James Bovard writes sensibly on the Voting Rights Act. Here are Jim’s concluding paragraphs:
Trumpeting the importance of voting deludes people into thinking that they have a leash on the government. More than 300 years ago, William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, declared, “Let the people think they govern, and they will be governed.” Having a vote does nothing to prevent a person from being molested by the Transportation Security Administration, spied on by the National Security Agency, or harassed by the Internal Revenue Service.
The more that voting is glorified as a panacea, the more lackadaisical people become about preserving their constitutional rights. Freedom to vote is valuable primarily as a means to safeguard other freedoms. At this point, though, voting is little more than an unreliable Kevlar jacket against political and bureaucratic assaults.
During this (especially bad here in the Washington metro area now) mosquito season, my colleague Bryan Caplan explains the role of economic education by pointing to advice that adults give to children about mosquito bites.