What Does It Mean To Vote?

Underlying the argument for lowering the voting age to 16 is the preposterous notion that a person’s accumulated maturity, demographic, and existing political knowledge play almost no part in determining their suitability to vote. Along the lines of classical western thought, voting was frequently considered an obtained privilege bestowed strictly to the responsible and contributing citizens of a given society. However, this perspective has come under scrutiny by contemporary ideas. If there is no meaningful criteria for voting, such as that listed above, then the definition of voting has undergone some serious modifications.

What do you think about voting? Is it a right, a privilege, or an obligation? Also, should certain demographics be disallowed from voting, or should it be universalized?

13 Comments

  1. Voting is not a biblical institution for deciding government. (In fact, God was disappointed when the Isrealites wanted a king, so they could be “like the other nations”. God wanted His people to be “set-apart” from the other nations.)

    I would venture to say that voting should be available to all responsible individuals (no matter how old) who genuinely care about the future of their country and want to help in making changes for the better. Then the question is, how can we define which individuals are “responsible” or not? It can be hard for people like you and I, who believe in an absolute authority (God) and an absolute standard of morality, to compare other people to the standard we have because it is conceived by the society around us as being “judgemental”.

    So then, who should decide what responsibility is? The ones who wish to satisfy everyone? Then they will satisfy no one.

    However you define ‘responsibility’, we know all responsible individuals should have the right to vote. Our other so-called ‘rights’ have been stripped away. If we are to rely on a government figure to fix this massive problem, then we must exercise this vote to choose our authority figures wisely.

    (Personally, I follow along to politics, but I look forward to the return of Christ as my coming King and absolute authority. No man can take His place or be a perfect leader.)

    Sorry for the long ramble! XD
    Sincerely, Makayla

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    1. Hello Makayla,

      You make some excellent points. I would say that I have also arrived at a similar question, that is ; who is to decide what constitutes being responsible? The answer is to look to the underlying stories that have effectively stabilized our social framework since time immemorial. One example (particularly emphasizing the meaning of responsibility) might be the truth in “bearing one’s cross.” In this, the cross symbolizes the unavoidable existential suffering bestowed to us by fate, and the “bearing of it” means the maintenance of an attitude characterized by complacency and hope amidst the worst.

      I would argue that it is very much possible to regain somewhat of a collective agreement as to the meaning of “being responsible”, mostly because our nations roots are explicitly Judeo-Christian, but this would require contemporary culture to loose a considerable amount of influential dominance on people’s thinking.

      Also, the notion that voting “is a right” seems to have been propagated by people who have a tendency to view society as large masses of indifferent groups all striving viciously towards the objective of garnering political power. This is only completely true if you don’t believe in the freedom of the individual.

      Anyway, I appreciate the food for thought.

      Yours kindly,

      Dylan,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Dylan,
        That’s interesting what you said about “bearing the cross”. I agree with it, as do I agree with keeping up hope, but I wonder what you mean by ‘complacency’. Do you mean that the ‘bearers’ do not fear, but, while ‘bearing’, strive for the goal of changing the suffering given to them in the first place? Or do you mean that the bearers ‘carry their own cross’ and disregard the world around them?

        You are spot-on about culture versus the roots of the US. An agreement on the term ‘responsibility’ would require a mass return to those roots, and a destruction of the modern American cultural worldview.

        Freedom of the individual is absolutely an essential part of any society. I’m by no means debunking that! XD Great response. Lots to think about. 👍

        Sincerely, Makayla

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I employed the word “complacency” in the sense that we may find self-contentment in the meaning generated from being responsible (or “bearing your cross”) . I regret not expounding further or perhaps using a different word. Also, I would argue that being responsible involves the apprehension of as much of reality as is possible. I fervently advise folks to distance themselves from any inclination to adopt a form of static thinking.

        I hope this clarifies any misconceptions that you may have drawn.

        Dylan,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post; I most definitely agree with your thoughts. Honestly, it’s like saying we should lower the age of when to get a license…It simply isn’t wise. For multiple reasons. But mainly because, the subject just isn’t mature enough, or prepared for that responsibility. We have plenty of people these days who vote uncaringly, and adding to that number by lowering the voting age, could be extremely detrimental to our society.
    So, yep. That’s what I think. Thanks again for writing great stuff! Keep up the good work.
    -Keziah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great thoughts Keziah, and I appreciate the kind words. Voting carelessly could be interpreted as voting with one’s emotions, recognized ignorance, or simply out of interest for their demographic. I was speaking to a fellow blogger a while ago about how elderly people collecting social security usually vote in favor of candidates who promise not to modify or replace the program which they depend on. He was, perhaps not enthusiastically, arguing that elderly people who choose to collect social security should be denied the opportunity to vote.

      Anyway, that is just one example of possible voting restrictions that could be implemented in the future to prevent the election of figures who intend to pass bad policy.

      Yours kindly,

      Dylan,

      Like

      1. Yep. Great thoughts, thanks for sharing! I definitely think, more and more these days, people are acting from emotion and feelings, then logic and reasoning. It’s the sad truth, and something that seems especially prevalent in the younger generation.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post.
    I think that voting is a privilege and should be treated as such. When people vote without thought, so much so as to become a statistic, the privilege will likely eventually (or at least it should) be taken away from them.

    Like

  4. I am uncertain of it is a right, privilege, or an obligation. However, an individual with improper incentives will invariably vote for awful policies.

    That is regardless of age. I feel older voters and younger voters are more inclined to be swayed by the promises of tax-payer funded services. This makes sense when you realize they both ends of the voter age distribution does not meaningfully contribute to the tax pool. If you are not pay for it there is little incentive to care. This is particularly salient with social security. Due to the number of Baby-boomers can only be successfully funded via intergenerational transfer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This notion, that of having an incentive to care, is somewhat mirrored in the enterprise business as well. Statistically speaking, Individuals who invest their life savings into enterprise businesses are likely to “care more” about the success of what they have, rather than say, some less enthusiastic managers of certain chain stores. Not to say chain store managers are not devoted to the success of their stores or outlets, but that single-enterprise owners generally have a larger incentive to impel them to make more responsible and considerate decisions.

      Overall, great points.

      Liked by 1 person

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