Gosh, this liberty-for-all thing has gone too far.
These days, the presidential contenders in the Democratic Party have a checklist that each candidate must mark, and to miss one is to declare oneself incomplete. The pro-abortion item has been on the list for years. But now there are things like Medicare for All, free college tuition, open borders, a $15 minimum wage, confiscatory taxes, the Green New Deal and slavery reparations.
And as each candidate tries to make news and out-flank every other candidate to the left, they tend to come up with more items for the list. This week's offering from Crazy Uncle Bernie Sanders: enfranchisement for felons.
The guy is from Vermont, and Vermont--apparently--allows imprisoned felons to vote.
"I think that is absolutely the direction we should go," said Sen. Sanders, quoted in The Des Moines Register. "In my state, what we do is separate. You're paying your price, you committed a crime, you're in jail. That's bad. But you're still living in American society and you have a right to vote. I believe in that, yes, I do."
The press, being the press, ran out and began asking others in the race what they thought about the idea. The best tap-dance we found was Elizabeth Warren, quoted in The Hill newspaper: "While they're incarcerated, I think that's something we can have more conversation about." That's neat. When Elizabeth Warren doesn't have a clue how to answer, and doesn't want to say anything that might be brought up later, she wants to have a conversation. She just held a "community conversation" on women's economic issues. And she told the papers she wants to have a "full-blown conversation about reparations." This calls for immediate discussion!
It's one thing to restore voting rights to those who've done their time and have been set free. One could make the argument that they've paid their debt to society and should rejoin the rest of us in enjoying the freedoms of being an American. But that's once they're free. To allow them to cast ballots while still paying that debt? That sounds like a plan to create another bloc of special interest voters that pols can count on in close elections. Vote for me! I'll cut fraud sentences in half!
The issue came up in Iowa this year when the state debated about whether to allow felons to regain voting rights after parole. Iowa, the first state with a presidential caucus, is infested with candidates this time of year. And it also happens to be one of the few states to permanently disenfranchise everybody convicted of felonies. A bill was introduced in that state's legislature this year to change that, but the proposal died.
"This is a disappointing setback for voting rights in Iowa," Bernie Sanders complained.
Actually, it might be a disappointing setback for his campaign next year.
Maybe a reporter on the stump can ask Sen. Sanders some of these questions, if that reporter can get close enough:
Why do Democrats want to create these blocs of voters out of thin air? Such as voting rights for illegal aliens and people 16 years old? Can they not win otherwise? And if a body can't follow the law, as in a convicted felon, why should he have a hand in making the laws for the rest of us? Could prisoners also sign petitions to put referendums on the ballot, such as shorter sentences for violent offenders? Isn't that something like the the inmates running the asylum? Or at least the jailhouse?
Felons voting from behind bars? It sounds like a terrible idea.
You see what kind of politicians that's brought Vermont.
Editorial on 04/10/2019
Print Headline: The next right/entitlement