Ve haff vays uf makink you vote!

As Berthold Brecht pointed out, if the government doesn’t trust the people, it needs to dissolve it and elect a new people. William Galston of the Brookings “Institution” has a plan for doing this: compulsory voting.  He believes that non-voters tend to be less ideological and their inclusion would moderate the extremes of American political discourse.

In reply, I’ll note that a whole bunch of non-voters got involved in the 2008 election, so they could be part of “first Black President” history, and they elected one of the most ideological and inflexible governments in American history. And even if non-voters are non-ideological now, it doesn’t mean they will stay so. If they are forced to care, who knows how they will care? If people don’t vote because “they’re all alike”, why wouldn’t they vote for a candidate who is “different”, even if the difference is negative? Or what would keep them from showing up at the polls and returning a blank ballot?

I figure I don’t need to make the moral argument, for the folks who read this. But a fine would in effect be a tax on non-voting, which itself is a form of political speech. If a tax to be able to vote is unconstitutional, why wouldn’t a tax to avoid voting also be?

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