Mr. Right had been on vacation for the past two weeks, so he must have missed the memo from Bushie HQ. That's the only explanation I can think of for this outburst.
"I wish we could make people take a test before they vote to show that they have a clue about how this country works," he opined today.
"Are you saying you want to bring back literacy tests?" I asked.
"No, but in a democracy people ought to know what they're voting about," he answered, "But voting is a right, now, when it used to be a privilege."
I agree that that's how it ought to work, but I didn't think conservatives still thought that way. I thought it was the elitist liberal intellectuals who would want to winnow out the ignorant unwashed conservative masses before Election Day. But Mr. Right wouldn't even dream of such a test unless he thought it might exclude ignorant unwashed liberals, would he?
I guess it would all depend on who wrote the test. The Mr. Right test, I suspect, would include questions of economics, with the supply-side laissez-faire answers the right ones. Others might propose a constitutional test with the "unitary executive" answers the wrong ones. That's a big reason why we got rid of literacy tests in the first place; it's hard to avoid their becoming biased, exclusionary instruments designed to exclude particular groups. As I said to Mr. R., part of the deal of living in a democratic republic is that you get to vote pretty much just by virtue of showing up.
In his defense, this topic came up while Mr. Duff was expostulating on the subject of the "Moose-lim" candidate for President. Mr. Right had been scoffing that the Obama campaign had begun playing the race card, blaming racism for the Democrat's failure to lead McCain by a landslide margin. I suggested that, should Obama lose, some people will say that anyone who believed in the Obama-as-secret-Muslim conspiracy theory was a racist. Here Mr. Duff insisted that Obama was indeed a Moose-lim. "Do you know where he gets those millions of dollars from?" he asked, only to answer for himself: "Iran, Egypt, Syria. They know the score."
Mr. Right and I regarded him as if he had six heads. Whatever your political biases, sometimes you have to agree that some people are, indeed, stupid.