I appreciate your taking the time to go through my post and respond to it. In kind then:
You said what you meant, and just because you don't want to be connected with Marxist philosophies doesn't mean you're not expousing one of their core tenants. The sanctity of the democratic process demands that at no level is there any undue influence in the free excercise of the voters's will by any other individual.
You are still twisting my words. It was obvious that I was referring to help understanding the voting process. And define 'undue,' please. The order in which the candidates influences the vote, if minimally. The method used to vote, the tabulation of the vote-it all has an effect.
Okay, so will you let me with all my partisan influence go into the booth with your non-english-learning voter and explain to them the ballot? I sure as hell don't want you to have that level of influence on my non-english electorate.
This is a strawman argument. You don't necessarily need a person to do the explaining: how about a Spanish language poster at the poll, agreed on by all parties, explaining the ballot and voting procedures? A Spanish speaking poll official to help if needed? Where is the partisan influence here?
There was nothing wrong with that ballot whatsoever. I put my four year old neice in front of it and she easily selected Nader (apparently, I've still got alot to teach her).
Wonderful. I'm glad to know that your neice is already thinking right politically. But one example does not prove the rule. At first glance, the ballot is confusing-it confused me at first glance. My example doesn't prove anything either. But I would submit that most people would agree that a one-column ballot is a hell of a lot less confusing than a two-column one.
Simply putting up a road block did'nt prevent anyone from getting to the polls in Florida that night. In no single instance would anyone have had to drive more than a few miles out of their way, and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who actually claims that they did'nt vote because of a road block. Get off this one already, it is rediculously weak.
Of course it didn't prevent anyone from voting. If you're going to tell me it wasn't a hassle, I don't know how you're going to justify that. And the more hassles you create, the less likely people are to bother, because voting is not all that important to most people. And they're right. There are far more important things to do, like working and spending time with one's family, and if you demand that citizens give up an unreasonable amount of time to participate in an exercise that is one of the least imprtant parts of being a citizen in a democracy, they won't do it. Arguing otherwise is foolish.
I have never made any such statement, nor have I even put forth the idea as such. My entire essay, not that you are capable of comprehending it, has been about the responsibility of voters to excercise a reasonable degree of effort in participating. In no way have I ever releived "authorities" (a word I haven't used until now) of their responsibilities to, among other things, ensure that the ballots were correctly punched and cleared of chads.
Well, okay. I think your essay is wrongheaded. I may be misinterpreting it. But don't go around calling your opponents stupid, or you will look stupid. My point wasn't in response to any specific part of your essay, but to the general tone of it, which I felt was an elitist rant about the ingrates who make up the electorate. Tone is hard to read. I may have been off. But if I'm right about it, I stand by what I said: this sort of elitism is insidious, and leaches away at the foundations of democracy.
It's too bad that no such thing ever happenned, otherwise you might have a leg to stand on. But then, you have spend this entire thread misrepresenting, making up your own suppositions, and even attributing statements to me which I never made, and doing so as direct quotes. If you have to LIE to make your argument, I think that is primafascia evidence that you have no substance.
Point one, I believe that the phrase you're stumbling around in the dark after is prima facie. It happened. You could look it up. It was discussed at length in either the February, March or April edition of Harper's, and while I will concede that that is not a very good reference, I don't have a copy close to hand. Funny, I can't pass through solid substances, so I suppose I must have substance of some sort. Pity. I would have enjoyed being able to pass through walls and locked doors and such. What you should have said was that my argument had no substance. And again, calling your opponent a liar doesn't really do much to advance the debate.
Yes, it is entirely too bad that they don't get to participate because they failed to learn a sum total of less than 20 words, most of which are nearly identical to their Spanish counterparts.
I'd like to know where you got the '20 words' figure. I figure I know already, but there's always the off-chance you know what you're talking about. I speak Russian. I know I might have trouble with a Russian election ballot, and if I did, it would be nice to get help in English. It would be unreasonable to expect this in Russia, where Russian is the official language and English is a non-factor. In the multi-lingual US, where official documents are printed in Spanish in some states, it doesn't seem like an undue stretch to me.
Because it will *never* be easy for everyone; There will always be a small percentage of idiots who though eligable to vote simply cannot understand what everyone else gets right away. You factor for the average person, not for the lowest common denominator. The point you fail to miss is that voting, participating in government, and the democratic process in America is already so pathetically easy, that any further step risks a degree of vote rigging.
Right. Which is why a thousand people in one county screwed up this 'pathetically easy' process. By the way, I believe you mean to say that I 'fail to grasp' your point, not that I fail to miss it. Otherwise we agree. Which I don't think we do. As to the actual substance of your final paragraph, this is the sort of argument that's been advanced against every democratic initiative in history: 'Let the mob vote, and by Gad, unscrupulous demagogues will rig it!' Half the population is below-average. You have to set a system up that is accessible to everyone, or else you're not being democratic. And to say that you're not being elitist when you say things like that seems a stretch to me. Thanks again for taking the time you must have with my post.
[ Parent ]