Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Felons--The Untapped Democrat Constituency

Welcome to the Thursday "Stop the ACLU Blogburst" (Blogburst participants are listed at the bottom of the right-hand column)...this week's topic, felons and the ACLU's commitment to restore convicted criminals' right to vote. The ACLU, in case you were unaware, participates in a national coalition, "Right to Vote," that supports voting rights for felons.

Ok, I'm not going to hide the ball or spend a lot of time developing some thesis regarding felons and their so-called right to vote--let's cut right to the chase, shall we? Why are we even discussing this topic? Why is this an issue at all? Why do the ACLU and the Democrat party support felons' rights to vote, and why are they working so hard to get legislation passed restoring the franchise to felons? Well, uh, golly, could it be because they think they can predict how felons are likely to vote? Statistics show that, where felons are permitted to vote, they can generally be counted on to vote 70% (or more) Democrat. Of course the ACLU's motivation is to tap this untapped Democrat constituency, but they are not likely to admit it.

Oh, and before you bother accusing me of some hypocrisy here, why do I oppose voting rights for felons? Two reasons: A) Because I don't think people who have so little concern for the rights of others that they commit serious crimes against our citizenry should be afforded the privilege of voting, and B) Because I don't want to deliver a voting bloc to the liberals. I think reason A is more than sufficient, but I'm not going to pretend reason B doesn't exist.

The ACLU will not be so forthcoming about their real reason for championing felons' rights...Instead, we get smoke blown in our faces...The first smokescreen is that disenfranchising felons is racist, because it results in about 13% of black men being ineligible to vote. While I agree that the statistic is alarming, the racial disparity isn't caused by racism, it's caused by felony convictions. The answer isn't to make the penalty for committing a crime less; if disenfranchisement is an appropriate sanction for committing a felony, the race of the felon is irrelevant to the discussion.

So we move to the second smokescreen--that the right to vote is so "fundamental" to our country that it is unconscionable to stop felons from voting. This argument is absurd on its face. If we can incarcerate felons, and take away their right of self-determination, we can certainly, as a society, disenfranchise them for their crimes. But, say the proponents of felons' voting rights, once we free them from incarceration (at the latest--many would suggest that felons ought to be able to vote even while incarcerated), permanently disenfranchising them is continuing to punish them after they have "paid their debt to society."

This argument misses the point that there can be multiple components to a single punishment--Edward Feser of City Journal points out that, "Few people would say that the drunk driver sentenced by a judge to lose his driver’s license and to pay a hefty fine is punished twice. Most would agree that, given the crime, this one punishment with two components is perfectly apt." Permanently disenfranchising felons is not continuing to punish them after they have paid their is simply a judgment that, given the nature of felonious crime, permanent disenfranchisement is an appropriate component of the debt owed.

Maybe instead of trying to get voting rights restored to felons, the ACLU could better spend its time educating people on the rights that they will lose if they are convisted of a felony...if the right is as fundamental and important as the ACLU insists it is, we would certainly see a huge drop in crime once people were educated regarding the potential loss of voting privileges...and if not, it wasn't that important in the first place, was it?

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst! If you would like to join, it is very simple.Go to our new portal at Protest The ACLU , click where it says "sign up now", and fill out a simple form. This will enable us to send you a weekly newsletter with information, and keep your email private. Current members who have not registered, please do so. There are additonal advantages and features that will be available for you can opt to use them, or not.

"Stop The ACLU" Blogbursters

Your Political Profile

Overall: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
How Liberal / Conservative Are You?