Perhaps Jonah Goldberg Has a Point
I'm kidding! I'm kidding! Jonah Goldberg's L.A. Times op-ed piece arguing in favor of reinstating Jim Crow-era discriminatory "literacy tests" to prevent "undesireables" from voting is not, not, not a good idea. Okay, Goldberg didn't actually come right out and say he's talking about preventing minorities from voting, but it's certainly implied-- especially considering the history of such tests in our country and the blatant racism of the photo the newspaper chose to publish alongside the article.
Still, it's interesting that the author of a book originally titled Liberal Fascism (puttin' the moron back in oxymoron) would argue that preventing ignorant people from voting is a good thing. Goldberg's entire career-- like the careers of Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bernard Goldberg-- depend on people being too ignorant to realize that they're being lied to. Thus, Sean Hannity can claim that U.S. troops found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Bill O'Reilly can claim that the Daily Kos is the website of a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi Party. Smart people, informed people, don't buy this line of bullshit. That's why they tend to vote for Democratic candidates at this point-- because Democrats are, for the most part, less dishonest than Republicans.
(Yeah, yeah-- it would be better if we were voting for the candidates who were "most honest," I know. Still, wish in one hand...).
I'm sure there are plenty of liberals who are completely ignorant (see this little piece of essayistic bad-assery to learn about my own experiences with hypocritical morons who vote Democrat), but-- for the most part-- people who identify as liberals (or get their information from news sources typically described as "left-leaning") tend to be better informed than the mouth-breathers who watch Fox News. Yet Goldberg wants to disenfranchise his base? Somehow, I don't think he's thought this through-- I suspect that, on the "voting test" Goldberg's envisioned, there would be lots of questions about how a bill becomes a law, tort legislation in the eighties, identify the Secretary of Transportation... that sort of thing. And there'd be fewer questions like "Who attacked the United States on September 11, 2001?" or "What's the name of the law George W. Bush broke when he ordered warantless wiretapping of United States citizens?"
All joking aside, any country that deliberately tries to disenfranchise voters is on the march towards fascism-- and anyone who tries to argue that this is a good idea is simply a fascist. But, on the lighter side, I kind of like the idea of seeing some yuppie douche or redneck cretin outside the polls, having been told that they failed to pass the test, arguing, "No, Jack Abramoff gave money to both political parties! I heard about it on TV!" Let's face it-- a small part of you thinks that would be awesome too, right?