Voting should not be restricted


In a letter printed in The Daily Targum on Oct. 8, the author of "Too lazy to make an informed decision? Then don't vote" decries the lack of knowledge most students possess about politics and the upcoming presidential election. This is an interesting topic that deserves further examination.

If he can make the claim that the average University student is not adequately informed to make a proper decision, then how can he expect the average American to make an informed decision? Given his arguments, it seems the logical extension of his beliefs would be a republic of much more limited scope than we currently have. I wonder what criteria he would select to qualify individuals for the privilege of voting.

The author rhetorically asks, "why [should I] enable someone to vote who is just going to do so based on parameters of idiocy rather than actually taking the time to learn for what they are voting?" Given his conservative stance, evidenced by his position as vice president of the Rutgers College Republicans, it seems strange that he would not trust individuals to know what is in their best interest. Isn't that one of the basic tenets of free-markets and small government? The principle of allowing a person to vote based on the congruence of their political beliefs with yours is a slippery slope that is irreversible. It is clear that many people voting, here at Rutgers and throughout America, do not fully understand the issues at hand. However, to claim that they should not be allowed to vote because they do not possess sufficient faculty in whatever field our current crisis resides reeks of elitism and oligarchy.

It is also interesting that the author looks down on Obama supporters who for the most part seem to be voting against McCain. Yet nowhere in his letter, which contains several attacks on Obama and the Democratic Party, is there any positive endorsement of McCain. Many of these attacks could be accurately hurled at any politician. Rather than blame Obama for being a politician, it would seem logical to explain why McCain is the superior politician. Instead of building up McCain, the author seems content to tear down Obama. Does it not seem slightly hypocritical for someone to engage in the same behavior they denounce in their political opponents?

Alexander Draine is a Rutgers College senior majoring in economics. His column, "Draine on Society," runs on alternate Tuesdays.


Alexander Draine

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