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Voting Rights & Civics Test

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Dave, Instead of the voter worthy of the candidate make the candidate worthy of the voter. If there is something worthwhile to vote for it just might get voted in.
  • Brooks, AB
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Dave, time will tell; the circus is just started; just look at the "clowns" who don't even know who the mothers were of the kids they kidnapped. Also the shooting will start shortly.

    I too wonder about this. But I don't see the Nazi brownshirts coming out yet. I don't think the T is smart enough to put all the pieces together to make this work. But the next populist leader in the making might be learning some lessons. This person could come from the left or the right.

    There's time to build a new system before it's too late.

  • Brooks, AB
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    Jared

    Again, just to make sure you and others understand me: This is Mr. Paine's proposal, not mine. While he did fail to convince me, he did put some solid arguments together.

    Given that this forum is on the political left, it was interesting to see how united commentators here are on this issue.

    Mr. Paine's test was quite easy. I would say 80% of Americans could pass it without much study. Aonther 15% with a few hours of study. I failed to see how this would produce a better voter, though.

    We could argue up the slippery slope to the point of giving only those with a B.A. in political science the right to vote, since they are wisest of how western democracy works. But . . . . .

    Mr. Paine has some rather interesting ideas on his blog. You might to recruit him.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dave Volek Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote:
    Dave, time will tell; the circus is just started; just look at the "clowns" who don't even know who the mothers were of the kids they kidnapped. Also the shooting will start shortly.

    I too wonder about this. But I don't see the Nazi brownshirts coming out yet. I don't think the T is smart enough to put all the pieces together to make this work. But the next populist leader in the making might be learning some lessons. This person could come from the left or the right.

    There's time to build a new system before it's too late.

    Dave, don't forget on how this all started; quite simple. The "whites" are feeling pinched because slowly but surely they've become the minority, that is why they do everything to stay in control; "narscism" and "racism" works for them, as well copying the Nazi's in many ways. Due to Trump, you get also an huge divide because of the partisan fighting. Thus as a matter of fact it is an fight for survival for the "whities" and their fanatic religious ideals which drives it all.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    It would please me to require candidates running for any official elected position to pass a civics test, that way, we would be assured that the person running for any office really knows and understands how out government is supposed to work. Another test would be appropriate too, with questions such as, why do you want to be an alderman or alderperson, or mayor or representative of a district.
  • Brooks, AB
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    Dutch Wrote:
    Dave, don't forget on how this all started; quite simple. The "whites" are feeling pinched because slowly but surely they've become the minority, that is why they do everything to stay in control; "narscism" and "racism" works for them, as well copying the Nazi's in many ways. Due to Trump, you get also an huge divide because of the partisan fighting. Thus as a matter of fact it is an fight for survival for the "whities" and their fanatic religious ideals which drives it all.

    Dutch: This underlying reason is indeed a significant factor in why we are where we are today.

    Even early as four years ago, I used to think that racism and misogyny had been marginalized in western society. The political acceptance of Mr. Trump shows there still a lot more work to be done in this area.

  • Brooks, AB
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    Dockadams Wrote: It would please me to require candidates running for any official elected position to pass a civics test, that way, we would be assured that the person running for any office really knows and understands how out government is supposed to work. Another test would be appropriate too, with questions such as, why do you want to be an alderman or alderperson, or mayor or representative of a district.

    Dock: Most aspiring Canadian politicians really don't understand the workings of our federal parliament or provincial legislatures. They join a political party, work their way up the ladder, win the party nomination, and later the general election. Then they learn how laws are made. Rookie MPs and MLAs take a crash course in this part of "civics" in their first month of assuming political office. They seem to learn the ropes and work within the established rules--despite not really having this knowledge in place before becoming elected.

    When there is little respect for the rules and why they were created, having aspiring politicians pass such a civics test would not contribute much to improving democracy. They would pass the test, then attempt to work around the rules anyways.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Dave Volek Wrote:
    Dockadams Wrote: It would please me to require candidates running for any official elected position to pass a civics test, that way, we would be assured that the person running for any office really knows and understands how out government is supposed to work. Another test would be appropriate too, with questions such as, why do you want to be an alderman or alderperson, or mayor or representative of a district.

    Dock: Most aspiring Canadian politicians really don't understand the workings of our federal parliament or provincial legislatures. They join a political party, work their way up the ladder, win the party nomination, and later the general election. Then they learn how laws are made. Rookie MPs and MLAs take a crash course in this part of "civics" in their first month of assuming political office. They seem to learn the ropes and work within the established rules--despite not really having this knowledge in place before becoming elected.

    When there is little respect for the rules and why they were created, having aspiring politicians pass such a civics test would not contribute much to improving democracy. They would pass the test, then attempt to work around the rules anyways.

    Which is why we ended up with Trump, he's learning as he goes along, IMO, he knew nothing and probably still doesn't of how the U.S. government is supposed to work, we're witnessing the slow erosion of the United States laws a little bit everyday. We as citizens are basically screwed because nobody is powerful enough to hold his feet to the fire, we are doomed. You probably know more about how our government is supposed to function than Trump does.
  • Brooks, AB
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    Dockadams Wrote:

    Which is why we ended up with Trump, he's learning as he goes along, IMO, he knew nothing and probably still doesn't of how the U.S. government is supposed to work, we're witnessing the slow erosion of the United States laws a little bit everyday. We as citizens are basically screwed because nobody is powerful enough to hold his feet to the fire, we are doomed. You probably know more about how our government is supposed to function than Trump does.

    I would hate to say it, but I probably did know more about American governance than the current president prior to November 2016. But most politicians kind of learn on the job anyways.

    The erosion of democracy started a long time ago. Mr. Trump is just filling a niche of his times.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Dave Volek Wrote:
    Dockadams Wrote:

    Which is why we ended up with Trump, he's learning as he goes along, IMO, he knew nothing and probably still doesn't of how the U.S. government is supposed to work, we're witnessing the slow erosion of the United States laws a little bit everyday. We as citizens are basically screwed because nobody is powerful enough to hold his feet to the fire, we are doomed. You probably know more about how our government is supposed to function than Trump does.

    I would hate to say it, but I probably did know more about American governance than the current president prior to November 2016. But most politicians kind of learn on the job anyways.

    The erosion of democracy started a long time ago. Mr. Trump is just filling a niche of his times.

    Yes you both are right; we are entering an confusing time, which may not end in a positive way. What amazes me, that just one guy can create such huge mess, felt all over the world. It may end badly for the "idiot" but who is going to clean up all the damage done?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    Dave Volek Wrote:
    Dockadams Wrote:

    Which is why we ended up with Trump, he's learning as he goes along, IMO, he knew nothing and probably still doesn't of how the U.S. government is supposed to work, we're witnessing the slow erosion of the United States laws a little bit everyday. We as citizens are basically screwed because nobody is powerful enough to hold his feet to the fire, we are doomed. You probably know more about how our government is supposed to function than Trump does.

    I would hate to say it, but I probably did know more about American governance than the current president prior to November 2016. But most politicians kind of learn on the job anyways.

    The erosion of democracy started a long time ago. Mr. Trump is just filling a niche of his times.

    The other part of the problem/s we Americans have with this president is his appointees. The ones he's appointed since taking office, one is Pruitt, a former oil executive, who is a man who is driven by profit and profit and self interest only, and cares nothing about our environment, as the former head of the EPA, he and Trump have rolled back some clean air and clean water regulations. We're going backwards now. With Trump's pick for a SCOTUS replacement, we might be looking at seeing civil rights being stepped upon and rolled back. We're in a downward spiral.

    Dutch has a thread going about can anyone stop this idiot-referencing Trump, and I have my thoughts that he is unstoppable, he seems (Trump) to have something over on republicans in the senate and house, which is why most of them are going along with this charade. I think it's too late to try to stop him, the horse has already left the barn at full trot. Unfortunately for republicans, Trump's great weapon is his twitter account which he uses to lambaste R lawmakers and uses to govern with too. IMO, his twitter account should have been terminated long ago.

    The only thing we can hope for is that democrats win back the house and/or senate, and start impeachment proceedings. Force him to resign. It's nice to dream, isn't it?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Yes Dock; your last line may be an dream indeed; since the "asshole" is making sure he can't get convicted; impeachment only works if the majority of Congress approves such; thus as long as the majority is not Dem's forget that. Depending on the "crimes" (as a lawyer said how to interpret what is an real crime for a president?) he may then end up before the Supreme Court, where the newly elected judge may "interpret" the stupid laws here that he's "above the law", so what then? Hopefully this country comes into a total revolt, but likely because they are stupid, it may not happen. Also I doubt that he will resign, because of his big ego and can't rob the "till" any longer.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dave Volek Wrote:

    Jared

    Again, just to make sure you and others understand me: This is Mr. Paine's proposal, not mine. While he did fail to convince me, he did put some solid arguments together.

    Given that this forum is on the political left, it was interesting to see how united commentators here are on this issue.

    I understand it wasn't your proposal and was simply stating my opinion that the unintended consequences of making natural born citizens pass a civics test in order to vote would almost certainly inject steroids into the growing divide between rich and poor.

    Dave Volek Wrote: Mr. Paine's test was quite easy. I would say 80% of Americans could pass it without much study. Aonther 15% with a few hours of study. I failed to see how this would produce a better voter, though.

    It may be easy for you and me, but it almost certainly wouldn't be easy for the 30-40% of Americans who couldn't pass the citizenship test as it is currently written. So if "Mr. Paine's proposal" were to be enacted into law and somehow upheld by the courts then we would see upwards of 40% of Americans be stripped of their enfranchisement rights.

    Dave Volek Wrote: We could argue up the slippery slope to the point of giving only those with a B.A. in political science the right to vote, since they are wisest of how western democracy works. But . . . . .

    Mr. Paine has some rather interesting ideas on his blog. You might to recruit him.

    Rich people who provided their rich children a top notch education will be able to ensure their children will pass the test while poor people who had no other choice than to send their children to underfunded and sub par schools will only be able to stand aside as their children's enfranchisement rights were stripped away from them.

    It would take no more than one generation of people taking this pass/fail test to cement the disenfranchisement of a very large percentage of the population for decades or centuries to come.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Kenosha, WI
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    IDK Jared, when I went to public schools in Chicago, they taught students civics in nearly every grade, the grades were above kindergarten, and civics was taught in segments so young minds could grasp the subject, and short bursts of American history was also taught, again, in small pieces so students would understand. I don't know if that method is taught in schools these days, I was a student in the 60's and 70's, maybe much has changed since then? When I was a kid, they called it social studies. I don't know what they call it today.

    ixl.com/social-studies/

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Study after study has consistently shown that between 30 and 40 percent of ALL eligible voters wouldn’t pass the current citizenship test. They may have been taught civics in the 60s and 70s, but that doesn’t mean much because the test is constantly changing to reflect modern day America. I’ve helped a few friends study for their tests and I can attest that a solid chunk of the questions reflect the modern day.

    Look - I think it’s a travesty we live in a society where upwards of 40 percent of the voting age population is so clueless that they wouldn’t be able to pass a citizenship test, but stripping those people of their voting rights isn’t the answer. That would only add fuel to the inequality fire.