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Monday, June 07, 2004

The democracy challenge

Franger writes: Vox, I challenge you on what I feel is a flaw in this whole thing about denying women the right to vote. Why stop at women? By your argument - women are more likely to support security over liberty in their voting decisions. This is based on polling data. So why not african americans? They consistently vote for democrats or other leftist groups or parties overwhelmingly. Why not white atheist males? Couldn't it be said that they tend to form a worldview different than that from white christian males? And what makes you worthy of the vote Vox?

I never said anything about stopping at women. Most people should not be permitted to vote in a constitutional republic. Women are simply the largest group that reliably opposes, collectively speaking, individual human liberty and freedom. Let me turn it around for a moment and ask this question: why have any restrictions on democracy at all? Why were such restrictions instituted in the first place?

The reason is that most people are incapable of looking beyond either tomorrow or their own personal interests. We do not permit children to vote because they would make foolish decisions that are not in their best interest. Women, like many other groups taken in the collective, repeatedly demonstrate that they are not interested in accepting responsibility for themselves. This is why they reliably support ideologies designed to concentrate all decision-making power in a very small oligarchy.

One way or another, an elite will be wielding power in every society. The choice is simple. A broad and decentralized elite of independent meritocracy - in historical terms, the rich white men who founded this country - or a very small and vicious elite that has clawed its way to central authority.

So, I challenge "democrats" such as Franger to put their money where their mouths are. Either support a true democracy and abjure this bizarre antidemocratic system designed expressly to thwart the genuine will of the people expressed through the ballot box, or admit that restrictions on voting are necessary and we are simply quibbling about precisely where to draw the line.

I do favor a decentralized constitutional republic where only those who demonstrate a) an understanding of constitutional principles, b) an ability to logically, c) an ability to think beyond their own interests, d) an ability to accept consequences, e) a genuine commitment to individual human liberty and freedom as expressly delineated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are permitted a voice in government.

But if that is not possible, and at this time I admit that it is not, I would fully support a genuine democracy, wherein the Supreme Court and Congress are disbanded, replaced by national referendums voted on weekly by the entire people. The technology is there. The perfect expression of the will of the people is possible. I'm all for it, seriously, as the history of state referendums proves that the people are more to be trusted than the ruling oligarchy.

So, tell me, outraged supporters of women's suffrage, do you really support the right of women to vote? Or is it necessary to limit it and keep it under the control of those who know what's best for them?

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