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19 September 2007 @ 03:32 pm
Citizenship and Voting  

Sorry everyone. I’ve been away with business lately and unable to comment. But the work goes on anyway. Our forums on the Free and Fair Elections Amendment raised this interesting issue on who should be able t vote. I penned this response. Try www.calltoliberty.net/forum to see the full discussion.

Let's be careful here. Racism has been an ugly and abhorrent part of American life for a long time. And some have used our laws to disenfranchise others on the basis of race. But let's not have that fact and history preclude us from having a reasoned discussion of a serious question: Who should be allowed to elect the leaders of our government? That is, who are “We the people”?

You have made a serious argument that those who live under the laws should be able to vote in elections of people who make those laws. Under this notion, residency is the determining factor. There is an intuitive sense to this notion, but does it change when the law under consideration is not about taxation, but rather about foreign policy, particularly with regard to US foreign policy vis-à-vis the country the voter is actually a citizen of? In other words, do we want citizens of a different nation electing representatives of our government who will have to make decisions regarding that nation? It seems like a serious conflict of interest to me.

While residency is a compelling argument, so is citizenship. I think we can all agree that citizens of the United States should be able to vote, no matter where they live. We can also all agree that citizens of other countries who do not live in the United States should not be allowed to vote. The question arises when we confront the phenomena of people who live here who are not citizens of the United States. They fall into two groups--those who are here by legal means, and those who broke laws in order to enter the country. I’d like to hear other input, but I tend to lean toward citizenship as the proper standard if a people are to be self-governing and sovereign.

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