Jefferson fails to grasp the point of universal suffrage:
I can’t think of any argument that would not make me laugh that says who is over 18 and not a convicted criminal should not be allowed to vote.
How about this: universal suffrage exists primarily in order to disguise the existence of unaccountable and unlimited totalitarian rule.
This is why voting is mandatory in totalitarian countries; whereas less than fifty percent of the voting population votes in the United States, elections in Hussein’s Iraq and the former Soviet Union habitually saw 99 percent participation. Voting is nothing more than a symbolic act of submission to the ruling powers, the fact that the USA’s ruling party has two factions, Blue and Red, does not change the fact that its elections are as meaningless as those that confirmed the USSR’s ruling party and its solitary Red faction.
If the will of the people was genuinely permitted to rule by voting, there would be no drastic limitation on democracy by these “representative” members of the bi-factional ruling party. I daresay that I am, despite being an avowed anti-suffragist, more amenable to democracy than even a champion of universal suffragism like Jefferson because I would vastly prefer direct democracy to the disastrous status quo.
The question boils down to which is more important, freedom or voting? Would Jefferson permit a democratic vote on whether we should jail everyone named “Bill” or kill everyone whose last name ends in “-stein”? If not, then even he doesn’t take his own position seriously, he merely believes that universal suffrage in a representative democracy cannot be a genuine threat to freedom.
Given the fact that Mussolini, Hitler and Lenin all championed women’s suffrage as a means of gaining power, this is not an intellectually credible stance. And for anyone who happens to be dubious about that claim, I recommend beginning your education in these matters by reading the very first plank in the Fascist platform.