Fred on universal suffrage

It has become apparent that I am going to have to reform the government of the United States. Frankly I’d rather remove one of my lungs with a ballpoint pen. Still, I’m nothing if not perfervidly public-spirited. I will not stand around like Nehru fiddling while Rome burned. Noblesse oblige, that sort of thing.

To begin, we have much too much democracy. We need to discourage people from voting. In fact, the gravest obstacle to the restoration of civilization in North America is universal suffrage. Letting everybody vote makes no sense. Obviously they are no good at it. The whole idea smacks of the fumble-witted idealism of a high-school Marxist society.

At least eighty percent of the electorate lives in blank medieval darkness regarding any matter of public policy or history. They might as well vote on the incisions needed in cardiac surgery as try to govern themselves. Poll after poll shows that even graduates of America’s pathetic Halloween universities (where the young disguised as students are hornswoggled by mountebanks disguised as professors), which means most of the universities, do not know who fought in WWI, or within a century when the Civil War took place, or who Galileo was. These are the better informed. The rest barely know what century they live in.

Unalloyed ignorance is not an obvious qualification for governing, despite all appearances.

Only two possible reasons exist for universal suffrage, both bad. The first is that if you let idiots vote, the Democrats will sometimes be elected. That is, it is a sort of affirmative action for the Democratic National Committee; this is perhaps slightly more desirable than, say, price supports for hemorrhagic tuberculosis. The only good thing that can be said about Democrats is that, when they are in power, the Republicans are not.

The second reason is that, in principle, the idiot vote will keep idiots from being maltreated by the bright. It does not, however, keep the bright from being maltreated by idiots, who are far more numerous. They run the schools, for example, which is why students often can’t read after twelve years.