Wednesday, November 06, 2013

From The Folder: What Right-Wingers Say

You may already have seen this today:

With Republicans openly cheering for a low voter turnout and passing laws restricting the right to vote, it is no surprise that they are extremely upset that the Affordable Care Act website asks if the person applying for an insurance plan would like to registered to vote.
The voter registration question is actually mandated by federal law. “The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as ‘Motor Voter,’ requires public agencies that provide public assistance to offer voter registration opportunities,” Scott Keyes points out. “Nowhere are citizens told who to vote for, which party to register for, or even that they have to register at all.”
But Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy said that registering more people to vote is “promoting creeping socialism” and voter fraud. By registering more “low-income voters,” Gaffney warns, “expect a permanent majority demanding government hand-outs—and the end of America as we have known it.”
I'm not going to write about the fact that Gaffney has his gilded hoof deep inside his mouth there, because one is not supposed to say those things aloud, even when one believes in them.  Instead, I want to look at the possible Freudian (or whatever) slip in that statement, having to do with the "permanent majority demanding government hand-outs."

How many low-income potential voters does Gaffney think there are?  A permanent majority of voters?  But if that's the case, what kind of a country IS his America, the one he so fears will end "as we have known it?"

For note that a good economy, a safety net which encourages entrepreneurship (and stops the vortex that results in extreme poverty), fair wages and retirement systems would NOT create "a permanent majority demanding government hand-outs."  Because the majority of people would be paying federal income taxes and sharing in the expenses of our shared concerns.

I get that Gaffney here talks about one of the deepest of conservative beliefs:  That if you let people without, say, a landed estate, to vote, then the populace will just vote for goodies for themselves.  The only individuals who should vote in that scenario are the affluent (in the past only affluent white men), because they are viewed as the ones who would not want to dole out those goodies but instead to keep all the goodies themselves.

That deep belief appears to be based on permanent poverty of the masses.  It doesn't work that way if we have a low unemployment rate, good education, fair labor markets and so on.