The recent war on the right to vote at the hands of Tea Party-backed candidates and their cronies has reached a fever pitch in the past two years, with several states passing restrictive voter registration laws aimed at making it harder for poor and ethnic Americans to vote. Much of this revolves on the necessity of presenting a photo ID at the polls, something many Americans below the poverty line simply don't have.
Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin passed one of these laws, and then proceeded to attempt the shutdown of many urban DMVs, making it well-nigh impossible for the economically depressed urban (and mostly Democratic) populations from getting the IDs necessary to vote. Happily, he was thwarted at his efforts and those DMV offices remained open, but the fact remains that GOP leadership is attempting to disenfranchise liberal voters.
Until now, the party line for the anti-voting movement in conservative circles has been that these attempts are part of an effort to control voter's fraud. Keep in mind, of course, that it's statistically more likely for an American to be killed by a lightning strike than to commit voter fraud.
This guy thinks that poor people shouldn't vote. I think he's a grade-A asshole.
Now, finally, one man admits the truth: conservatives believe allowing poor people to vote will enable candidates to "redistribute wealth"-- or as I like to call it, "funding vital and necessary social programs for the financially disadvantaged"-- and that, friends, is UN-AMERICAN. Matthew Vadum, writing for American Thinker:
Registering them to vote is 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.And let me tell you why: If they don't have those social programs, they don't get to eat. Of course the poor know how to vote. In a time when a massive sentiment of shared sacrifice-- true shared sacrifice, where the rich pay the same taxes that the middle class does-- is sweeping the nation, how can the poor not vote for candidates who will ensure that Social Security, food benefits, Medicare and other social programs continue operating. It is vital that they vote, or else their interests will not be recognized.
A decade before the Motor-Voter law that required states to register voters at welfare offices was enacted, NAACP official Joe Madison explained the political economy of voter registration drives.
"When people are standing in line to get cheese and butter or unemployment compensation, you don't have to tell them how to vote," said Madison, now a radio talk show host in Washington, D.C. "They know how to vote."
Until America decides the same thing that Belo Horizonte, a city in Brazil, decided (namely, that food is not a commodity, but a human right), the social programs we have that keep people fed and give them access to health care are necessary for the survival of the poor.
On a personal note, I must confess that I am biased on this topic. I myself am quite poor. I receive food stamps every month. I receive the HIV medication that I need to live because of state and federally funded health insurance. I am planning on starting school in the fall, and when I do so it's because I will be accessing government benefits that will pay my tuition. This blog? I don't get paid, other than the small donations my readers make to the PayPal donation button. When I vote, I vote for candidates who will responsibly make sure that the money my country collects in taxes will be used for the benefit of of those that need help, to include myself.
And Mr. Vadum? You want to take away my ability to vote? I dare you to try and take it from me. There is no more sacred right in this country of ours, and I, and the financially depressed millions of Americans, will fight to maintain that right with every fiber of our being.
So thank you, Mr. Vadum, for finally saying what we knew the conservatives were thinking all along. Thank you for telling the truth! My suggestion, for you, however, is to pay your damn taxes and not screw with my ability to cast a ballot. It's probably better for you in the long run.