An offense is resolved depending on your outlook
A question was on yesterday’s ballot in New Jersey asking if a certain offensive phrase should be removed from the election regulations. Two things immediately struck me about this situation. First was that no one noticed or said anything before. Second was I honestly thought with all the controversy that there was going to be a really horrible, profane word or something in there.
The line in question uses the phrase ‘idiots or insane people’. The funny thing is, according to the State, terms like ‘idiot’ or ‘insane’ are not only outdated and offensive but too vague and leave room for misinterpretation. How? Let’s face it, saying, “Idiots or insane people cannot vote,” is much more to the point than the replacement, “A person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting cannot vote.”
I mean … really. I actually had to look up ‘adjudicated’ in the dictionary … and I’m not an idiot. And what the hell is ‘a court of competent jurisdiction’? Shouldn’t all courts be competent and all cases be heard in the correct jurisdiction? Are they saying someone otherwise unfit to vote would be allowed to vote if a court, lawyer or judge screws up? Oh God! It’s a loophole people!! Which brings up a third and much more serious point.
Actually my buddy Dave Calamoneri of The Squid’s Ink (among other claims to fame) pointed this out to me. Do we really want legislators going in and mucking around with the voter regulations? And if they’re going to start planting loopholes, who knows what could be next. Maybe next time it won’t just be a phrase or word found to be offensive. It could very well be something that shifts power to one party or another making this into an even weaker version of democracy.
I wish we could’ve just left it the way it was, but sadly the embarrassing 18.4% voter turnout (oh don’t even get me started on that shit) voted 64% in favor of changing the wording. We really need to start being less concerned about political correctness and more concerned with simple rights. But I am surprised 36% voted as I did to keep the wording the same. I didn’t think that many clear thinkers lived here in the Garden State.
A quick side note; I voted for Brian Stack for Senator who was running unopposed. But I was going to vote for him anyway because as my Assemblyman he sends me a birthday card every year in both English and Spanish! So what if that’s my reasoning. So what if that makes me an idiot. Because as of today … idiots can legally vote in New Jersey! Stand proud morons! Oh wait … can morons vote? I’d better check the regulations.