This one is actually a very tempting idea, and one I really want to stand behind: stupid people should not be able to vote. But then we already hit road blocks. What is stupid exactly, and how do we define it? And we should also make one thing very clear, stupid is in no way connected to your diploma. I know people with PhDs who make you question everything you've ever thought about humanity and intelligence. And I know people who never finished elementary school and are so intelligent, they'll manipulate trained experts without batting an eyelash.
In Hungary though – and in other Eastern European countries – certification is everything. If you have the diploma you're considered smart. Every job today calls for at least one foreign language, and the way to prove this is not by speaking to a trained native speaker who will assess your level, but by producing that piece of paper that irrefutably states you have achieved the desired level in the language exam. The fact that while you can name all the grammatical terms without being able to form a natural-sounding sentence (or any sentence at all for that matter) is insignificant. A piece of paper is what they want, and a piece of paper is what they get.
And with that background information in place, we can now move on to the present issue at hand. Spring 2018 spells election time in Hungary. And elections spell campaigns. With only one potentially significant rival (and according to the experts the rivaling party does not really stand a chance), the present campaign is more reminiscent of right vs. righteous than anything else, if you go by popular opinion that is.
The other party is Jobbik, which Wikipedia describes pretty accurately, up to and including the significance of its name. They're basically – let's put it politely – white supremacists. And they just had a genius idea: those who can't read or write should not be able to vote. Another source stated those who had not graduated from elementary school should not be able to vote, and here comes the other problem. When did it become okay to shame someone for their lack of education?
Jobbik claims this is a measure to counteract bought votes. I'm not denying this is a problem, but if they truly cared, couldn't they set up a system to help these poor souls learn to at least read? You know, since they're so concerned and all.
Commentators were quick to weigh in, and the comments that stood out were those along the lines of, "you know who this is for, right? Not much education going on in the Roma community."
It's true that Roma schools and communities are not exactly top priority. Somehow the government never sees fit to dispense proper aid, instead they pretend to point fingers and shrug. Remember when Mitt Romney was running for president, and he took Paul Ryan to a black neighborhood? The two idiots thought they'd just hire a local kid who'd film them (based on the camera angle and quality) walking down the street throwing candy. It was Ryan who was throwing the candy, and the disdain with which he threw (God only knows what kind of candy it was, my guess would be something long past its sell by date they dug up from a dark corner in the office) those sweets on the ground told you everything you needed to know about him (and Romney) as a person, and where he stood when it came to minorities.
Jobbik's new proposed law is the same. Something seemingly sweet, but full of poison (incidentally, if I'd been a mother and I knew my kid had been anywhere near Ryan and Romney, I'd have that "candy" lab-tested before I'd let my child anywhere near it). I'd say the bill stood no chance, but then over a year ago I jokingly remarked that if Brexit happened, Walking Eagle would become president. And, sadly, I wasn't wrong.
Honestly, if I was pandering for votes, I'd help those in need, build them schools, hire better teachers. But white supremacists don't really care for the betterment of society. All they really want is to get their point across. And keep the place white. Which, to them is making the country a better place. Good thing Hungarians as a whole never claimed that they were willing to go above and beyond when it comes to extending true help.