On a day when the US unemployment rate rose to 9.8%, Rush Limbaugh used his radio show to argue that poor people should not be allowed to vote. While commenting about a piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about people lining up for housing assistance, Limbaugh asked, ” If people can’t even feed and clothe themselves should they be allowed to vote? Should they be voting?”
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
While bashing Obama and railing against an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that described poor people lining up for heating assistance, Limbaugh decided that poor people, since they tend to vote for Democrats should not be allowed to vote. Limbaugh said, “This story raises a very unpolitically correct question. If people can’t even feed and clothe themselves should they be allowed to vote? Should they be voting? If people who are receiving government assistance, that is taxpayer assistance, if they weren’t allowed to vote can you imagine the political difference in this country? Can you imagine? It’s just a think piece, putting it out there for you to ponder?”
Property requirements for voting were abolished by 1860,but this has not stopped people like Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips who argued that property requirements made a lot of sense, “The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn’t you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.”
Glenn Beck picked up this right wing talking point earlier this week and used it to label the fact that poor people are suffering in America a lie, and today Limbaugh picked it up in order to call for the disenfranchisement of 15% of the American population. From a political point of view, Limbaugh was dreaming of way to give the Republican Party permanent control over the government. For people like Limbaugh and Beck the poor aren’t good people who are struggling to survive, no they are greedy, undeserving sub-human parasites.
The idea is that the rich are better and more important Americans because they have money. Property requirements undermine the very fabric of our democracy. When critics of the right call them un-American, things like dreams of voter disenfranchisement are what they are referring to. Our democracy is already threatened by a political system that has been overtaken by outside money, and I guess the best way for the wealthy and corporate America to finish the job and make sure that the American people never have power again would be to disenfranchise as many voters as possible.
Boy these Republicans really know how to celebrate the holiday season! Not satisfied with cutting off the unemployment benefits of 2 million Americans right before Christmas, now they are trying to make sure that the same people that they threw in to poverty never have the ability to vote them out of power. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the right are one speech about sending the poor to work houses away from going full on Scrooge on us. Merry Christmas America. You can be certain that rich white Republicans like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh won’t be thinking of you this season.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association