I received an e-mail today entitled “They Walk Among Us” that contained several stories detailing the unbelievably stupid actions of various unknown people. One described how a woman had no idea that the sun has always risen in the east; another detailed a man’s inability to understand that there are 24 hours in a day regardless of what time zone you are in. Whatever.
The person who sent me the e-mail added their own comment: “And they have the same right to vote as we do.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have pondered the idea of only allowing intelligent people to vote. I do it pretty much any time I’m disgusted and/or baffled by the results of an election – like, say, when Californians elected a steroid junkie cum hack actor as Governor.
The problem, of course, is that we’d have to draw a line somewhere designating who was intelligent enough to vote and who wasn’t…
…and we’d probably have to vote on where the line was drawn.
The Flaw of Averages
I know a lot of you have considered the same thing. My VOX ‘hood is chock full of smart people and I’m certain that a high percentage have, out of destabilizing frustration, imagined a world where only people of their own intellect or higher were permitted to elect leaders, drive cars, dress themselves, etc. It’s a Utopian existence where the President cares more about people than money, most commuters are tucked away safely on buses, and no one ever has to see how Lycra interacts with elephantine ass-fat.
The fantasy has a dark side, however, because one’s intellect eventually acknowledges the reality that the average human being is an irretrievable cretin and that, by logical extension, the intelligent person is woefully outnumbered.
This realization can cause the most resilient of thinkers to snap. I’ve seen it happen. This one guy – corporate economist – arrived at the undeniable conclusion that the average person will take a movie star’s opinion over a doctor’s regarding which type of over-the-counter painkiller is safest*. That's all it took. Next thing you know, he’s recording professional wrestling, subscribing to FHM magazine and sending out chain e-mails with outlandish anecdotes about stupid people. Needless to say, he shouldn’t be allowed to vote anymore.
*not really true; I made it up to make a point.