In these turbulent, highly partisan times characterized by extreme political positions, the concerns held by the Founding Fathers about the ability of the people to rule themselves becomes ever more apparent.
Most notably, Alexander Hamilton feared a democracy would be nothing more than a mob wherein the enemies of the people brought forward their plans of ambition. They were opposed by their enemies in another party. The people were therefore subject to be blindly led by one tyrant or another. His fears seem to have been well founded.
The Constitution does not include a “right to vote” clause. In fact, the criteria for who can vote was delegated to the states. That explains the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to rule on voting rights issues such as gerrymandering.
So, where does that leave us? We can continue to be blindly led by our tyrant of choice or we can take responsibility for the voting process. It is time to stop voting party lines and spend the time needed to understand the issues and the positions of the candidates who are running for office. My skeptical side doesn’t offer much hope that people will actually take the time needed and stop voting party lines, but maybe some few will start.
Voting is not an inherent right under the Constitution; it is a privilege. One we need to start taking a lot more seriously.