Comments: Elizabeth Edwards inadvertantly says what all liberals think

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Two things I don't understand here:

1) What is wrong with wanting smart people in office and, carrying that further, calling out the stupid people. Conservatives do this, too, as well they should.

2) Are you saying that it's a government institution to rely on stupid people, so it's okay if McCain carries on that tradition?

Posted by Joe M at October 29, 2008 09:49 AM

No, Joe. What I'm saying is that it SHOULD be left up to individuals to determine what's best for them. The government should not be in the business of "protecting" others from their own stupidity, especially since gov. makes plenty of stupid decisions itself.

Posted by Hube at October 29, 2008 10:18 AM

An interesting question, Hube, is how are your only-smart-hoop-jumpers-can-vote proposals not the same thing? Wouldn't those ideas put the government squarely in the business of protecting people from their own -- and others' stupidity?

Posted by dan at October 29, 2008 12:32 PM

Rephrase that please, dan. I'm not sure what you're saying.

Posted by Hube at October 29, 2008 01:26 PM

Oh, do you mean the Heinlein post? If so, keep in mind that I wrote (mostly in the comments) that I've actually no objection to ANYBODY voting (which obviously differs from Heinlein's thesis somewhat) as long as they have to go "a bit out of their way" to actually register AND vote. IOW, make somewhat of an effort to exercise the franchise. Liberals believe even THIS is "disenfranchisement," while cons and libertarians think they are just sensible measures to secure the integrity of the system. Therefore, liberals get a lot of uninformed voters voting -- for them -- and then liberals give them what they want, and the cycle continues.

While I agree in principle w/Heinlein (at least what his ultimate dystopic vision would be -- see above), in actuality it ends up being undemocratic. I ultimately don't go as far as RH.

Posted by Hube at October 29, 2008 01:33 PM

"Therefore, liberals get a lot of uninformed voters voting -- for them -- and then liberals give them what they want, and the cycle continues."

Well, it's good to see that you admit that this idea is not without a partisan goal. But obviously I disagree with the notion that liberal voters are less educated or uninformed than conservatives. In fact, the exact opposite is traditionally true. The polls show this election is no exception.

But I also don't see the connection between going the extra mile to vote, and how knowledgeable a voter is. I don't see a correlation there at all. I don't see misinformed or uninformed voters as more likely to flake out. On the contrary, they may be quite rabid, while educated but disillusioned people are the ones I see as most likely to not bother.

Posted by dan at October 29, 2008 02:24 PM

dan: I didn't say liberals voters are less educated or uninformed. I said "liberals get a lot of uninformed voters voting -- for them." These people may but certainly may NOT be liberals. Liberals just care about streamlining the process until the process itself is virtually non-existent, all the while saying "we'll do this and this and this for you!"

(BTW: it is NOT a "fact" that liberals are more educated/informed. The very top of educated folks -- PhDs, for instance -- are usually liberal, while the 2nd and 3rd tier echelons are usually conservative. The least educated are usually liberal-voting. This tends to "even out" the intelligence scale of libs/cons, actually.)

Posted by Hube at October 29, 2008 03:11 PM

"In fact, the exact opposite is traditionally true. The polls show this election is no exception."

Hube is exactly right. Average education between the two parties is approximately equal. The Dems might have an edge in PhDs (they certainly have more academics), but the Republicans balance this out with an big edge in Masters and Bachelors degrees.

The real issue with Edwards statement is that you will still have individuals making stupid economic decisions. But those people will be civil servants insulated from the consequences of their actions by the federal government, not businessmen taking risks with their own money (or money entrusted to them by their shareholders).

Posted by Jeff the Baptist at October 29, 2008 05:10 PM