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Your Views: Those who vote should have the most at stake in outcome
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When our country was founded, many state constitutions stipulated that white landowner males could all vote for representative government. The idea being that those perceived to have greater “skin in the game” would make sounder decisions for preserving the community and checking the power of a tyrannical government.

The democracy of ancient Greece shared the philosophy that participation in the “polis” (government) required participation in the “phalanx” (defense) of society.

After the war of independence, the American Revolution continued as a social movement spreading enlightenment ideology within the society. Participation in government was extended to all white men regardless of property ownership, then all men regardless of color, and finally all women.

With the emergence of political parties came identity politics in which segments of the population were grouped as a common voting block. This segmentation of the population greatly facilitated the political platforms of the political parties to “buy” votes in return for the redirection of government expenditures serving the interests of favored segments of society.

Citizenship is a birthright and suffrage is now universal to citizenship. Every society receives the government which it deserves. Perhaps the failures and shortcomings of our political process is merely a reflection of the continuation of the American Revolution (social) with an assumption that all mankind is universally equal.

Yet members of society are making unequal contributions to it with service either militarily (enlistment) or economically (venture capitalism). Those not providing any service to society are empowered to cast a vote without any risk for the impact of an election or even understanding of public policy issues. In essence, those with no “skin in the game” are allowed to play the game.

Perhaps we should consider recognizing diversified contributions to society with diversified participation in government?

Greg Sell
Gainesville

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