The arrest of Douglass Mackey is the latest example of why sufficient scores on IQ tests should be a prerequisite for voting. Mackey is being charged with violating the civil rights of voters by tricking them into trying to vote via text messages instead of going to the polls in 2016. All he needed was a Twitter account and a phone number to trick over 4,900 idiots into thinking they voted by texting their preferred candidate’s first name to his phone or posting a hashtag on their social media accounts.
Mackey is charged with violating 18 U.S.C. 241 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/241) for conspiring “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States.” This statute is typically used in cases of voter intimidation when someone overtly forces someone not to vote or vote a specific way, but this is the first time we are aware of it being used against someone for what appears to be free speech on social media. If the federal government can prevail in this case the potential chilling effect it could have on any election related speech is astronomical. Imagine if you could go to prison for saying anything if some idiot interprets your words in a way that motivates them to vote, not vote, or vote for a specific candidate based on inaccuracies?
People that publish articles online containing any false information could conceivably be charged with depriving people of their right to vote. The government would of course have to prove that they knew the statement to be false, but that would not stop prosecutors from pursuing cases whenever they find voters claiming to have made decisions based on information that they now believe to be false. The social media censorship that followed the 2016 Election was bad enough. The liberals in big tech realized that a lot of stupid people voted for Donald Trump because of false information disseminated to them through their platforms. Their response was to say “we need to protect stupid people from false information before they make important decisions based on it.”
They spent a lot of time and money censoring and adding warning labels to articles that would not have tricked a smart person. Articles whose authors had every right to publish them under the First Amendment have been treated like criminal acts in the public realm and it has led to the Orwellian state of censorship on social media today. The people running big tech companies are smart enough to realize that most of their users are too stupid to remain objective and think critically when reading anything online. Rather than educate their users and blame them for their own stupidity they act as though the freedom to speak is the problem.
Now, you’re probably thinking that what Mackey did was more than just some fake news article calling Hillary Clinton a horrible person. He specifically claimed that people could vote without filling out a ballot by texting the name of the candidate they were voting for to a specific number. In so doing he made people think that if they did that their vote would be counted. As a result people never bothered to ask how the people counting votes would know who voted and just texted away thinking their vote would be counted. It takes an exceptional level of idiocy to fall for something like that. Mackey knew that there were enough stupid people out there that some of them could be tricked by his acts, so shouldn’t something be done to deter people from tricking people into thinking they voted in the future? Not when all one must do to trick them is Tweet statements about how to vote in general. If that were a crime then did we violate the law when we wrote our article “2020 Election Guide: How to Fill Out Your Ballot Correctly in Portland” (see: https://copblaster.com/blast/26012/2020-election-guide-how-to-fill-out-your-ballot-correctly-in-portland) because we stated that the correct way to fill out the ballot was to fill in the bubbles next to the names of the candidates we supported?
We even said “Failing to fill out your ballot in this matter will result in your ballot not being counted in a positive manner.” If some idiot filled out the bubbles thinking that was the way to fill out the ballot correctly did we deprive them of the right to vote? Of course not, no reasonable intelligent person would ever view that article as anything more than a joke. We are not responsible for the actions of stupid people that interpret everything literally. Voters are themselves responsible for learning how to vote. This isn’t like they were given a false ballot or someone picked up their mail in ballot only to throw it in the trash. All Mackey did was tweet nonsense and all we did was write a sarcastic article. If you are stupid enough to believe his nonsense or fill out your ballot because our article says that is the right way to do it then you shouldn’t be voting in the first place.
Elements of Charged Offense Not Met
None of Mackey’s behavior meets the elements of an offense under 18 U.S.C. 241 because none of his statements “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person.” We expect the feds to offer him a plea deal to a lesser charge .
These allegations are not consistent with any statute used to prosecute violent felonies. Because the elements include the words “threaten” and “intimidate” the words “injure” and “oppress” need to be evaluated in that context. We know nothing he did fits the legal definition of threaten or intimidate because both require a “true threat” which is defined as a threat to injure. With those elements ruled out then they must prove that Mackey injured or oppressed people. The meaning of “oppress” in the context of 18 U.S.C. 241 is typically used in references to mistreating people for exercising a right a certain way. For instance, if someone were demoted for how they voted that demotion would be considered a form of oppression, so threatening to demote someone for voting a certain way would fall within the scope of the statute. We are not aware of any threats made by Mackey towards anyone warning of any consequences for how they voted.
That leaves us with the word “injure” in the context of 18 U.S.C. 241 means to “injure” the ability to enjoy a specific right. That is the strongest argument that the government has. The argument that their ability to exercise the right to vote was injured by disinformation. The same argument has been used in cases involving fraudulent ballots (see: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3239). Cases in which people were given a fake ballot that could not be counted or if someone were to destroy an authentic ballot (ex: stealing mail in ballots from a mailbox) would fall under the statute. We don’t think that Mackey injured anybody’s right to vote. He didn’t take the right to vote away from anybody. All of his so called victims were free to cast ballots however they chose on election day.
The Real Problem and Solution
The real problem here is that stupid people are allowed to vote. It is a fundamental flaw in every democratic society where important decision can be made by the dumbest 51% of the population if they all just agree. The election of Donald Trump illustrates one example of what happens when important decisions are put in the hands of stupid people in large groups. We recall the polls in 2016 listing Hillary Clinton as popular among educated people and Donald Trump being popular among uneducated white people. We believe that had America used IQ tests as a prerequisite for voting long ago that Donald Trump would never have been elected. Furthermore, most decisions made by government that anyone with a brain knows to be stupid would never have been made.
Deciding who runs the country is an important decision that should not be left up to stupid people. Deciding who represents us in the legislature is just as important because the legislature makes the laws. The judicial branch of government seems to be the only branch immune to the influence of the stupid, but that is only because one must possess a law degree to become a judge, so even elected positions on the bench can only be occupied by a smart person. We need to extend those standards to the entire voting base. We believe that everyone who wants to vote should be required to take an IQ test and that only those with scores in the 80th percentile or above should be permitted to cast ballots.
You’re probably thinking at this point that the 80th percentile excludes average people who are smart enough to vote. People in the 65th to 70th percentiles are normal people perfectly capable of making educated decisions in an election. That might be the case sometimes, but the average percentile is also plagued by a feeling that because they are average that there is nothing wrong with them. They think that because being average means being normal that they can do whatever they want and whatever they do is alright because most people do it. This lack of critical thinking and faith in doing what the rest of their group is doing exposes why the average should be considered too stupid to vote. By limiting the voting pool to the top 20% of the population we can be assured that only those smart enough not to be susceptible to the limitations of the average are vested with power to make important decisions.
Now, you’re probably thinking that a democracy could not possibly function this way. You are correct because the form of government we are advocating for is not a democracy. It is a republic. A republic run by smart people. Some people do not realize that America was founded as a republic and not a democracy. For hundreds of years only some Americans could vote, but unfortunately the criteria for voting was not merit based. Criteria such as race was used to keep people from voting while others were allowed to vote despite making stupid decisions that smart minorities would not have made. We believe that a republic of the smart would avoid such problems without needing to empower stupid people the way that the current system does. A republic is the most American form of government. A republic where those smart enough to make good decisions are in charge of decision making is consistent with the vision of the founding fathers. The founders envisioned a republic where everyone has certain unalienable rights, but the right to vote was not among those rights. We believe that is because while the founders believed that everyone deserves certain liberties that the best way to protect those liberties was not to let any idiot cast a ballot.
To be clear here, Mackey threatened nobody. Mackey intimidated nobody. By the rule of law under which Mackey has been charged, he did nothing wrong, and yet, he was arrested and if found guilty he faces up to 10 years in a federal prison.
Posting false information online does not deprive anyone of the right to vote. If the government wants to stop stupid people from voting based on fake internet memes they shouldn’t let stupid people vote in the first place.
Government employees involved in the farce include:
Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme (Resigned)