Beyond the Right to Vote: The Duty to Educate

    Voting is a right. But voting right is at your own appreciation. Every citizen who is registered to vote can vote for whoever they want. Whether it is for their personal gain, for htheir ideology or to defeat the opposite candidate. In the 2016 election, Hilary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. Liberals like to repeat that number as if it should mean anything in a country that has never used the popular vote to decide an election. Trump won around 2,600 counties against around 500 for Clinton. Clinton’s 500 counties count for 64% of all the US economy. (But still, around 60% of the eligible voters decided not to participate in this presidential election). We can definetly get from this that there is a polarization of the vote. You have a strong chance to live near people who think the same way you do. Politics have not changed in the slightest since its inception. We do not debate about ideas. We forget that there are two sides to a story. If we coexist with same minded people, we spend our time bashing the other side for all its wrong doings. If we spend time with different minded people, we just stand our ground and want to force our position onto them. We are at a time and age when we think that we’ve done it all, we conquered the moon, might soon conquer Mars and develop an artificial intelligence (AI) smarter than us. But we are not capable of reaching an agreement between two factions whose goal should be the same: the well being of the country and its people. 

      There is no middle ground anymore. Both Democrats and Republicans cannot accept moderation. You can’t say anything about abortion to a democrat without being looked at as if you were a Mormon drinking coffee in a Church (coffee is forbidden for Mormons FYI). You cannot say that Blacks Lives Matter during a Republican rally without being thrown out and getting elbows to your face. We don’t want to see the other side’s point of view.

     Most journalistic organizations do not help us in getting the full picture. If you are leaning right, you might only watch Fox News, but if you lean left, you might only watch MSNBC. Both channels possess deep roots in attacking the issues that are most polarizing. I understand that Russia is important, but why would all the shows from 6 to 11PM talk about the same thing but with a different talk show host? And my previous point is working only if you watch News channels at all. Otherwise you might spend your time watching the Apprentice to see Trump “winning” and the nightly news which focuses on “how to cut a peace of wood with your bare hands to defend yourself against a tiger when no one is around”. Yes it is catchy, yes people might stay because they are willing to know who needs that, but is it news? Aren’t you failing at your job if you call that news? Why is there the same amount of advertisements as news during the nightly news? And what about the catchy titles just to get clicks online? There cannot be a good press without a Free press. But Free press is killing the press. This is shameful.

    The people is not free from fault. No one wants to learn anything. Everyone would rather confirm their belief. And belief is the ennemy of knowledge. It is now more important to comment on an article posted on Facebook than to read it. You get more fame for filming yourself saying “Damn Daniel” than to determine a way to read and manipulate the entire genome. The opinion of your friends matter more than the facts. No wonder why Fake news spread during the election. You trust your same-minded friend who share a post instead of looking at it in a critical way. No wonder why Facebook “dark ads” (targeted political ads) might have played a part in the outcome of different recent elections: Brexit, the US 2016 elections , etc.

    The government is also failing its people. In the 1st superpower, 42% of Americans believe that humans were created by God 10,000 years ago. Only 53% believe climate change is caused mostly by human activities and worse, 28% say that there is a lot of disagreement between scientists when >99% of scientists agree on the facts. Republican-leaning Americans rate Atheists and Muslims respectively at 43 and 39 out of 100 when they rate Christians and Jews at around 70 in 2017. These stats are enough to show that even the “best country in the world” has deep issues. Even facts have to be partisan. The system of Education failed its people. Citizens are left uneducated. It is easy to blame the rednecks for voting for the crazy guy, it is harder to face the fact that there is a problem in this country. Private interests spend millions to have representatives in office to deny facts and those people in public office give millions back in tax break instead of spending it in Education. The federal government spends far more money in Defence expenses than in Education. It seems more important to kill the “enemies of Freedom” than to teach what Freedom means to your own citizens.

     People are not indoctrinated just because they want to. You don’t choose your family, their biases and the ones from your neighbourhood. New York, Los Angeles are not representative of the whole country. Life in America is segregated. Communities will live with their own communities. It is the role of the State to offer a view of the whole picture. Or if you are an open minded person and you complain of the blindness of some parts of the country, move there. You can’t only blame the racist for being racist, you also have to blame the system for not doing its job properly. This is where something needs to be done. We cannot accept the status quo. It is estimated that more than 5 million people are ineligible to vote. Many are for non violent offences. Denying facts could be considered a non violent offence. Or consider the age limit. It has been set up at 18 because we do not consider youngsters to be able to understand the issues. But many youngsters understand facts better than many adults. If we discriminate citizens because we think they do not understand the issues, we should do it fully.

    If you want to think that the world is 10,000 years old, please do, but you shouldn’t be able vote. If you think that Mexicans are rapists just because the guy on TV said so, you should not be able to vote. If you think that only minorities are suffering and that there are not any white people in the US who suffer, you should not be able to vote. Until these individuals see the light of knowledge, they should be denied the right to vote. Why not institute courses for those people? During the Census, why not add boxes for “Do you believe that fact or that fact to be true?” This is the US. You can be a Quaker. You can be a fundamentalist Muslim. But it doesn’t block us from using electricity and not having Sharia law in the works. The same way should be for us to be free from Creationism and Climate Change denial. The goal would not be to instruct citizens to vote right. It would be to help them vote with more information. I want to give more power to the people, which is what a Democracy is for. The voluntary ignorance of some should not impact the livelihood of the whole.

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