Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Patronizing Conservative Elitism and Voter Suppression

The only time I have ever witnessed direct and blatant efforts, similar to the recent one in Nevada, to consciously seek to suppress votes has come from conservatives, whether directly from the GOP or from groups allied to the GOP. One example from 8 years ago concerned the Louisiana State GOP's efforts to suppress black voter turnout in a Senate race pitting Democrat Mary Landrieu against Republican Suzanne Haik Terrell.

But why should this surprise me when there is a widely-held belief in conservative circles that there are too many ignorant citizens who shouldn't be voting in elections.

The patronizing tone that comes across in these voter suppression efforts or in this idea that we'd all be better off if the unwashed, unlearned masses just stayed away from the voting booths underscores the real elitist disdain in the conservative movement for democracy and for the participation in our electoral system of the most vulnerable and marginalized, who are the most likely not to satisfy the knowledge threshhold that certain conservatives think should be a precondition for voting in elections.

And yet we liberals are the ones who are supposed to be the discriminatory elitists here?! Pshaw!

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