President Obama thinks mandatory voting a swell idea
Speaking about Middle Class economics in Cleveland yesterday, President Obama suggested that maybe it was time to force every American eligible to vote in elections.
How do we offset the influence of big money in politics while fixing the country's abysmal voter turnout rate?
President Barack Obama suggested maybe it's time to make voting a requirement.
"Other countries have mandatory voting," Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics.
"It would be transformative if everybody voted -- that would counteract money more than anything."
The clout of millionaires and billionaires in campaign funding has been enormous, and many claim the uber wealthy have undue leverage in politics.
"The people who tend not to vote are young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily toward immigrant groups and minorities," Obama said. "There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls."
The President cited Australia as one of the countries that has mandatory voting. But there are many more.
At least 26 countries have compulsory voting, according to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Failure to vote is punishable by a fine in countries such as Australia and Belgium; if you fail to pay your fine in Belgium, you could go to prison.
Aside from campaign finance issues, the U.S. also grapples with one of the lowest voter turnout rates among developed countries.
Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. That means about 144 million Americans -- more than the population of Russia -- skipped out.
If you think we have a problem with low information voters today, just wait until the zombie vote materializes. Zombies are several steps below LIV in that they actively seek to avoid becoming informed about anything. About the only way to reach them would be if candidates appeared in video games and streaming media. Imagine House of Cards with real candidates, or candidates shooting it up in Grand Theft Auto. It would enliven our politics, that's for sure.
Everything about this president's agenda is coercion - using the power of the state to change behavior or demand that citizens take certain actions. By God, we know what's best for you so shut up, sit down, pay up, and do as you're told - or else.
In America, the right not to vote is as important as the right to cast your ballot. Not voting is a matter of free speech - a protest against the choices being offered. A desire to take that freedom away is just one more example of Obama's "transformative" policies that will make us all serfs in the end.