Universal suffrage, STEM, and Heinlein
From the book Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (Heinlein’s last juvenile novel):
Dad says that anyone who can’t use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate and should not be allowed to vote.
1. While government by military veterans was unique to Starship Troopers, a more common theme in Heinlein’s novels was opposition to universal suffrage and a belief that we’d have better government if voting were restricted to the more capable.
I have no doubt that Heinlein would support voter ID laws. He would reason that anyone who doesn’t have a photo ID in the year 2016 (a requirement to have a job as well as for a whole bunch of other very basic activities) doesn’t have enough “skin in the game” to be allowed to vote.
2. Heinlein had a much higher esteem for STEM-type learning than he did for the liberal arts, and this is seen in a large number of his novels.
In the comments on conservative blogs, I see the same high esteem for STEM and disdain for other types of learning. This is one of the reasons why I think that Heinlein’s influence on libertarian-conservative types is a lot stronger than people realize.
3. Once again, I can’t resist pointing out that in 1958 Heinlein envisioned space suits and manned interplanetary travel, but he had no idea that slide rules had less than twenty years before they’d be obsolete.