Skip to comments.The Meaning of the Right to Vote
Posted on 10/30/2002 2:57:20 AM PST by The Raven
Every Election Day politicians, intellectuals, and activists propagate a seemingly patriotic but utterly un-American idea: the notion that our most important right--and the source of America's greatness--is the right to vote. According to former President Bill Clinton, the right to vote is "the most fundamental right of citizenship"; it is "the heart and soul of our democracy," says Senator John McCain.
Such statements are regarded as uncontroversial--but consider their implications. If voting is truly our most fundamental right, then all other rights--including free speech, property, even life--are contingent on and revocable by the whims of the voting public (or their elected officials). America, on this view, is a society based not on individual rights, but on unlimited majority rule--like Ancient Athens, where the populace, exercising "the most fundamental right of citizenship," elected to kill Socrates for voicing unpopular ideas--or modern-day Zimbabwe, where the democratically elected Robert Mugabe has seized the property of the nation's white farmers and brought the nation to the verge of starvation--or Germany in 1932, when the people democratically elected the Nazi Party, including future Chancellor Adolph Hitler. Would anyone dare claim that America is thus fundamentally similar to these regimes, and that it is perfectly acceptable to kill controversial philosophers or to exterminate six million Jews, so long as it is done by popular vote?
Contrary to popular rhetoric, America was founded, not as a "democracy," but as a constitutional republic--a political structure under which the government is bound by a written constitution to the task of protecting individual rights. "Democracy" does not mean a system that holds public elections for government officials; it means a system in which a majority vote rules everything and everyone, and in which the individual thus has no rights. In a democracy, observed James Madison in The Federalist Papers, "there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention [and] have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property."
The right to vote derives from the recognition of man as an autonomous, rational being, who is responsible for his own life and who should therefore freely choose the people he authorizes to represent him in the government of his country. That autonomy is contradicted if a majority of voters is allowed to do whatever it wishes to the individual citizen. The right to vote is not a sanction for a gang to deprive other individuals of their freedom. Rather, because a free society requires a certain type of government, it is a means of installing the officials who will safeguard the individual rights of each citizen.
What makes America unique is not that it has elections--even dictatorships hold elections--but that its elections take place in a country limited by the absolute principle of individual freedom. From our Declaration of Independence, which upholds the "unalienable rights" of every individual, among which are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," to our Constitution, whose Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom of private property, respect for individual liberty is the essence of America--and the root of her greatness.
Unfortunately, with each passing Election Day, too many Americans view elections less as a means to protect freedom, and more as a means to win some government favor or handout at the expense of the liberty and property of other Americans. Our politicians promise, not to protect the basic rights spelled out in the Declaration and the Constitution, but to violate the rights of some people in order to benefit others. Today's politicians want subsidies for farmers--by forcing non-farmers to pay for them; prescription drugs for the elderly--by forcing the non-elderly to pay for them; housing for the homeless--by forcing the non-homeless to pay for it. The more "democratic" our government becomes, the more we cannibalize our liberty, ultimately to the detriment of all.
This Election Day, therefore, we should reject those who wish to reduce our republic to mob rule. Instead, we should vote for those, to whatever extent they can be found, who are defenders of the essence of America: individual freedom.
Unfortunately, with each passing Election Day, too many Americans view elections less as a means to protect freedom, and more as a means to win some government favor or handout at the expense of the liberty and property of other Americans.
The founding fathers got it right by limiting the franchise to those with a positive stake in the system. I have to wonder if our republic can long survive when the power of one of our two major political parties relies upon the people's basest nature, the desire for that which they did not earn.
That's why we have the REPUBLICans and the DEMOCRA[cy]TS
What is destroying America today is tyranny of speech, [where no one is allowed to say anything that might offend the governments pets as it will be called hate speech], tyranny of religion, [where the government kidnaps the children for several hours each day, prevents them from practicing their religion and teaches them what their parents and religions forbid, while making it a hate crime to speak out against a religion that intends to destroy all freedom], and tyranny of property [where the government is in the process of buying up all US land, restricting the use of property of all its citizens, and forcing individuals to pay for the use of their own property].
None dare call tyranny! Instead they vote, thinking that having a say in the selection of those who enslave them is freedom. While they are stealing our freedoms and property, it matters little what the name of the theives are.
A right to vote is also a right to NOT vote. This country will die with the sanction of the victims. Your vote sanctions the destruction of America.
Says it all righ there. Clear and concise - to the point.
This is indeed " a keeper"!!
The tyranny of speech descends from the Federal Communications Commission, and from journalism.
The FCC establishes a "right to listen" to your betters and a corresponding duty to shut up and not compete with the government licensees. That turns the First Amendment's right to speak (and derivitive right to listen to whoever you practically can, and choose to attend to) on its head.
The only reason people ever accepted that is the baleful influence of P.R. Journalism uses PR to convince us that we have "a right to know." Well if I have a right to my own opinion, and my right to speak and print it is the same as everyone else's, how is your "right to know" whether I am right or wrong to be enforced?
You have, not the "right to know", but the right to make up your own mind. Belief in the "right to know" is the defining characteristic of sheeple. Suckers for the P.R. claim that journalism is objective (i.e., god-like), backed up not by acuteness but by cowardice. Cowardice makes the avoidance of flame wars among journalists the first rule of P.R., giving the illusion of truth by the simple expedient of herding together and taking care not to contradict each other.
The other tyrannies basically descend from the tyranny over speech.
This is very true, and it's a d*mn shame.
The Founders themselves worried about exactly this. They knew that "bread and circuses" could be used to lull the ignorant "voter" into voting for whatever the demagogues wanted.
Their solution: An educated public. This was a novel idea, even for the Enlightened age, which was actual pretty elitist. The notion of universal, mandatory public education sprang from this concept. Although some might say that the idea of MANDATORY education seems counter to the idea of liberty, in fact the Founders knew that without an educated voting plebescite, you'd get tyranny of the majority that even the Constitution couldn't allay.
In more modern times, the Left knew that, too. THEIR counter-solution: Take over the education establishment, make sure that the masses are taught what the LEFT wants them to know. Or better still, "dumb down" the education of the masses until an education isn't worth the sheepskin it's printed on.
Did they succeed? Look around, and judge for yourself. I'd say they succeeded beyond their wildest calculations.
The idea that you can establish moral imperatives by counting the noses of the lowest among us is perhaps the ultimate absurdity in an absurd age of multiple delusions.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
He's a Communist....he has the rhetoric of Joseph Stalin down pat.....
...Doesn't like the Bill of Rights, or the Constitution for that matter,..and insists that everyone do whatever he tells them is for their own good.
...Oh..yea..almost forgot...he only wants people to vote for ONE POLITICAL PARTY!!!
Sure sounds like a Communist to me.
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