You have to listen carefully to President Obama to know what he is up to.
For example, after the midterm elections, when his party received a shellacking, the president said he was listening to the voters who hadn’t voted. So you thought this was just President Obama’s way of dismissing the people who had voted? But it was more than that.
In retrospect this remark, far from being a casual dismissal of the midterms results, appears to have been a prelude to the president’s call for mandatory voting. This is an outrageous proposition that runs counter to the freedom and choice that until now have been hallmarks of our republic. It is also devious.
As IJ Review explains:
As the Washington Times notes, five million more Republican voters cast ballots than Democrat voters in the 2014 midterm election, resulting in a thorough rout of Democrats. It’s obvious that the Democrat Party isn’t interesting in changing their policies, and that is why they are keen on changing the rules of the game.
According to the National Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 85% of nations in the world lack compulsory voting. The nations that do have compulsory voting are predominately South American nations, a few African nations, Mexico and Australia.
It should be noted that few of these countries are what one might call a well-functioning “democracy.”
Not voting is a choice in a democracy—indeed, it is one that I have made many times when I didn't know enough about the candidates or the issues or could not make up my mind. To force somebody to vote when she doesn’t want to is like a push poll: you get results that may be useful to politicians but don’t quite reflect what the respondent–or voter–wants.
For example, I didn’t vote for the marijuana initiative on the last DC ballot because, though I support decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs (this is me, not IWF), I thought it was a lousy initiative. But I didn’t quite want to vote against it either. So I made my choice: no vote. It was a legitimate choice, thanks very much, Mr. President. It reflected my views much more than a push-vote.
Senator Marco Rubio spoke for me on president’s latest troubling remarks:
“Look, first, I don’t put anything past him,” Mr. Rubio said on Fox News’ “Hannity” program. “I mean, there are a lot of things that have already happened that I never thought I would see, and so this would not surprise me if indeed that’s the way they move forward on it.”
“But here’s the point he refuses to point out or that he misses: not voting is also a legitimate choice that some people make,” Mr. Rubio continued. “I wish more people would participate in politics, too, but that is their choice — that is the choice of living in a free society.”
President Obama has said it would be “transformative” if everybody were required to vote. I'll say–it would utterly transform the American political system, which currently leaves this choice to the individual. .
But, as I said, you always have to listen very carefully to President Obama. What is he really saying? He obviously believes that those voters who weren’t motivated to register or informed enough vote are going to be low-information voters who, if absolutely forced to pull a lever, are likely to pull it for his policies. He is probably right.
I suspect that what the president is really aiming at is something like automatic voter registration for U.S. citizens (or just for citizens?) rather than forced voting. These registered but politically uninvolved people would be a valuable pool of voters.
Without casting aspersions on the president, it should be noted that people who don’t care enough to register to vote and become informed and seriously consider what voting means will be those very people most likely to be swayed by demagoguery.