Be Careful What You Wish For, Mr. Tancredo
Tom Tancredo has put his sweaty nativist finger squarely on The Problem With Democracy Today:
And then, something really odd happened, mostly because I think that we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country. People who could not even spell the word “vote,” or say it in English, put a committed socialist idealogue in the White House, name is Barack Hussein Obama.
Granted, everything after that first sentence is insane racist gibberish, but aside from that, perhaps he has a point. Would it really be such a terrible idea to administer some sort of test to ensure that only people with at least a passing acquaintance with reality can vote for the government officials who have such a huge impact on our lives?
Here, I’ll throw out some possible sample questions to get the ball rolling:
1) Was Saddam Hussein responsible for 9/11?
2) At the time of the invasion, did Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction?
3) At the time of the invasion, was Saddam Hussein harboring al Qaeda in the regions under his direct control?
4) Were there any successful terrorist attacks on the United States between 9/11/01 and 1/20/09?
5) Was Barack Obama born in the United States?
6) Is Barack Obama a Christian or a Muslim?
7) Is Barack Obama a committed socialist ideologue?
8) Does Barack Obama hate white people?
9) Does Barack Obama want to kill your grandmother?
10) Is liberalism a form of fascism?
11) Do tax cuts increase or decrease government revenue?
12) Is Medicare a government program?
13) Is homosexuality a lifestyle choice? Is it contagious?
14) Are all gay people pedophiles and/or “recruiters” for the gay lifestyle?
15) Is abstinence-only sex education more effective at preventing teen pregnancies and STDs than comprehensive sex education with a pro-abstinence message?
16) Is the Earth thousands of years old, or billions of years old?
17) Did life on Earth evolve naturally, or was it created as is?
18) Are human carbon emissions causing global climate change?
19) Do scientists and academics contribute anything useful to society?
20) Is individual voter fraud a widespread epidemic that is distorting our electoral process?
It’s true that many of these questions would have the entirely incidental and unintended effect of disproportionately disenfranchising conservative and Republican voters, but doesn’t that seem like a small price to pay for an electorate that makes rational and well-informed decisions about who should run the country?