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Make Voting Harder

Make Voting Harder

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Published by: docdumpster on Jun 27, 2012
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06/27/2012

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I PROPOSE A

MINIMUM AGE
we do now, but then stage the general election around early May? (Some conservatives would prefer April 15.) The new government can take office just after the Memorial Day weekend and stay in until the Fourth of July, then reconvene for a budget session after Labor Day. Conclude by Christmas, and keep Congress adjourned most of the first six months of the year. Lamar Alexander had the right idea: Cut their pay and send them home.
Michael Barone is co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

OF 65
FOR NATIONAL

OR

STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICE. AT A STROKE YOU’D SOLVE

ALL THE MOST
PRESSING POLITICAL PROBLEMS OF THE MOMENT.
My solution: Make voting contingent upon the completion of a certain number of hours of community service. Conservative Republicans might be sent to baby-sit for welfare moms trying to make the transition to workfare. Liberal Democrats could be put to work in local offices of government bureaucracies, fielding complaints from small business owners struggling to comply with burdensome regulations. The immediate effect of this “eat your vegetables or you won’t get to eat more vegetables” proposal would probably be to reduce participation even further. But it would be a psychologically crucial first step in re-establishing the link between the rights we enjoy and the responsibilities that accompany them.
Arianna Hufington is a nationally syndicated columnist.

Make Voting Harder, Not Easier
By Arianna Hufington very presidential election (even the ones that aren’t deathly boring) produces hand-wringing editorials about low voter turnout. In an issue on newsstands the day before the election, Newsweek devoted several pages to suggestions on how better to herd reluctant citizens into voting booths. The recommendations varied, but their assumption was the same: Public apathy .is threatening the very foundations of representative government. But worrying about voter turnout puts the cart before the horse. Theoretically, voting is an informed choice-distinguishable from other forms of selection like flipping a coin or playing “eeny, meeny, miney, mo.” Unfortunately, most people are as uninformed about politics as I am about college basketball. When the average Joe literally doesn’t know his congressman’s name (to say nothing of the representative’s position on the issues), why are we worried that Joe won’t tell us whether he thinks the congressman deserves another term in office? Voting is a right that carries responsibilities. And low voter turnout and high voter ignorance are symptoms of the same disease: the atrophy of civic society. Surely, strengthening anemic civic responsibility is more important than stuffing additional warm bodies into voting booths.
THE AMERICAN ENTERPFUSE

E

Keep Whippersnappers Out of Office
By Mark Steyn hen Bob Dole failed to take out that bridge to the twenty-first century and nose-dived into the deep, he took virtually every other older American with him. Next time, no party will let a septuagenarian anywhere near the nomination. In poll after poll, 38 percent or 53 percent or 89 percent said Bob Dole was “too old to be President.” I suspect if you’d

prodded you’d have found that “too old” was code for “can’t make a coherent speech or “Beltway insider” or “not as telegenic as Rachel from ‘Friends”’ or (to use his own catchphrase) “whatever.”The age question was a convenient catch-all and became Dole’s chief characteristic. President Clinton’s trademarks are cheatin’ and eatin’, but no polls asked, “Is Bill Clinton too fat to be President?” The problem wasn’t old guys, but this particular old guy. Old guys get elected all over the world. Who’s the President with the highest youth appeal today? The face that launched a million T-shirts? The world’s hippest head of state? Nelson Mandela-who’s years older than Dole. Our real risk is not leaders who are too old, but rather that Clinton and many other politicians are too young. I’d like to propose a minimum age of 65 for national or statewide elected office. At a stroke (if you’ll pardon the expression), you’d solve all the most pressing political problems of the moment. There’d be no need for term limits, since the Good Lord would set his own. The whole notion of “career politicians” would disappear: You’d have to serve your society some other way before running for office. There’d be no defeated or disgraced politicians to start doing dodgy lobbying work (do you realize we’ll have ex-President Clinton around for maybe 30 or 40 years?). There’d be less political sex (or, anyway, shorter political sex). A minimum age of 65 would also reverse the descent of politics into just another form of television celebrity-perhaps the worst trend of recent years. Further, the minimum age would reduce our budgetary burden by providing many jobs as governors, senators, and congressmen for older citizens, a depressing number of whom are currently welfare addicts. Oh, and finally, the era of big government really would be over, since most seniors like to have a nap after lunch, and maybe get in a round or two of golf.
Mark Steyn is theater critic ofrhe New Criterion and movie critic of

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