I want to express my shock and dismay at something – but I also want to ask a question of our readers.
I’ve been running from pillar to post for work since a week’s worth of negotiations in New York City in the first week of January and as a result, I just haven’t been in one place long enough to take care of some mundane duties – like getting a haircut. I had time today and since I am becoming increasingly follically challenged, I usually run to Great Clips here in Park City because I can get in and out quickly and efficiently.
So I go in today and get my usual 5-7 week shearing and when the young barberette pulled up my information on the computer, she noticed that I had my last trim in Vancouver, British Columbia. That became a subject of conversation because I have a pretty solid Mississippi accent (accentuated by my last couple of weeks in Houston), I was in Utah and the computer tagged me as having been in Canada. About 5 minutes into the conversation, she asked me, “Where is Vancouver?”
I was momentarily taken aback by the question because I couldn’t imagine anyone this day and age reaching adulthood without knowing some basic geographic facts like where the largest city on Canada’s west coast was. I probed a bit just to get a feel for her intellect and basic knowledge and found out that she was 23 years-old – we were talking about snowstorms and she volunteered that her parents told her about the tough winter we had in 1993 because she was born in 1992. I found out that she had graduated from a local county high school and had some community college as well.
She was cheerful, bright and delightful. She was certainly not stupid or a moron, she spoke well and fluently about things she cared about – her family, her horses, her new apartment and her work.
After I left, it hit me. Could it be that people like her are the reason the Founders created a representative republic based on enumerated national powers and a federalist arrangement to reserve all other power to the various states and the people?
This young lady was clearly sound of mind and capable of reason. She is single and managing her own affairs and life. She didn’t know where Vancouver was because what happens in Vancouver doesn’t affect her – she did know the most about the local things that do.
It occurred to me that for her to decide what is best for herself did not require her to know where Vancouver was – because she already knew what was important to her. I think she was sound enough of judgement to choose the people she wanted to represent her at the state level and even at the national level – IF the duties of the federal government were pared down to those enumerated in the Constitution.
We talk disparagingly about LIV’s (low information voters) but could it be that we simply are expecting too much? Could it be that people like those we call LIVs have always been with us and it is not their fault that we ask too much of them? Through the bastardization of the Constitution, have we created a model of governance that simply requires too much? Why would a young lady who lives a satisfied life in rural Utah be required to understand geopolitical issues? Is fluency in esoteric subject matter really necessary for her to manage her own governance?
Just because someone can make an intelligent choice for school board or even governor does not mean that they will do the same for a president. National elections have become beauty contests. I would propose that they are thus due to the “remote” nature of the issues they are run on. It is easy for a candidate to mount a marketing campaign at the national level because so much can be hidden – that isn’t true if the candidate lives close to you in Kamas, Utah where the population is around 1300 people.
If I may inquire, what sayeth ye?