L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 98, November 13, 2000
The People Have Spoken!
Nanny, May I Roll Again?
by Michael Haggard
Exclusive to TLE
We all have been railing against the encroachment of the nanny-state into our lives. We have all even seen the call from some people in the citizenry to bring on more of the nanny-stateís protection. However, no more insidious example of the call for the nanny-state has been seen than the debacle of the 2000 General Election for President.
No one is more tired than I of listening to the 24 hour pundits repeat themselves every hour on the hour, telling us what they donít know about the future. But like many of you, I too watched the news shows to glean what I could of the election. Surely you have heard all you want to hear about the 19,000 people in Florida who cannot read or follow instructions and got their own ballots thrown out or allegedly miscounted.
Listening to the citizens that feel they have been treated unjustly, It dawned on me that I had heard these very same claims and demands before. These people were looking to big government to not only save them, but to give them another chance. Like a little child playing a board game with nanny, they are asking for a second role of the dice because they didnít like the role they made.
Proponents of the nanny-state claim that there are people that cannot and will not make good choices. Not only will the make mistakes, it is governmentís role to take my success and use part of it to take care of these people. They wont just give them my money, so it is not stealing to them. It is management for people who donít know how to manage their own affairs.
Now we have a group of people who could not do several things that the rest of us could do, and did do, on November 7th, 2000. They could not read the newspaper for weeks before the election to see how the ballot would look. They could not read the voter information packet mailed to their homes weeks before the election. They could not read the very ballot in front of them. They could not read that a second punch of the ballot would disqualify the entire ballot.
Regardless of the fact that the courts ruled the literacy test for voting unconstitutional, we are now told that the bad olí election committee of Florida needs to let these people vote again. And listen to what has been said! "I was confused by the ballot." Funny, you used a similar one two years ago. "I couldnít figure out which hole to punch." Strange, there was an arrow pointing.
Like any group of people that cannot produce even with all the supply handed to them, we are supposed to allow -- no, demand -- that the Federal Government come in, overrule the State Government, and give these people a second roll of the dice. And who shall pay for this election? How shall this be monitored? Who will vote again and who will not? How can we prove that anyone actually was confused when the ballots are secret?
It does not matter. One child fell down in the play-room and the nanny must run across the room, knocking down other children and furniture on the way, to save her precious one screaming for help. The safety-net will now be deployed to save not only financial failures, but now to catch people who canít read, follow instructions, or buy the paper.
But we canít just give them things to solve their complaint, we will have to manage these poor people because they have shown they cannot manage themselves. Will they now get assistance with their votes? Must an observer from their party come in with them and tell them how to vote if the observe feels a mistake is about to be made? Isnít it interesting that the nanny always assumes her charge is a stupid, untalented oaf? Government would like us all to think of our majority as stupid, untalented oafs. It gives them justification to seize freedoms.
Next we shall have to rid ourselves of the Electoral College because it makes peopleís head hurt to try and figure out how it works.