So what’s his beef? Poor people can’t vote in America. Often they can’t even register, or, if they can, they often find themselves somehow “unregistered” when they go to the polls. Or if they do get registered, and are allowed to vote, they find themselves obstructed through all sorts of methods that aren’t used against more affluent voters (unless they’re college students trying to vote in college towns).
It’s in America’s poor districts that there tend to be too few machines, so that the lines are way too long, and many would-be voters never get there; and it’s also largely in those districts that the few machines on hand break down, freeze up, reject too many “undervotes,” “flip” votes or otherwise “malfunction” to the clear advantage of the GOP—i.e., the party that agrees with Matthew Vadum that the poor should have no right to vote (or live). It’s also in America’s poorer precincts that the residents are frequent targets of disinformation and/or threats meant to suppress their turnout, and where they often have to run a police gauntlet at their polling places.
All this (and more) has been going on for years; and the recent national wave of neo-Jim Crow laws crafted by the Koch machine, passed by Tea-bag state legislatures and approved by Tea-bag governors—governors and legislators who themselves, the evidence suggests, were often not elected—will only make it worse.
But we should not blame only those Tea-baggers for this dismal situation, nor over-focus on that candid fascist diatribe of Matthew Vadum’s—because the fault for all of this is not just theirs alone. The corporate press has helped them disenfranchise millions of poor voters, by playing up their propaganda tales of Democratic “voter fraud” (e.g., the Big Lies about ACORN), while saying not one word about the by-now-overwhelming evidence of vast election fraud (and voter fraud!) by the Republicans. And while the press had been complicit in the GOP’s attack on voting rights, the Democrats have been completely—and mysteriously—passive in the face of all that evidence of fraud and dirty tricks, even though such evil-doing keeps advantaging the other party, which keeps scoring “victories” in spite of its minority support.
It’s way past time to talk about what’s happened to American democracy—which, unless we have that honest conversation, never will come back, no matter how much money groups like MoveOn, Common Cause and PFAW raise to subsidize their Sisyphean struggle to “get out the vote.”
Conservative Columnist: Poor People Shouldn’t Vote
By Emily Crockett, Campus Progress
Posted on September 7, 2011, Printed on September 7, 2011
This is one of those moments in politics when an ideology unleashes its id. In a stunningly out-of-touch recent column, right-wing commentator Matthew Vadum said that poor Americans—or what he calls “nonproductive segments of the population”—really just have no place voting.
The column published in the conservative online magazine American Thinker opens with this gem:
Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?
Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.
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.
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