Low-Hanging Fruit

Dave Killion — August 16, 2012

Via Neatorama

Should Mentally Disabled People Hold Political Offices?

That’s the question that’s being put to the test in the city of Ghent, Belgium. Didier Peleman, a 41-year old man with mental disability, has sparked a controversy whether a mentally disabled person should hold political office…

…Didier’s party argues that mentally disabled people are part of the community, and should have the chance to be represented in political offices.”

Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

But leaving aside the cheap shots about ethically/morally/intellectually challenged politicians, consider this matter seriously for a moment. The question isn’t really whether the mentally disabled should hold office, it’s whether the mentally disabled should be allowed to hold office. Or put more correctly, whether voters should be prevented from electing whomever they want. The law already sets age and nationality qualifications on political candidates, now some people want to create IQ barriers. And if the state decides who’s too dim to hold office, why couldn’t the state decide who’s too immoral to hold office? Wouldn’t a religiously motivated minority have fun with that campaign.

How about just leaving the voting to the voters? As Mencken says, they know what they want and they deserve to get it, good and hard. How else are we going to learn?

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