Conservative columnist George Will cracks me up. Here’s a guy with the vocabulary of an English Professor, but the mental capacity of a chimpanzee (apologies to chimps everywhere). He’s a gold-plated Timex. A Neanderthal in a tuxedo. In a recent editorial, he argued that low voter turnout in U.S. elections was actually a good thing and no one should be concerned about it, especially not our intrusive, bumbling government, which could one day mandate voting.
He uses high-point Scrabble words and a quote about Carl Sandburg to argue that one of the pillars of a true democracy, citizens voting in elections, just isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and people who are apathetic, people with “weak motivation,” shouldn’t be voting anyway. And of course, he drags in the Nazis. He seriously argues that high voter turnout is not necessarily a good thing because the Nazis won elections in Germany with high voter turnout.
Let’s start with the fact that 60 million adult citizens in America are not even registered to vote. Then consider that in the 2012 presidential election, only 57.5% of registered voters turned out at the polls. Do the arithmetic and it means that 94 million eligible Americans did not cast ballots for the leader of the most powerful nation on the planet. Ninety-four million. And to George Will, this isn’t an issue.
Well, gosh. I certainly ain’t as smart as Mr. Will, but it just doesn’t make any sense to say that low voter turnout is a good thing in a democracy. Unless you’re a Republican. Traditionally, the lower the voter turnout in an election, the better Republicans do. George Will wouldn’t possibly be arguing that up is down and black is white simply because he’s a card-carrying Republican, would he? He wouldn’t be trying to enchant us by wrapping a partisan, undemocratic turd of an idea in satiny words, would he?
Maybe we should just do away with elections altogether or — and this is probably an idea that Will would embrace — we only allow citizens of a certain high net worth cast ballots for our leaders. George Will could make even that idea sound good.