Primary Day

Primary Day

Today is Primary Day in New Hampshire and all the news outlets are a-twitter. Two weeks ago, it was wall-to-wall Iowa and how the first-in-the-nation caucus would provide the initial guidance for who will challenge Bush in November. All the polls and the conventional wisdom said Dean was the guy. But when Dean came in third behind Kerry and Edwards, suddenly the conventional wisdom wasn’t so wise. The question no one seemed to ask was why the polls were so wrong. But on to New Hampshire.

In the week between the Iowa caucus and the NH primary we saw the polls slide toward Kerry, although some of them seemed like yo-yos. The Zogby poll showed Kerry with only a 3 percent lead one day and then 13 percent the next. Whatever the case, clearly people were changing their minds and moving from Dean to others. But why?

You’d think people would have considered reasons for choosing their candidate, whether it’s their positions on taxes, health care, foreign policy or the like. But what the shifting polls tell me is that the primary criterion is what everyone else is doing. It’s the question of fashion. “You mean everyone in Iowa likes Kerry? His campaign isn’t dead? Hmmm, then maybe I should be voting for him.” It’s maddening.

That’s why when people bemoan the fact that less than 50 percent of eligible voters vote, I applaud instead. How many people do you think put any time into examining the issues of the day? I saw a statistic that said a majority of young adults get their political news from Jay Leno and David Letterman and Jon Stewart. Can you believe it? The only news they get is some comedian making fun of the politicians. I’d rather they just continue to sit there in front of their idiot boxes and stay away from the polls, thank you.

In this case I agree with Cardinal Gustaaf Joos who said of democracy: “The right to vote, what is that all about? I think it is curious a snot-nosed, 18-year-old has the same vote as a father of seven. One has no responsibilities whatsoever, the other provides tomorrow’s citizens.” Now, if that 18-year-old is educated and informed, perhaps married, perhaps serving in the armed forces, then I’m not worried about his vote. But too many 18-year-olds are living for the weekend, wondering who will buy their next beer, watching MTV, and parroting their left-wing professors.

Democracy is dead. Long live democracy.

  • For one thing, it’s Cardinal Joos’s point about the parent with seven kids not mine. My point is that it doesn’t bother me when people who are uninformed or swayed by popular opinion don’t vote. People who are doing their civic duty, supporting society (by providing new members of it for one thing), and making good choices are the ones who most benefit the country by their vote.

  • Well for the most part those 18 year olds that are that “responsible” are not out there voting anyway. They think it’s too much bother, and quite frankly I agree with you Dom I’m glad that they think it’s too much of a bother until the point in time that they do get their act together.
    I listen to their views all day long and frankly all I can say it the fruits of the 60’s and 70’s are catching up with society and for the most part those views are being rejected and the new generation those few that care are rejecting the “old guard” of the 60’ and 70’s and looking at what is wrong with their theories.

  • They can vote because snot nosed 18 year olds are dying in places like Iraq defending net-hecklers like PMC. At 18, men have no register for the draft.

    The Tri-Lateral commission in the 1970s recommended lowering the voting age to 18 after Vietnam. A good % of the 48,000 dead soldiers from Vietnam could not vote at the time of their demise

    I was paying taxes at age 16, so maybe the age should be lowered even more based on the “Taxation without Representation” without reprsentation principle.

    In fact, maybe tax paying should be the gold standard for who gets to vote and who doesn’t.

  • See, Tom, you missed my point. Read the last paragraph again.

    As for lowering the age even more, 16-year-olds are represented … by their parents. Voting isn’t just about every boob having a vote . Ever since the founding of the republic, the idea has been that only informed citizens make good voters. The uneducated or immature masses are too easily swayed by demogagues. That’s why we have an electoral college, it’s why senators used to be selected by legislatures, and it’s why we have a voting age.

    Service in the military or paying taxes is not necessarily a qualification that says someone is mature. Actually you can’t be sure even a 40-year-old is mature, but a minimum age is the best way at the moment to set the bar.