Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Other and the restriction of suffrage

In the aftermath of ”Unprincipled”, ”Six”, and ”Once more, with feeling”, there are two posts and one comment I believe are well worth reading.

The comment is by Cassandra at Villainous Company. It is one of the best descriptions of what it means to be “the Other” that I have ever read. Perhaps it is the very fact that Cassandra does not consider victimization to be either an art form or a political stance that makes this so powerful. One key sentence:

There is a common theme to wholesale disenfranchisement of entire classes of people.

It’s the August 25, 2010, 09:10pm comment on this post. Read it, skip all the other comments.

Deafening Silence has two old posts that cover the same topic. One, from July of 2009, is called ”They’re All Sotomayor Now”:

Daydreaming about denying voting rights to others is a very popular activity on political blogs.

The other, from October 2008, is called ”Yes, We Should Vote. ALL of Us.”:

In each of these cases, 'wiser' hands took the vote from the unworthy. In each case, the reasoning at the time seemed sound: unlettered men with no property to protect had no real stake in the new nation; women were too emotional; recently freed slaves couldn't possibly understand politics and Native Americans were not 'real' citizens.

If you do read through the other comments at the Villainous Company post, you'll see they're running toward considering who should - or rather who shouldn't - be allowed to vote. This is ironic in light of the oft-repeated conservative claim that Democrats are elitist snobs who think they know better than “the people”. At this point, we’d all do well to remember what Deafening Silence said in the comments to “Once more, with feeling”:

The ugly elephant in the room here is that there are a lot of people who only want people like themselves to vote. It's that simple.

I’m hard put to think of a better definition of “unprincipled”. And I'm also hard put to think of anything sadder than feeling the need to write posts defending the right of all adult, non-felonious American citizens to vote. What the hell has happened to us?

1 comment:

htom said...

It's become more important to be on the winning side than that the side with the best ideas win. People are voting with their feelings rather than with their minds. You can even see this in the ads; they're emotion-driven, not thinking-driven.