In case you haven’t heard, President Obama made comments on Wednesday concerning the idea of making voting mandatory in the United States as a way to boost voter turnout.
“Other countries have mandatory voting,” Obama said. “It would be transformative if everybody voted – that would counteract money more than anything.”
“The people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups,” he continued. “There’s a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls.”
See, comments such as these are what intelligent people call introducing creative ideas to try to solve problems. It’s also commonly referred to as “brainstorming.” Often throughout our history, many of the greatest innovations we’ve seen in this country began from groups of people tossing out unconventional ideas in the hopes of bringing about that next great discovery.
His comments were by no means an endorsement of possible legislation or his official statement proclaiming his support for such an idea. It was literally just President Obama suggesting a possibility to tackle a problem we have in this country with low voter turnout.
Well, naturally conservatives freaked right the hell out. Instantly my Facebook feed was filled with conservative friends and family declaring his comments to be yet another “sign” that he’s a totalitarian dictator who wants to destroy this country.
Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano called it a “totalitarian impulse,” claiming it would “march people right into the voting booths.”
Never mind countries like Australia, Switzerland and Belgium have compulsory voting (aka mandatory voting), to suggest such a thing here is clearly a direct admission that President Obama wants to run this country like an out of control tyrant.
After all, it makes perfect sense for someone who wants to act like a dictator to suggest ideas that might motivate people to participate in more elections, vote more often and be more politically active.
The bottom line is, this was nothing more than President Obama mentioning an “out of the box” idea to try to solve our nation’s problem with low voter turnout – that’s it. Not only that, but it’s an idea that would stand almost no chance at ever happening. I’m an advocate for people getting out to vote, but even I wouldn’t want to see laws put in place that made it mandatory.
One of our biggest problems we have in this country is our electorate is horribly informed. Many Americans show little to no interest in politics, wrongly thinking it doesn’t impact them, while others are so misinformed as to what’s actually going on that their political ideologies are literally based on complete fiction. While higher voter turnout numbers sound nice in theory, what good are those votes if people have no idea who they’re voting for or what the hell it is that they’re voting on?
And these strict new voter ID laws sure as heck aren’t helping increase voter turnout. Though, after several surveys have shown that these laws disproportionately target voters who tend to vote for Democrats, I think we all know why they’re heavily supported by Republicans.
But this all goes back to my rule that nobody should ever vote for anyone – or any political party – that’s actively trying to make it more difficult for more Americans to vote or seems “outraged” by any program that might increase voter turnout.
Considering that conservatives are the people trying to do everything they can to lower voter turnout, it doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re furious with this president suggesting ways to increase voter turnout – because that’s the last thing they want to see happen.