Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Response 3

Now, I'd like to respond to a few things I agree with from Cos's reply

1. I really like the idea of the states paying the Senator's salaries. This further reduces the federal stranglehold on our country. That is just pure brilliance!

2. My hope is that people who have a concern for our country would want to be electors. However, now that you mention it, I wouldn't be surprised if party-liners didn't run for electors just to be paid back at a later date by the party nominating them for an office position. I really don't want to enable a lot of restrictions, because that doesn't lead to a naturally balancing system. For instance, we could say that electors can never be publicly elected, but that is just silly in the long run. My hope is that the more educated, politically motivated people would become electors...however that is naive.

Nevertheless, what I realistically expect to happen is that entitlement spending drops dramatically, and socialistic programs begin to decline. When the voters don't elect you based on the entitlements you give them, you no longer give entitlements. Obviously, an elector could run on a platform of entitlements, but it doesn't really help him. He's not getting a huge salary and a plush office for life, so why does he care. His sole purpose is to do what is right for the country, because it is right, not because he's getting compensated. It could be a naive position, and I know it will eventually be corrupted, but I'm hoping that won't be for a number of years, when the system is stable enough to support a number of years of corruption before being reset again.


Cos said...

I really think you are right that we need a more informed/intelligent/aware electorate, but I don't think this (your original proposal) is the way to get there. I'm personally inclinded towards a 'Starship Troopers' scenerio. To vote you have to have served, etc. (All 'Persons' have rights, but only 'Citizens' get to vote etc.) Also not perfect, but ... what is?

Tanton said...

I don't know that more informed/intelligent/aware is the primary goal...taht's a naive hope. I want an electorate that can be highly scrutinized and can be held accountable. Furthermore, I want an electorate that can't be bought. You can't scrutenize the entire public. You can't hold accountable the entire public. And the public can easily be bought with promises of entitlements.

Our country was founded on the idea that voting was a basic right. Of course, they discriminated horrible, but as we become more civilized we can become more true to their ideals. It is that truth that I hold self-evident. That all are created equal under God. Not just those who have served or passed some test.

Anyone should be able to vote, right now we vote for an electorate. The reason was that they would be in a better position to pick who should lead our country. It's the same reason many people have a financial advisor. They are too busy to do a good job of it by themselves. We're too busy as a people to study the candidates in depth and choose the right one. We need to appoint people to do that for us.

Cos said...

First remember that I think we fundamental share the goal of a better country, and we are not really that far off by way of direction to get there, so don't take any criticism here too personally. (Boy isn't that a setup line?)

You need to spend some more time with the Federalist Papers, along with many other writings of the Founders. I think we can agree that slavery and racism were the 'original sin' of our nation, and we can certainly take up a fair bit of bandwidth discussing that matter seperately, but the notion that the founders believed that "voting is a basic right" is just well, untrue. Remember how we started this conversation, Senators were to be (and we agree, still should be) appointed by the states. It did not stop there, Electors were to be selected by what ever means the state determined. (It was the late 1800's before every state actually 'voted' (as a popular vote) for electors) But I would contend that to be able to hold an electorate accountable they must be informed, intelligent, and aware. (If they are not, how then are they accountable?)
Now, I agree that all are created equal under God. Further I would agree that All persons should be treated as equal before the courts. But all persons do not remain equal in life, but some are better than others (are you not a better man than Hitler? Saddam? perhaps, not as good as Gandhi?). These differences in qualities aught not earn us priveledge before the bar of justice, but might they not become the measure of who may and may not vote. Jefferson strongly believed that ONLY land owners, who held a 'stake' in the states and therefore the country, should be allowed the vote.
In my (still not fully defined vision) All PERSONS would have equal rights to own property, go to schools, be treated equally and fairly by the courts, and most importantly, no person may be denied the opportunity to serve the country, and after doing so honarably for a period of 4(?) years, would then be enfranchised with the vote. I contend that this is not incompatable with your statement, "Anyone should be able to vote." It simply says to them, if you wish to vote, you must first serve. (Note, my 'plan' would, of neccesity, involve creating both a Military Logistics Corp and something along the lines of "Ameri-corp" to accomodate the increase in the number of persons 'serving' as well as allowing 'service' in a "non-military" capacity.)
I whole heartedly agree that the practice of electing persons who will grant you entitlements (buying votes ...) is detrimental to our country. But it is also true that there is a time and a place for a 'National Effort' (Katrina for example, I won't go into my thoughts on just who dropped what balls on this matter, but rather I hold it out as an example of the need for some level of national resources for such disasters).

I, who am as conservative as you will find, will still say that government should not be a charity but nor should it be heartless.

Tanton said...

First, I want to say that I'm not against entitlements. I'm against using entitlements as a means to get elected. No longer can our politicians have a productive debate on what is right because they fear for their re-election. I think welfare and medicare (to take two different examples) are vital to our nation's humanity, and I support them both. What I don't support is their arbitrary increase over time just to ensure re-election.

As for serving in the military in order to vote, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I certainly respect your opinion and I am thankful to those, like you, who served. However, I don't believe the military is for everyone. There are some people that I would never want to see in the military, but I believe they have a right to vote. And you're right, that is a departure from the founding fathers, some of who felt voting was a privledge (in fact it still is, since prisoners cannot vote). I'm not sure what I was thinking, momentary projection of my views on to theirs. I think we view the problem differently. I think the problem is that people vote in their own self-interest instead of the interest of the country. I believe that you think the problem is that people aren't wise enough to choose the right person to lead. I'm solving my problem, you're solving yours...whose problem is more severe is unknown to me.