I made the statement: The vote is only as good as the voter. But that’s a bit vague, the subject’s been on my mind for about a week, and that usually means I need to write about it. A few months ago Portland, OR voted sank the Fluoride vote. The pseudo-scientists, hippies, and just good old fashion idiots, went door to door to lie about a chemical that’s been used in American cities since the 1950s–and they won.
Despite a complete lack of evidence for their case, the fact that our city water is already heavily treated; a long-shot from the pristine mountain rivers Portlanders believe we drink from. Despite that it would save the city money in future medical costs (fluoridated water is preventative care), and despite its proven safety at low levels, but the city voted no.
At the time it really bothered me, but it didn’t unnerve me. Now all I can think about is the other stuff that can be fucked up with ignorant voting. That summer it was fluoride, but what if the city or state wants us to vote on business or economic issues. It wouldn’t work, not unless the state wants to pay for business school, maybe a degree in economics for everyone. I doubt that’s going to happen, so it shouldn’t be up to too many people.
Not every decision obviously, democracy is vital to our nation, but it’s also vital that the people who are apart of that democracy know much, much, much more than basic dental hygiene. Otherwise why trust the populous with decisions it isn’t educated enough make? How can I trust your decisions on city infrastructure, when you voted to let the small structures in your mouth rot?