There are men in history who are revered out of mythological understanding of their perceived greatness and value to society or a particular cause that society considers worthy. Every country has men and women who are referred to as great humanitarians, warriors, or ideologues who contributed to the development of a nation. America is experiencing a vigorous movement that yearns to return to the Founders’ original intent in the Constitution and the fallacy that the Founding Fathers were great men who believed in representative democracy, individuality, and universal liberty for the population. However, although they were important to America’s founding, assigning them greatness is going too far when their hypocrisy concerning equality for all is revealed.
Republicans are revealing their adherence to the Founders’ beliefs that equality is not intended for every member of the population, and they have shown themselves to be a party for the wealthy and their corporations. Indeed, for the past ten years, Republicans have been successful enslaving 98% of the population to the point that most Americans work to pay taxes that go into the coffers of the wealthiest Americans and corporations. After the 2010 midterm elections, Republican governors and state legislatures have worked feverishly to disenfranchise voters by making it difficult (if not impossible) for them to have a voice in government by restricting their right to vote. The voter suppression laws in states such as Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, and Ohio target the elderly, disabled, students, and primarily the poor because they tend to vote for Democratic candidates.
Last week, an extremist conservative wrote an article titled, “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American” that illustrates the mindset the Founding Fathers held concerning the poor’s voting rights. The conservative cretin, Matthew Vadum, penned his belief that “left-wing activists are keen to register 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.” Vadum also said that, “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.” Vadum’s opinion is an oft-expressed fallacy that President Obama’s political agenda benefits the poor and especially African-Americans to curry favor for the next election.
The mindset that all Americans should not have a voice in their government is not new, but in the past, voter suppression was limited to denying minorities the right to vote based on racism and white supremacy. Vadum cited a former NAACP official, Joe Madison, who said registering voters is not the same as telling them how to vote. Madison said that the poor who require assistance to eat know how to vote because they understand who is keeping them unemployed. Vadum said President Obama concurred with Madison when he said, “All our people must know that politics and voting affects their lives directly,” the future president said. “If we’re registering people in public housing, for an example, we talk about aid cuts and who’s responsible.” Vadum does not see it that way though, and he parrots a popular canard that President Obama and Democrats are assisting the poor to steal the wealthy’s assets. That view was made popular during the 2008 presidential campaign when then Senator Obama remarked to Joe the Plumber that spreading the wealth around was not a bad idea. The right jumped on Obama’s remark and used it to frighten voters that a President Obama would take their money and give it to the poor. Vadum resurrected that contention and said, “Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money. It’s about raw so-called social justice. It’s about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.”
The Founders’ ideals were not just about small government; they were about reserving voting rights for white, male landowners. John Adams wrote a letter arguing against giving all Americans the right to have a voice in their government, and his assertions were that women were too feeble-minded to understand the needs of society, and that “men who are wholly destitute of property, are also too little acquainted with public affairs to form a right judgment, and too dependent upon other men to have a will of their own.” Adams also said that “men who have no property have no judgment of their own and vote as they are directed by some man of property” John Adams was not talking about slaves who the Founders counted as 3/5s of a person, he was referring to men who were poor and used curiously similar arguments as Vadum. The more one investigates the Founders’ writings and intentions, a clear picture emerges why neo-conservatives are desperate to return America to 1776 where only wealthy white males were allowed to vote, serve on juries, and hold elected office.
Perhaps cretins like Vadum are unhappy the Constitution has been amended to correct the Founding Fathers’ mistakes and hypocrisy regarding equality and representative democracy. Throughout his article, Vadum refers to the poor as unproductive and a drain on America that is leading to the downfall of the republic. The republic is in jeopardy, but it is not because poor people exercise their right to vote; it is because libertarians and neo-conservatives are following the lead of vile men like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin who believed in government controlled by a few wealthy white males.
Without a voice in government, the poor will be kept in a perpetual state of poverty with no hope of ever achieving more than subsistence living and that is exactly where this country is heading if Republicans are allowed to have their way. Vadum is a scumbag for following the lead of men who are revered for all the wrong reasons and it is a shame the public is unaware of the type of men the Founding Fathers were. They were wealthy businessmen who resisted paying taxes and sought to control the government by silencing the general population, and their only interest was enriching themselves at the expense of the poor; just like Republicans, Kochs, and corporate America.