A conservative Republican pundit has a brainfart and actually comes out with how conservatives really feel about freedom in a democratic republic – Columnist: Registering Poor To Vote ‘Like Handing Out Burglary Tools To Criminals’
Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum is just going to come right out and say it: registering the poor to vote is un-American and “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.”
“It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote,” Vadum, the author of a book published by World Net Daily that attacks the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, writes in a column for the American Thinker.
“Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor,” Vadum writes. “It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money. It’s about raw so-called social justice. It’s about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.”
Most conservative criticism of voter registration drives aimed at poor and minority communities has been under the guise of worries about voter fraud. Vadum’s column is notable because he isn’t just pretending to be worried about the nearly non-existent threat of in-person voter fraud — he just doesn’t think poor people should be voting.
Vadum’s original post was picked up by The Election Law Blog and seemed to be one of those posts that generated a lot of buzz. It has generally been the tactic as noted by TPM for conservatives to make it more difficult for people to vote, period. Especially students, seniors and minorities. They have used over the top fears of voter fraud – which is practically non-existent. Voter registration fraud happens a little, but since the registration never amounts to actual voting it doesn’t mean much. The Right has also gone after any voter drive or organization that attempts to register low income voters – remember ACORN and the propaganda campaign against them.Vadum, under such scrutiny decided to walk back his claims just a bit, writing – Rick Hasen(Rick is at the Election Law Blog)law isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer
In my recent American Thinker op-ed, “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American,” I argued that it is destructive to register welfare recipients to vote so that they can vote themselves more government benefits. It is even worse that our tax dollars are used to register welfare recipients at welfare offices. It is a policy that would cause the Founding Fathers to roll over in their graves.
[ ]…I never made that argument but Hasen is either too stupid to understand this or he is deliberately sliming me. Of course those who are legally qualified to vote should be allowed to vote but our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to underwrite the destruction of the republic. (emphasis mine)
Odd that Vadum uses the word ‘republic’ in his post but does not seem to understand its import. A republic ( small r and has nothing to do with conservative philosophy or the current incarnation of the Republican party) is a nation that esteems individual rights. Not individual rights based on a laundry list of preconditions such the correct religion, gender, religion, height, eye color, shoe size or income status.
Vadum’s assertion that only some people be allowed to vote is not new. The old guard far Right, The John Birch Society, made voting rights contingent upon owning a certain amount of property a centerpiece of their political philosophy ( The Koch brothers father was one of the founding members).
Poor people vote for what is in their best interests? In contrast to who, the wealthy who regularly vote against theirs. The voting to get a free ride on welfare is specious. There is no welfare program in the U.S. to speak of. There is a program for women with children who are very low income. That program can only be used for five years during the mother’s lifetime regardless of her financial situation. A requirement of this “welafre” program is that she must work forty hours per week. President Clinton made the requirement thirty hours with the idea that these women would take job training classes or community college courses to upgrade their job skills. Bush 43 changed the requirement to forty hours, thus lowering the chances of said poor mothers to get ahead. Food stamps should not technically be called welfare – when people work their taxes go to pay for it. If you can imagine living on $3 a day for food than enjoy ( I generally don’t eat a big breakfast . Today my muffin and coffee, not take-out, came to about $1.50. That would be half my food stamp allowance). That is hardly enough for someone to declare to hell with work I’ll live off food stamps. Such people certainly are not getting welafre because the federal government does not recognize an individual able bodied person as deserving of any federal income handouts ( just a factoid: some of the people who rely on food stamps are large military enlisted families). Such a welafre program only exists in the fetid imaginations of wing-nut assclowns who get all their information from the 24/7 right-wing media. back to people who vote in their own interests. If the poor are having any affect on how income in the US is distributed, why are they giving the wealthy so much money,
I am sorry to burst Mr Vadum’s bubble. We do not live on some sea to shining sea socialist co-opt, or even the egalitarian utopia that Thomas Jefferson wrote of, we live in a plutocracy where the little peasants he is so worried about destroying democracy not only have little property, but very little power. Why should the poor be allowed to fully participate in our democratic republic. Where Susan B. Anthony uses the word woman/women substitute the poor, low income Americans or any other group of American citizens that Vadum and the Right don’t approve of –
Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state to deny.
The preamble of the Federal Constitution says:
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government – the ballot.
For any state to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people, is to pass a bill of attainder, or, an ex post facto law, and is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity.
To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household – which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every home of the nation.
Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office.
The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against Negroes.
Susan B. Anthony – 1873
Are people who work hard and earn low wages persons? Yes they are. It is conservatives such as Vadum who have made remarkable progress on destroying the ideals and substance of this democratic republic.