Monday, October 06, 2008

The Addled Brain of George Will

Now, maybe he's more addled than usual because of the pathetic display of anything even vaguely resembling quality play by his favorite baseball team, but this quote from Will is truly insightful and special:

The second problem with early voting is that one of its supposed benefits is actually a subtraction from civic health. The benefit is that it makes voting easier-indeed, essentially effortless. But surely the quality of the electoral turnout declines when the quantity is increased by "convenience voting."

I'm not the first to take Will down for this (see Open Left and Daily Kos), but I must add to the chorus. I've long advocated that Election Day be a national holiday so that more people could vote, but early voting is even better - even on national holidays, plenty of people still work, and often long shifts - doctors, nurses, firefighters, etc, but having a month to vote removes that obstacle. Now, not everyone who could vote will, but anyone who actually wants to has very few excuses in a system like this. Hell, I'm working as an election judge again, and since there's a good chance I won't be in my precinct, I couldn't vote without some sort of early voting system. That's right, according to George, those who decide to serve their community by working a 15 hour day to ensure that others can vote apparently aren't "quality" voters. In fact, we're slothful:

A word describes most of the people who will vote only if a ballot is shoved through their mail slot: "slothful." What kind of people will not bestir themselves to exercise their franchise if doing so requires them to get off their couches and visit neighborhood polling places? People who are barely interested, and hence probably are barely informed.

So, everyone who has trouble getting to the polls on Election Day - the aforementioned doctors and nurses, the sick, the elderly, the single parents, the guy working two jobs, the mother who goes to college and to work - is slothful? What a tremendously insulting thing for him to say. I have no idea how hard he may or may not have worked at his job throughout his life; how dare he assume he knows the motivations of others. Ignorant and insulting - that's conservatism for you.

Go jump in a wood chipper, Mr. Will.


I'm Not Ned said...

Actually I'll agree with the ideas Will is presenting, that we want quality over quantity.

In this case a quality vote would be any vote not for McCain/Palin.

I'm a bit surprised that he didn't go on to say we need to prevent certain specific groups from voting.

And that's a mighty big chipper. Has George gained weight?

jimbow8 said...

While the concept of "quality votes" isn't horrible, the idea that making it more difficult for people to vote results in these so-called "quality votes" or a better quality of voter is completely absurd.

Will, I'm sure, would rather we go back to a time when only the landed gentry were given a ballot.

The rest of them? Let them eat cake!