Recognize not restore: Voting is not a fishing license
Recognize not Restore - Voting is not a fishing license by Jonas
By any measure of genius politick, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton cohort, is an ego powered political comet on the vacant Democrat horizon. While most enablers of presidential rock stars sacrifice their ambitions, McAuliffe was no palace eunuch and has a future pharaoh path.
More directly put, Governor Terry McAuliffe has a double portion of world class power politics bullshit and ability to rise to glory in the post-Clinton/Obama Democrat doldrums. That is why "The Fight to Restore Ex-felons' Voting Right in Virginia" (Prison Legal News, November 2017, David M. [Reutter?], page 54) was a feint on a fight.
Terry McAuliffe's April 22, 2016 Virginia Gubernatorial Executive Order "restoring" the voting rights of more than 206,000 convicted felons was not a solution to ending a human/civil rights violation, but it brought out the dumb arguments, on all fronts, that are, in fact, not relevant to a right. These arguments cannot be categorized pro versus con any more than slavery or government mandated religion has pros or cons; they are simply dumb ideas, just like thinking of voting in terms of a privilege. McAuliffe was not remodeling a Virginia outhouse; allowed the Executive Order to be discussed in terms of restoring rights case by case, an issue of basic justice, the power of second chances, and second-class citizens knowing how irrelevant such arguments are when it comes to voting.
The McAuliffe Executive Order brought out the cockroach level discussion one would expect, and just like a hungry vector, they entered the governor's roach motel to never exit.
Now the true advocacy can begin. All of the challenges to voting rights end when it is recognized as a right and not a fishing license or some other privilege.
While the Executive Order was a ploy, this does not detract from the felon's perspective it would be "nice" to vote just like it is "nice" to live in a place where you can pick your church or sleep in, make comments in public forums, not answer your front door unless there is a warrant, and use any gender appropriate public restroom. However, more is at risk than a nice societal option. Denying the existence of a civil right indicts the entire system.
Americans were not given civil rights: having them is part of the deal. When they do not exist (civil rights), the government does not legitimately exist and is in in default functioning without a legitimate premise.
Americans have civil rights, and this type of right is different than a privilege like fishing off the coast or driving on a public road. Freedom of speech is not a privilege nor is where to go or not go to worship, or who to meet to discuss the government or... to vote. Freedom of speech, et al cannot be restored because the right is inalienable, as is true for the right to vote and other rights yet to be mentioned.
Felon franchise will be recognized, not restored, when the right to vote, not the voter, is the focus. This is the transition of the policy debate that assure ultimate success.
So, the only complete route to recognizing voting after prison is to stop staring at the inmate and stop stomping on the right. The right is sacred. Rights are unqualified (yes, except for falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater). Further, anything limiting a right means the right does not exist. A qualified right is not a right.
With this approach, the challenges to McAuliffe's Executive Order are transcended when the goal objective is recognition of alienable rights.
The next intellectual step has not been taken, and if McAuliffe does not seize it others certainly may. To assure the sanctity of the right to vote (not the felon voter) remains the focus, other rights suffering similar assaults of ignorance for felons should demand recognition at the same time - specifically the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution - the right to keep and bare arms.
The right to vote and the Second Amendment are not appendages; they are central to our government and the presentation of rights should have never been relegated to the Red Queen world of privileges from the government.
It should be no surprise when felon franchise advocates unite with the National Rifle Association to petition our government to come out of political default with the citizens of the United States because vote, and baring arms, is not a fishing license.
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