“The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation.” – President Jimmy Carter
(Inaugural Address, 1/20/1977)
Happy Birthday, President Carter. (October 1, 1924)
Let’s contrast that with Rep. Steve King Daydreams About The Good Ol’ Days When Only Property Owners Voted
In a Judiciary Committee hearing on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) used his allotted time to daydream out loud about an era of American history when only male property owners were allowed to vote. King pondered whether we should go back to a similar system of allowing only people with “skin in the game” (i.e. people with jobs) to have that right.
Halfway through his remarks, King made the disclaimer that he was only making “a historical observation” about the era of property-owner-only voting, but the rest of his dialogue made it seem as though he thought the Founding Fathers might have been on to something.
In fact, King wondered aloud whether a balanced budget amendment would put “back in order” what he sees as an imbalance of influence that has existed since non-property owners were granted suffrage. King’s ultimate thesis seemed to be that only taxpayers should have the right to vote, as he made the false claim that “47 percent of American households don’t pay taxes” in an effort to bolster his point. (That statistic refers to federal income tax only — those households “still pay other taxes, including federal payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare, and excise taxes on gasoline, aviation, alcohol and cigarettes,” as well as local sales, income and property taxes.)
To which I can only add, why stop there?
Why not roll back to the good old days when only white males could vote, women were chattel who could not own property or sign legal documents without a male authority figure’s signature, be it husband or brother or whatever; and best of all, blacks were slaves, and labor was cheap?
Let me repeat: Happy Birthday, Mr. President Jimmy Carter.