Photo by USFWS/Southeast I recently saw Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) on Fox and Friends in a brief segment regarding, I believe, a Facebook post he made on the current election insofar as voting. Though (I hope my memory is correct) he did not offer support for either of the two front-running candidates. He was contacted by Fox about the posting which spoke to the right to vote as opposed to a duty or moral obligation. Offering only minor opinions, the hosts, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Tucker Carlson asked him about his reasoning, etc.
For the record, I enjoy his shows and his attitude and probably would like him personally if I knew him, which I don’t. As well, I could say the same for the hosts. I also believe Mr. Carlson is one of the more clear-headed and reasoned men on the cable channels (or networks, though that probably is not a challenge) though he listened, adding only slight comment.
So much for the good stuff. However, I firmly believe Mr. Rowe is wrong. He said that he believed the right to vote was a constitutional one while mentioning a number of rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
Nowhere in the constitution is the right to voted stated as such. Only after the second most important upheaval in the history of These United States is such a right offhandedly mentioned. The 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th amendments each have a statement that “the right of…shall not be abridged…” and all came after the Bill of Rights: rights thought to be the most basic ones. The men who studied and contemplated in convention, those thoughtful minds we refer to as The Founding Fathers, had in mind as they declared independence for their own separate localities, the following: “…we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights…” Our Creator did not give us a right to vote. Men cannot vote on what is right. The Ten Commandments were not presented for referendum, for example. While it is true that in democracies voting is a right (how do you prevent a mob from claiming what they want?), such was not a workable concept (in fact, a terrible one) to those men in that convention.
Mr. Rowe also said he is not an expert on the constitution. Again, I disagree. Mr. Rowe, you are an expert on the constitution. You simply have been treated to the illusion that this document (about 5000 words) is a great legal mystery that only the finest minds (a pseudo-intellectual deflection that suggests most people don’t have fine minds) can understand. This is nonsense. While Jesse Watters has demonstrated, often, that there are many people (and sadly many of them vote) over the age of 18 who cannot understand the optimum strategy of tic-tac-toe, most considerably well-read, thoughtful, hard-working fellows like yourself can understand plain, thoughtful, English. Chief Justice John Jay said: “It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision. …you have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy”(sixth amendment providing for “impartial jury” NOT a jury of one’s “peers”).
This kind of thinking was self-evident in the beginning of the republic. Today if you are called for jury duty you are paid the wages of a convict (the judge doesn’t work for ten dollars a day; the prosecutor neither; and you can be damn sure the defense attorney doesn’t) and treated with the esteem of an uneducated rube. Almost universally are jurors told: “Do not concern yourself with the law. Just listen to the facts.” In other words, the government (through its god-judges) will tell you what the law means so that you may vote with a modicum of understanding–with a parenthetic: “you peons.”
For the end of this minor rant I am going to return to some good stuff regarding Mr. Rowe. He has brought (or brought back) the concept of work to the realm it justifies. We constantly are bombarded by politicians with comments such as: “These people are entitled to decent jobs!” I can think of many offensive things politicians say routinely, but a comment about decent jobs is one of the most offensive. What the hell is an indecent job? If my toilet is stopped up I don’t wring my hands and suggest it is indecent to correct the problem. I fix it. If a drunk vomits on a table in a restaurant, the busboy doesn’t turn away and say “Oh, that is horrible. I can’t clean that.” Only a politician locked onto the public gravy train would even conceive of certain kinds of work as beneath human rectification.
Thank you for your programs Mr. Rowe. But please don’t think of voting as a right; nor a duty nor a moral responsibility. It is, albeit a responsible one, a privilege.