Hidden agenda in voter registration drives

Amazement is uncommon with me, but I remain continually amazed at how many people lead their microcosmic lives completely oblivious, with little awareness of the people and conditions swirling around them that control their lives.

It’s not that these people are wrong, it’s that they either refuse to admit or do not comprehend how much their lives are dominated, and how much their futures will be pushed around by people they don’t even know.

Politics is the prime example. I know many people who know zero about politics or about political issues that profoundly affect their lives, and don’t care to talk the time to learn. And yet, they wail about problems that beset them because of politics. Or worse, they cannot grasp the simple truth that politicians make decisions regularly that regulate or manipulate their daily lives.

Some of these people vote, and some don’t. Frankly, if this type of citizen wants to go through life allowing strangers to control their destiny, that’s their business. But in truth, if these same oblivious people actually vote, they are dangerous to society. They’re dangerous because, for the most part, they are ignoramuses who cast votes with very little factual understanding. An ignorant and naïve voter is far more dangerous than a non-voter.

In fact, a logical and strong case can be made that most voter registration drives are harmful to the republic, if the registration effort is covertly targeted to recruit economically illiterate citizens or people who think the rest of us owe them entitlements. These registration drives that seek to sign up any doofus walking down the street can actually do harm to the informed voter population, or the country.

Voters, new or old, who are easily swayed by rhetoric, media hype, smooth talking-heads, or non-specific promises of hope and change do more harm than good. A great danger for a democratic republic is to promote the willy-nilly registration of uninformed voters who make stupid decisions. These kinds of voters can aid and abet the tyranny of a majority who use their power to lord it over any political minority.

Let’s not be snookered into believing that such groups as the League of Women Voters and Rock-the-Vote are giving good-government in Florida a helping hand, or that they are registering voters for the good of the republic. They’re not. They’re not out there signing up voters because of some lofty goal of “promoting the democratic process.” Hooey. They’re doing it because they have a political agenda. They’re doing it to beef up the voter rolls with people they believe will embrace the politics of these groups.

Nearly every voter registration group I have encountered in my life is highly political, even the 501(c) groups. More often than not, their real agenda is hidden under the public rhetoric of “good government.”

Most voter registration efforts are shams. I remember the huge voter registration drives made by a recent Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, who spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to register voters. His entire efforts concentrated on residential precincts of the county that contained partisan residents who could be recruited to vote heavily for the candidates of his political party. He hired ten people to walk certain ethnic and cultural neighborhoods, and register voters by handing out over $60,000 worth of trinkets to adults, and community-activist coloring books for the kids.

It’s time for these groups to stop their intellectual dishonesty when they wrap themselves in false lofty language and the American flag, and meow misleading language about the purity of their motives. They’re not trying to register voters to strengthen the republic; they’re trying to register only voters who will support the partisan agenda or the ideology of the voter registration group. They don’t want goodgovernment, they want their government.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.
John R. Smith

Comments

Latest Articles