Monday, July 23, 2007

First Things First--and Voting Is NOT First

The goo-goos (and the academics) who read this will have Hair On Fire syndrome for at least a month. (You've been warned, boys and girls.)

Americans are great at talking about how wonderful democracy is. The right to vote is taught as a sacrament from grade school up. Politicians can talk a mile a minute about how wonderful elections are for much the same reason salesmen at a Ford dealership can talk a blue streak about how great Fords are: It’s their livelihood. Spend your career trolling for votes and you’re apt to be able to explain why votes are the most important thing in the world.

But Americans don’t believe, not really, that voting is the most important thing in the world. For starters, if they believed such nonsense, they’d vote more.

No, Americans like exercising plenty of other rights more than their right to vote. The right to speak your mind, own property, associate with whomever you like, be compensated for the fruits of your labor: these and other rights are plainly more dear to Americans than the right to pull a lever every two or four years. Obviously, Americans would care if anyone proposed taking away their right to vote. But as a matter of common sense, voting is less important to us than those rights and liberties that make our God-given right to pursue happiness possible.

Altogether reasonable. What's "first" is generally contained in the Bill of Rights, the Declaration, and the Constitution. NOT voting is actually voting approval for the system in general; it is fallacious to state (as to the WimminVoters) that non-participation is either evil or a symptom of some 'alienation.'

HT: Random 10

1 comment:

Marcus Aurelius said...

Jonah writes on this theme periodically.

What makes our government & society what is, is not voting but liberalism. Not "liberalism" as in Michael Moore (which is not liberal but illiberal) but as in the classical sense.