supporting the transition to civilian government, including by holding free and fair elections and by implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion, and due process of law. The Administration may waive these certifications under certain conditions
    Read page 12.
  22. sallymander
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    sallymander - September 26, 2012 8:36 am
    My way of weeding out the illiterates is simple, no more party affiliations on the ballots, just the candidates names. Make voters have to research at least that much. Big difference in the voter id laws attempting to be pushed though right now is that states where the law is in effect gave people time to get an id and provided an easy means. Georgia gave them three years and had mobile id vans that traveled the state, Pennsylvania is trying to pass the law a month before the election. In Penns the Dept of Motor Vehicles says that they will be completely overwhelmed even if just one third of the low estimate of people who need ids try to apply. I'm not against requiring an id but not until it's made easy for people to get one in a timely manner.
  23. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 25, 2012 3:11 pm
    Sanity:

    Thank you for your thoughtful assessment of my article.

    You said;

    It can be argued that one Party or another might suffer more by having some "screening" process in place for potential voters, however I think you'd find that the issues we face are a matter of a difference in ideologies and not a difference in intelligence of who is who."

    If I remember correctly I believe I said that it was not my intention to focus on any political Party. I believe that both Parties are needed in our country. My intention was to point out the fact that millions of Americans know absolutely nothing about America's history. They know nothing about who their elected representatives are and consequently, as voters, get to make totally uninformed votes that affect the future of the nation.

    I did say;

    "Given my negative view of poll taxes or other impediments to legitimate voters, it is uncomfortable to consider a possible solution to a problem that creates one step before being permitted to vote."

    I said a possible solution. I said that I was uncomfortable about my proposal. I thought that the idea would promote discussion and thankfully your post has resulted from the remarks I made.

    Unfortunately there are some on this blog who will never examine what I say on its merits. They do not believe that anything I say has merit. One of them immediately claimed that I would disenfranchise anyone who did not share my radical right wing philosophy. Unfortunately any serious discussion with people like that is impossible. But that is the reality.
    Again I thank you for your contribution. I appreciate it.
  24. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 25, 2012 2:46 pm
    I know Congress spends the money, but here is the link saying Obama admin has bypassed Congress. If you bother to read the article, you will learn State Dept can bypass Congress. As far as Egypt being a radical Muslim government now, YES. The Muslim Brotherhood runs that country now. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-resume-aid-to-egypt/2012/03/22/gIQA3B3UUS_story.html?socialreader_check=0&denied=1


    I am aware the Bill had to pass muster for Obama to sign it. HE SIGNED IT. It is not the end of free speech, but it surely UNCONSTITUIONAL. So much for that oath of "support and defend the Consitution of the United States of America"... If he signed it into law, HE is responsible for it's passage.

    The only other thing I talk about is the NDAA HE signed into law. Go read up on it yourself, and lessen your lack of information for your vote. And eat your beans while you're at it, they're good for you.
  25. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 25, 2012 10:35 am
    Mike Miller:

    Surely you must know the Constitution stipulates that Congress alone has the power to spend money, so unless you are suggesting Obama personally wrote a check to whatever "radical Muslim" -run government you mentioned you are, as usual, full of beans.

    As far as stifling free speech, I suppose you are referring to hr-347 proposed by a REPUBLICAN congressman from Florida that squeaked through the House on a vote of 399-3. The President signed it into law earlier this year.

    Do I think it is a good law? No. Do I think Obama is responsible for its passage? No. Does it represent an end to free speech in this country. Of course not.

    The rest of your post - I have no idea what you are chattering on about.

    But one final question: Do you support Gene's premise that people should not be permitted to vote because of lack of information on their part?

    A simple yes or no will do fine.

  26. Sanity
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    Sanity - September 24, 2012 3:55 pm
    I think the problem with such an article is it assumes that smart people somehow know what is best for this country. One can argue that one party or another might suffer more by having some "screening" process in place for potential voters, however I think you'd find that the issues we face are a matter of a difference in ideologies and not a difference in intelligence of who is who. These ideologies are primarily based on experience and emotion, despite who the actual person is. Further complicating the matter is that the world is not predictable, nor is the economy. For all the "smart" economists in our country, a scant few saw the global meltdown unfold as it did. The bottom line is you cannot predict the future, and if you could, your own ideology is going to guide you in what you think is needed to fix this or that - but in the end it's all just a guess. Intelligence really has no role in the effectiveness of your leaders.
  27. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 22, 2012 11:40 am
    Lee, tell us how you feel about Obama and the Constitution when he bypassed Congress and started sending money to a government run by a radical muslim group that overran our embassies and killed our citizens? Or when Obama signed into law authorizing our own military ro come snatch up our citizen's home and arrest without warrant, crime, or legal defense? When he signed into law authorizing the Secret Service to arrest people for saying things they didn't like? Consider yourself now informed these acts have been conducted by our current president, which are not only UN Consitutional, but traitorous.
  28. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 22, 2012 11:32 am
    So a person wants voters to be educated about their decision, and that makes it "radically right wing"? Does that mean the liberals want uninformed, uninterested voters?
  29. Mike Miller
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    Mike Miller - September 22, 2012 11:28 am
    Nowhere in this LTE did the writer say one name or party when it came to the voter being ignorant. You make the only inference in the letter.
  30. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 19, 2012 8:23 am
    Gene:
    I want to extend to you my most sincere thanks for writing this important Valley Viewpoint.

    In it you confirm what I have suspected - and suggested - all along: that you have an intense disgust for this wonderful nation and the Constitution that has been our road map to greatness.

    You admirably condemn poll taxes and then suggest an infinitely worse impediment to voting, namely that only those you deem sufficiently "informed" should be allowed access to the hallowed ground of the voting booth.

    I am forever in your debt for this rare honesty.
  31. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 18, 2012 5:57 pm
    Sapphire - 4 hours ago
    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." ~ R. Santorum

    Oh! I get it. You consider yourself smart and of the elite. Well, I consider that nonsense. It takes more than one comment from Santorum, without placing that remark in context, to convince any one that you are superior in any way. Personally, I think that the exact opposite is the case.
  32. Sapphire
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    Sapphire - September 18, 2012 1:17 pm
    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." ~ R. Santorum
  33. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 17, 2012 11:06 pm
    comanche:

    I hope that my remarks clarified my position for you. If not please point out where I went wrong. Who knows? I may agree with you.

    As to the rest of these posters, they have nothing of value to add to any discussion. Just read what they had to say. Disgusting!
  34. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 17, 2012 1:06 pm
    Gene:

    Like so much of what you write, aspects of this babble are simply wrong.

    One example from your text: "It should be mandatory for voters to know that voting is a privilege that carries with it a responsibility."

    Voting is not a privilege, it's Constitutionally protected RIGHT.

    Remember the Voting RIGHTS Act of 1965.

    Oh, yeah, that was a law; it wasn't in the Constitution.

    OK, how about this text from the 15th amendment to the Constitution:

    "1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

    Yes, there are guidelines and restrictions regarding voting, but when they are met, voting is RIGHT.

  35. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 17, 2012 9:46 am
    Gene:
    I just reread this Valley Viewpoint and have a question:

    Who do you nominate as Kommisar of Voter Education?

  36. Lee Enfield
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    Lee Enfield - September 17, 2012 9:11 am
    Gene:
    Did you invest any thought at all into this insult to the American political system?
  37. VERITY
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    VERITY - September 14, 2012 3:53 pm
    One can imagine the kind of test that Mr. Williams would devise as a prerequisite to being qualified to vote. Undoubtedly, it would disenfranchise anyone who does not share his radical right-wing philosophy. On the other hand, any objective, non-partisan examination of a prospective voter’s “political literacy” and knowledge of the actual “democratic Republic the Founders gave us” would likely disenfranchise many or most of Mr. Williams’s adherents.
  38. CA2MT2GA
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    CA2MT2GA - September 14, 2012 1:57 pm
    Gene,

    I really enjoyed the first part of this article. I love the underdog (from opression to unlimited opportunities story). I say this with all honesty. But after each sentence, I was waiting for the story to fall off the cliff in which it did as you suggest people must pass a test before getting to follow through with the liberty in which you cited our soldiers fought and died for. But since this would most likely fall back on the government to police, it should be the last thing you would want. What do you do with the handicap? Since they may not know who their congressman/woman is, you say sorry Charlie? Desperate times are calling for desperate delusions it appears.
  39. GeneWil
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    GeneWil - September 14, 2012 12:02 pm
    comanche;

    It appears that you drew some conclusions that were never intended in my remarks. First of all there would obviously have to be lots of discussion and public input before any test was put together.

    You are absolutely correct when you point to the educational system. It is a disaster. Schools in some states are better than others, with MT being vastly superior to schools in many cities across this country.

    I don't know whether they even teach civics anymore. I do know that there was a struggle a few years ago in California between the people who decided what text books would be read in the schools. Conservatives had finally won a majority on the committee and insisted on including books that were less slanted toward a left wing political position.

    But you said;

    "The clear inference is, that if you vote for Obama, you don't know what you're doing, and shouldn't be allowed to vote. Next thing you know, the author will be espousing mandatory end-of-life decisions."

    That is your conclusion and you are dead wrong. This country needs a two Party system. I am on record as viewing Obama as a disaster and I hope that he is defeated in November. But my article did not clearly infer anything. You interpreted it that way.

    I was talking about the Leno type man in the street interviews during which people did not know any of their elected officials but did know lots of minutiae about their favorite entertainers, athletes, etc. I said that in my article.

    I would like to know where you came up with the accusation that I said anyone who voted for Obama didn't know what they were doing. You manufactured that one. Why?

    And that crack about me making end of life decisions is simply a gratuitous and unnecessary insult. I am too old to appreciate the end of life decisions Barack Obama wants to turn over to bureaucrats he selects. If you disagree with him perhaps you should let him know.

  40. voteliberty
    Report Abuse
    voteliberty - September 14, 2012 11:31 am
    So what do Republicans and Democrats do? They give away drivers licenses to those folks and now they can vote because of their legal ID. I would have thought the former California Republican governor would have been opposed to that idea.
  41. comanche
    Report Abuse
    comanche - September 13, 2012 7:15 am
    And just who will decide who's knowledgable enough, and how? Perhaps it is our educational system that needs improvement. This article is the most disingenuous, inept, and inane partisan rubbish. The clear inference is, that if you vote for Obama, you don't know what you're doing, and shouldn't be allowed to vote. Next thing you know, the author will be espousing mandatory end-of-life decisions.
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