Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Much Voting Is Done in Ignorance?

I believe it was Jefferson who said that in order for a democracy to work there must be an informed electorate. In fact, the Continental Congress, in drafting their documents, determined that only white males who owned property could vote. We can forget about the white and the males as being common knowledge, but the caveat that only property owners could vote was based on the assumption that a man of property would be educated. Interesting to think of the average voter today.

But what struck me while reading the news online was that there was a more important consideration that has been overlooked, and that is the education of those who run for office. When you hear comments from candidates that confuse some of the most basic facts of our history and display ignorance of government functioning, it is more than distressing. It is disgraceful. Perhaps with the requirement of a certain level of education and a demonstration of knowledge of our history and the working of our government as a requirement for candidacy, we would have fewer dunderheads in Congress, and more might be accomplished.

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