A reader writes in response to my post on the Fox News story on whether those who do not pay taxes deserve to vote:
think the question would have been better stated, those who receive
entitlements should not be allowed to vote, that way politicians
couldn’t buy votes with the peoples money.
And FYI we do not live in a Democracy; we live in a Constitutional
Republic. No matter how much you say we live in a Democracy, it will
not change the fact that we don’t!
First of all, if you disenfranchised anyone who received entitlements you would have about 10% of the population eligible to vote. The federal government has bailed out the entire financial industry, the automobile industry and a host of other sectors of the economy that could not survive the free market while it contracted after the crash in 2008. Millions of people have been reliant on ‘entitlements’ for their economic survival, not just the working poor, who I suspect the commenter known as ‘Danc’ believes should not be able to vote.
I have heard this argument before that poor people (and usually minorities) only vote Democrat because they will receive free money from the government. This logic is deeply offensive, racist and inhuman. Most of the American workforce can be described as ‘flexible labor’, ie they have no job stability, survive from pay check to pay check, and have limited access to health care. Wages have been stagnating for the past 30 years while the cost of living has gone up (check out Bob Cesca’s brilliant article in the Huff Post on the shocking statistics about wealth inequality and the evaporating middle class), so the people who clean our toilets and wash dishes get a little poorer each year, while millionaires keep getting exponentially richer.
The rich in America are rich for a reason: They have a vast wealth of cheap labor at their disposal and can exploit them without fear of repercussion due to a relentless effort by corporate interests to smash unions and vilify labor movements. To suggest in a time where the divide between rich and poor is greater than in any other country at any time in the history of mankind that the poor should not be allowed to vote is simply despicable. The rich ought to count themselves lucky that there isn’t a full scale revolt by working people to reverse the economic system that has stripped wealth away from the majority and funneled it upwards towards the minority.
My good friend Robert also left a comment on the post highlighting the immense stupidity of people like Danc:
stop at just the poor people? Why not limit the whole voting process to
white male property owners. Let’s repeal the 15th and 19th Amendments.
Let’s bring back voting tests. Now those were fun.
The nuts who follow this irrationality are culpable of being elitist,
bigoted, racist, sexist, and homophobic. Let’s ban poor people from
voting? While we’re having fun turning back 250 years of progress and
democracy, let’s bring back the good ol’ days: let’s bring back leeches,
bloody coat hangars, the horse ‘n buggy, 16-hour work days, child
labor, slave labor, no electricity, no indoor plumbing. Let’s bring back
witch burnings and lynching.
Oh, and while the United States isn’t technically a pure Democracy, it is a representative Democracy (and a Constitutional Republic), and every citizen has the right to vote.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.