This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Who would rally against reason? [Also in Polish]

AgriculturalAtheist's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by AgriculturalAtheist

I think the complaint of "elitism" is that most people feel as if somehow those in power may try to pull a fast one on the dumb public, and they won't even know it. Akin to countries where the citizens (or portions of its citizenry) were banned from reading books or learning - the knowledge becomes concentrated in the "elite" in power - and since power corrupts...

It USED to be that only a few in the electoral college voted for presidents. While ordinary citizens don't directly vote for a president, they DO vote for their representatives, and indirectly have an effect on how many electoral votes a candidate might get in their state. So yes, originally the founding fathers did not imagine EVERYONE would vote (especially children, women and slaves). But over the years the notion of a democracy spread so anyone 18 and over could vote. Though we might like to revert to a system where only the most intelligent made decisions for the whole country, does anyone see why this might be a problem, or backfire?

The truth is for a true democracy we have to preserve that freedom and voice, no matter how vulgar or dumb. One can't require voters OR candidates to pass an IQ test or pledge an allegiance to reason and shun all faith.

One does need to have advanced training and degrees to become a medical doctor, but there is no analogous "school" for becoming a president. One shouldn't need a doctorate to do this. The experience of small-town politics can serve as experience for the process of democracy and the law, and lead to higher offices. If someone is so dumb or useless one imagines the voting process will weed out the candidate as sure as a hiring committee would an interviewing would-be employee. If the majority wants a "dumb" and religious person in office, then who is the minority to object?

Thu, 22 Mar 2012 00:16:36 UTC | #929470