How Lack of Political Education Allowed a Pathway for Boris Johnson!

Posted on March 23, 2023

I don’t want to sound too rude but I am going to state a simple fact. 99% of the people I know who are either not very bright or think that politics is boring, love (or loved) a bit of Boris Johnson. For them, he was funny, chaotic and had ‘down the pub’ answers to complex questions. Johnson and those who promoted him knew their target audience and how that audience could achieve them power.

The Right to Vote

Some people argue that certain individuals should not be allowed to vote. The reason being that they lack the intelligence or knowledge to make informed decisions. These individuals (rightly in my opinion) believe that people who do not have a basic understanding of political issues or who are easily swayed by emotional appeals, are more likely to make catastrophic voting decisions. These decisions go on to have negative consequences for society as a whole.

There is also an argument that allowing everyone to vote, regardless of their intelligence, can lead to populists exploiting the fears and prejudices of the less educated. They then gain power through misleading people with false promises and slogans. This can (and often does) result in policies that are not in the best interest of society and can put certain minority groups at risk (immigrants or political opponents, for example).

Why Everyone Has the Right to Vote

There are several problems with the argument that certain people should have their voting rights taken away. Firstly, how do you determine who is “stupid” and who is not? Intelligence is a complex and multifaceted trait. It would be impossible to measure it by a single test (my dad’s theory). Any efforts to ban individuals from voting because we think they are a bit dense, would be highly arbitrary and and indeed, unfair.

Moreover, it is also important to recognise that intelligence is not the only factor that influences a person’s voting decisions. Emotions, personal beliefs, and cultural background all play a part in decision making. With that in mind (tempting as it sounds) it is impossible to make a blanket statement that people who lack intelligence are more likely to make poor voting decisions. Somewhat ironically, banning people for voting for being stupid, would be a populist move.

Democratic Rights

This reality is this. Voting is a fundamental right in the majority of democracies. It is granted to all citizens regardless of their intelligence or education level. Denying whom we regard as stupid individuals the right to vote flies in the face in the principles of democracy and equal representation. Without voting rights for all, a country is no longer a functioning democracy.

However, the breakdown of functioning governance in the US and the UK comes down to the exploitation of stupid people. How can this change? Well, in a functioning democracy, education and awareness should play a significant role in improving voting decisions. With better state education and reasoned information about political issues, voters can make more informed decisions. Also, the UK would be a better place if governments were obliged to offer policies based on facts and reason, rather than emotions or prejudices.


Of course, the issue with giving people better knowledge and education about politics is that it wouldn’t suit celebrity chancers like Boris Johnson. If people had better knowledge of what he was selling them, they would have seen that he is a fantasist who will run with any populist slogan that will get him attention and power. He doesn’t care about the damage he causes as he will always have someone else to blame. He’s been blaming others for his failings since he was a toddler.

It’s easy to blame thick people for the carnage unleashed on Britain (I do it all the time) but it is more complex than that. The real issue is that it suits people like Johnson to keep voters stupid. There is no appetite for better political education when the people governing us are allowed to present three word slogans that appeal to those of the lowest intellect.

That’s where democracy can be abused and is indeed flawed. It’s not so much the ‘stupid’ people where the blame lies. It is the allowance for populists to lie to stupid people without checks and balances.

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