A Bulwark Against “Bread And Circus” Decay?

RD’s thread about the swag got me thinking. Particularly the Heinlein quote.

We know what the problem is; the more mentally stimulating issue is to hypothesize a solution. Clearly Heinlein is correct. Thus, he may as well be saying that voting must be contingent upon something, some prerequisite.

There are numerous prerequisites to obtaining a vote that could be implemented. Some better, some worse. I would love to see Revoista’s thoughts on the matter.

What follows is my attempt to spitball, and in no way indicates my opinion on any given option:

“Productivity Test”: If a person made sufficient income from payroll or cap gains to be taxed for such in the last year, they may be allowed to vote.

“Welfare Test”: If you receive certain entitlements, you are not allowed to vote for some period of time thereafter.

“Literacy Test”: Some level of being informed is necessary for people in a free republic. As such, civics, reading, math… such things could be the basis of tests to ensure a given individual will be an informed voter.

“Gender Test”: Men can vote. Women may not.

“Citizenship Test”: This exists now, but what if requirements for citizenship were raised? What if birth did not necessarily convey automatic citizenship, but instead some form of test or service were required to obtain citizenship?


As I said before, I want to currently withhold my opinions on specific options, but it seems self-evident that pure democracy leads to what we’re headed towards. Bread and Circuses, serfdom, utter decay. This is, clearly, the mob rule that the Founders so feared, but were unable to prevent (thanks to the progs of the early 20th century). So how to tweak the system in order to prevent the takers from outnumbering–and outvoting–the makers?

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17 Responses to A Bulwark Against “Bread And Circus” Decay?

  1. BigJimTX says:

    Citizenship Test

    I like where you are headed here.

    Currently we are born into a citizenship and our civics lessons come from professors that deny that communism killed anybody. My neighbor is an Iraqi immigrant who is eligible for citizenship next year. He probably understands more about the operation of government than anybody else on my street (with the exception of myself hopefully). Historically, immigrants that had to go through the citizenship process understand civics more thoroughly than natural-born citizens. Maybe a FREE program (to eliminate the poll tax thing) that you must participate in that teaches civics should be a prerequisite to getting a FREE voter ID card (with picture). Maybe your elected representatives could grace the classes with their presence.

    I would gladly participate in something like that.

  2. BigJimTX says:

    On the other tests:
    Productivity – Class Warfare
    Welfare – Racism
    Literacy – Racism
    Gender – Really? Don’t go there. Deadly.

    That is how they would be seen.

    The citizenship test would be demonized as well, it just happened to be the one that I thought could be a fantastic idea.

  3. Uke says:

    I’m fully aware that absolutely ZERO tests of any kind are politically feasible, frankly. These are only the sorts of ideas one can implement upon the formation of a new nation.

    So I’m less concerned about “how they would be seen.” The other side makes ANY attempt to limit mob rule as a human rights atrocity.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    If women didn’t vote, Republicans would have won every election for at least the last couple of generations. Based on my experience with women, here is what I suggest.

      1) Put voting machines someplace with spiders.

      2) Put ballots in jars with tight lids.

      3) Put ballots on top shelf in kitchen.

      4) Require a parallel parking test to vote.

      5) Design voting machines to work exactly like the system of three home entertainment system remotes in my home.

    In my experience, any of the five would result in permanent GOP electorate.

    *ducks and runs for cover*

  5. Biller83 says:

    I’ve had these same thoughts for the past couple of years. I advocate the “paying-taxes” test; similar to the Welfare test, but very watered down.

    If you pay no income tax, you don’t get to vote.

    I personally believe everyone should have a stake in what they’re voting for; I’ve felt strongly this way for some time. Still, this is pretty tame compared to the others; I do like the literacy test & welfare test as well.

  6. James says:

    The simplest reform is to repeal the 24th amendment.
    I like poll taxes and voter photo ID. They are simple to implement, and discourage people who make poor fiscal decisions from voting.

    $50 would be a good start.

  7. R.D. Walker says:

    You know none of these suggestions are any more viable than my “spiders” suggestion, right? I mean Uke already acknowledged it, but it ain’t going anywhere.

    Hell, the inverse of these ideas is probably slightly more viable: Only the “poor and oppressed” get to vote and the “oppressive moneyed class” is kept from voting.

  8. BigJimTX says:

    RD you made me ROFL with your suggestions. That was awesome.

  9. Uke says:

    Yep. It’s more an exercise in learning from our past mistakes. At SOME point this nation will collapse under its own weight, and it’ll be vital to know where we went wrong, what we can do better.

    If there’s even such a thing as being able to break the cycle.

  10. slinger says:

    There was a time when you had to be a landowner to vote.

    I agree with Biller83 … every voter should have a stake in what they are voting for. The “paying-taxes” test makes a lot of sense. Maybe that will get included in the next grand experiment republic after this one finishes its cycle.

  11. JenR says:

    I’m happy to say that I could pass all 5 of RD’s roadblocks to keeping me from voting.

  12. Lai says:

    I could pass all but the fourth. I don’t drive. πŸ™‚

  13. BigJimTX says:

    I would say that there a good number of men that can’t pass #4 and they do drive.

  14. R.D. Walker says:

    If you two represent the women who pass the test, I certainly have no complaints.

  15. Rich says:

    Apparently in all states that had voter ID laws, O lost.

    In all states that did not have voter ID, O won.

    So, it seems elementary, that if you want a 1 person 1 vote system, you ought to insure that there is indeed 1 person 1 vote.

    The simple way to do that is voter ID laws.

    As to the other ideas here I agree with a few.

    But voter ID laws are achievable … the others, not so much.

    Focus your efforts on what can be won, and you may reap benefits.

  16. Uke says:

    Voter IDs won’t stop Bread and Circus decay in the slightest; the best it can do is slow it down a bit. Voter ID laws are intended to eliminate voter fraud, and pretty soon the left won’t even NEED voter fraud to win.

    Offer enough free stuff to enough people and why bother? All the human cattle will vote for the grain dispenser regardless.

  17. nessa says:

    I’ve always admired Heinlein’s requirements for citizenship in Starship Troopers, not because I was a Soldier most of my adult life. Because citizenship, like anything else, must be earned before it holds value. Anything that is given, with no challenge required to earn is discarded and uncared for, look at any housing project anywhere in the world. The more challenging, the more value, that’s where Heinlein found his key to success, I’m sure you will agree, there are few challenges as difficult or as well remembered as those you faced with your brothers in arms. If the CIB lapel pin isn’t enough I’ve got my DD214 in my wallet.