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Fischer: Only Property Owners Should Vote

Bryan Fischer delivered his usual inane screed, saying that we should go back to the old days when only those who owned property were allowed to vote.

“You know, back in the day, in the colonial period,” Fischer said, “you have to be a landowner, a property owner to be eligible to vote and I don’t think that’s a bad idea. And the reason is very simple: if somebody owns property in a community, they’re invested in the community. If they’re renters, they’re going to be up and gone; they could leave the next day … [P]eople that are not property owners – it’s like people that pay no taxes, they have no skin in the game. They don’t care about the same things that somebody does who is rooted in the community”

Gee Bryan, does owning slaves count as property? I mean, since you want to go back to the colonial period and all.

Comments

  1. shouldbeworking says

    And the more properties you own, the larger your investment so the more times you get to vote.

  2. Chiroptera says

    Huh. Well, seeing how the Founding principle of modern democracy is the consent of the governed, would this mean that non-property owners wouldn’t have to obey the laws?

  3. Ellie says

    Cowardly Fischer has come up with another way to prevent old folks from voting, since many of us are apartment dwellers.

  4. Larry says

    And if one doesn’t get a vote in how their community is run, I suppose they are not required to support it through the paying of taxes?

  5. ShowMetheData says

    Nonsense from the start.
    The landlord is charged property taxes and the renters are charged enough to pay ALL of the taxes. With commercial properties, it’s explicit.

    Renters are more mobile but that’s their right.

  6. grumpyoldfart says

    Wait until he realizes that many of the land owners are foreigners living in places like Japan and China.

  7. fmitchell says

    So the people who declare ownership over the land — backed by armies, naturally — and apportion it among themselves decide how to run the country, while the farmers who “rent” the land and pay a portion of their harvest to the landowners have no say.

    How very democratic.

  8. jameshanley says

    What the fuck does that have to do with Christianity? I wonder what the god that said his kingdom is not of this world thinks of Fischer preaching about voting rights from the pulpit? I kind of wish his god was real so he’d get his comeuppance.

  9. says

    Take that, “urban”(*1) people!

     
    *1. *wink wink*(*2)
    *2. Winks provided by: Atwater Inc. Atwater Inc, makers of America’s finest dogwhistles. From “forced busing” to “foodstamps”, when you think “nigger”, say “Atwater”, instead.

  10. Mr Ed says

    What about the mentally incompetent, should they vote or should there be some sort of test?

    True/False: The Earth was created by a loving God.

    Get the answer wrong and you are out of the voting pool.

  11. whheydt says

    So…. Would that mean that I would get to vote in San Diego County, where I own property–and I mean *own* as in no mortgage–instead of in Solano County where I actually live in a rented house?

  12. says

    “[P]eople that are not property owners – it’s like people that pay no taxes, they have no skin in the game. They don’t care about the same things that somebody does who is rooted in the community”

    So like, Shell, GE, Bank of America, etc.? Well, that does explain their behavior.

    Modusoperandi:

    Thank you for standing up for our shared values*.

    *We mean white people**, ya damn fool!
    **Not all “people” for fuck’s sake, just the right*** ones.
    ***Yeah, as in that right, now ya get it.

  13. bahrfeldt says

    Real estate or personal property? Business property, investment property or personal property? Tangible or intangible property? House, condo or co-op? Stocks, furniture, cash, jewellery, library, car, bicycle, laptop, stamp collection, 401K, Roth IRA? Stock in the company that owns my parking lot? Do I give my kids and grandkids a percentage of my house so they can vote? Will one have to be human (corporations are people too), a US citizen (there goes Putin), a US military veteran (fuggedabowdodit, there would go most current Republicans), with enough income, old enough, (the right kind of) white, heterosexual, male and (the right kind of) Christian, with the right (wing) kind of job?

  14. pocketnerd says

    Thus spake zara fmitchell:

    So the people who declare ownership over the land — backed by armies, naturally — and apportion it among themselves decide how to run the country, while the farmers who “rent” the land and pay a portion of their harvest to the landowners have no say.

    How very democratic.

    Libertarianism: The Road BACK To Feudalism!™

  15. says

    I think a lot of people in this thread as well as Ed yourself are not aware of American history.

    When America was set up only the propertied could vote. But this at the time was a profound improvement over Europe where only the propertied who had certain parents could vote, or hold true political power is more accurate.

    America changed that but the notion that the “peasants” would actually rule the country was a much more modern idea. And the notion that this nation was a nation of the people , for the people and by the people was an Abraham Lincoln invention. This was the true legacy of Lincoln, the notion that this isn’t a nation of the propertied running the country, it was a nation of people running the country. Indeed, the people didn’t even directly vote for US Senators until late in the 19th century. They were appointed by the state government that was invariably controlled by the big businesses of the day.

    It is a fundamental tenet of the modern Republican party (how Lincoln must be rolling in his grave) that giving the “peasants” the right to vote fully was an experiment that failed and that if we want to compete with China and Somalia for jobs we need to fundamentally destroy the notion that high paying jobs are a good thing, or even that a thriving middle class is a good thing. And the first way to do that is take away, as much as possible, voting rights of those same “peasants”. Voting ID laws are a first step in that regard and what this guy is saying is part of that process. (Though I think the elite owners of the Republican party are probably upset that he is spilling the beans on their plans)

  16. Al Dente says

    Back in the 1950s I sent a boxtop to the Quaker Oats company and received a deed to a square inch of the Yukon. I realize that’s in Canada but I’m sure I can get someone to trade me a square inch of good old ‘Merican territory for a corresponding plot in the Yukon. If my swap was successful, would that entitle me to be a Fischer approved voter?

  17. machintelligence says

    Al Dente @ 18
    I hate to burst your bubble, but someone has researched the title to that land,and since the cereal company stopped paying taxes on it years ago, it was sold for back taxes. :-(

  18. alanb says

    Modusoperandi: Take that, “urban” people!

    All the Democratic Party would have to do is buy some vacant city lots, get the Democratic City Council and the Democratic Zoning Board to allow them to subdivide those lots into 1 square foot plots and deed them to those urban folks who are not otherwise property owners.

  19. daved says

    What about the mentally incompetent, should they vote or should there be some sort of test?

    That question makes Fischer very, very uncomfortable. Well, it *should*, anyway.

    Even beyond that, I seem to recall that in NYC, many very wealthy people are apartment dwellers, not property owners. Hence, I don’t think Fischer’s brainstorm is going to get sufficient traction with the plutocracy.

  20. Michael Heath says

    markmckee writes:

    I think a lot of people in this thread as well as Ed yourself are not aware of American history.

    It’s a failure in both logic and integrity to criticize those you attempt to rebut without first quoting the statements your countering. In this instance you’ll find that Ed never wrote anything that suggests historical ignorance regarding property rights.

  21. Chiroptera says

    markmckee, #17: America changed that but the notion that the “peasants” would actually rule the country was a much more modern idea. And the notion that this nation was a nation of the people , for the people and by the people was an Abraham Lincoln invention.

    That’s not quite accurate either. Whatever the intentions of the framers of the Constitution, within a decade of its adoption you were already seeing political factions battling between the idea of the common people running their own country vs the ideology that voters were merely to choose which of the factions of the land owning gentry were to make on their behalf. In fact, the main ideological difference between Adam’s Federalists and Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans was this.

  22. says

    I’m sorry Michael Heath but I thought when Ed titled this article as “Fischer: Only property owners should vote” he was making note of the fact that Fisher was advocating that only property owners should vote. As if this was a new and novel and different thing.

    I didn’t realize he had some other meaning in that title.

    And also to Michael Heath, I apologize for lacking the integrity to post to this thread.

  23. says

    To Chiroptera: I agree that my point on the “peasants” voting is not as cut and dry as I originally suggested but this is a thread and not a history class and I’m already pretty wordy with my posts quite often. And I agree that there were arguments and debates about the role of the “peasants” in ruling America before Lincoln but I do think the preponderance of thought is that Lincoln was the one who spurred the USA towards the notion that the peasants/the people should be really running America. And this is one of the major reasons that the Gettysburg address is one of the greatest documents in history. If it wasn’t the seed for the building of the USA into true greatness, it was the fertilizer.

    IMHO, fostering the people over the corporations is what led to the explosion of the American middle class that occurred mostly in the USA in the 20th century. And this was the empowering of the “peasants”- and dis-empowering big business, at least to a point. From circa 1933 to circa 1980 the USA saw the biggest explosion in wealth and prosperity this planet had ever seen. And it was because we empowered the “peasants”, the common people. And part of the way we did this was to finally put some constraints on the rich and the corporations. We actually put real taxation and real rules and regulations on them.

    And since about 1980 we have seen a reversal in that progress for the middle class and IMHO the greatness of America as a whole. And part of the reason for this reversal is the kind of thinking that Fischer above proclaims.

  24. Chiroptera says

    [P]eople that are not property owners – it’s like people that pay no taxes, they have no skin in the game.

    To reiterate my earlier point, if you have to obey the laws passed by governments in the jurisdictions in which you reside, it seems to me that you have a lot of “skin in the game.”

  25. anubisprime says

    It would seem young master Fischer never studied European history and the principle of democracy and how it came about!

    Probably never understood what the magna carta was about and probably cares less.

    How these retards walk and breath at the same time is a mystery beyond solving!

  26. says

    I think a lot of people in this thread as well as Ed yourself are not aware of American history.

    Gee, that was a presumptuous thing to say.

    Pointing out that only a total douche would want us to return to the days when a tiny elite controlled the vote doesn’t mean you aren’t aware that those days existed.

  27. Randomfactor says

    I can get someone to trade me a square inch of good old ‘Merican territory for a corresponding plot in the Yukon.

    Assuming yours comes with universal health care…deal.

  28. says

    Area Man “Pointing out that only a total douche would want us to return to the days when a tiny elite controlled the vote doesn’t mean you aren’t aware that those days existed.”
    Well, I am not aware those days existed. I’m not aware any days existed. I’m part goldfish.

  29. sailor1031 says

    I think a lot of people in this thread as well as Ed yourself are not aware of American history.

    If you followed this blog you’d know that Ed knows a tremendous amount about american history. I would propose that he knows much more than do you.

    @AlDente: I think that part of the Yukon was patrolled by King of the Royal Mounties not Preston or Doright. BTW your name seems very familiar – didn’t you useta play trumpet with the clambake six?

  30. Lofty says

    I suspect that Fisher would not object to tenants voting so long as they only used the voting forms pre filled by their landlords.

  31. stripeycat says

    Markmcee @26 and earlier
    The debate about property qualifications and voting goes back at least to the C5th BC; the basic principal articulated by Fischer predates this, and was the rationale for restricting military recruitment to the propertied classes. Given how (in)famous and well-documented the Athenian direct democracy was, I think you have to consider it an influence on Enlightenment political theory. Less well known, but still relevant, are the cases where limited-enfranchisement democracies grade into oligarchy – Argos, for instance. You also need to consider the Roman model of elected magistracies (and all the joys of defining Roman citizenship at different periods), which was in turn based on various Greek systems, with different criteria for both citizenship and voting eligibility.

  32. jameshanley says

    @pocketnerd,
    ” So the people who declare ownership over the land — backed by armies, naturally — and apportion it among themselves decide how to run the country…”

    Libertarianism:

    Apparently you missed the part of libertarianism where it opposes coercion and force.

    But that’s ok. Libertarianism really only exists so liberals can have a strawman to attack.

  33. dingojack says

    Take Fischer to his logic conclusion (assuming, of course, travelling from illogic to logic is possible):

    Since a lot of properties seem to be owned by financial institutions does that mean they can vote (early and often)?

    My Super fund invested in American property (after the crash). So I probably own a couple of square centimetres of property – can I vote?

    Dingo
    ——–
    markmckee – you might want to investigate “Whigs” in English political history from 1688 to 1788. Also see the “Corporation of London” (13th century onward)

  34. pocketnerd says

    Hi, James!

    Apparently you missed the part of libertarianism where it opposes coercion and force.

    But that’s ok. Libertarianism really only exists so liberals can have a strawman to attack.

    In theory, sure. In practice, libertarians have consistently sided with the anti-civil-rights Right for 40 years. Voter ID laws? Military adventurism? De facto suspension of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments in the Bill of Rights? Civil rights denied to homos and browns? The mass outcry from libertarians has been notably missing. There are individual exceptions, I’m sure, but libertarians in the aggregate only care about coercion and force when it affects libertarians (i.e. predominantly affluent white people).

    Feel free to squink about “no TRUE libertarian,” but please consider your rebuttal laughed-at in advance.

  35. smrnda says

    Libertarians define ‘coercion’ and ‘force’ and even ‘slavery’ in ways that don’t agree with the usual uses of these words. If voters overwhelmingly agree to have a small tax to pay for some public good which is passed by a 99.9% plebiscite, libertarians argue that this is ‘coercion’ ‘force’ and even ‘slavery’ on the .1% of affluent people who don’t want to pay the tax. No, taxes are necessary for maintaining civilization. We all get representation so we all get a say in the rates of taxes and what they will be spent on, and no person can or should expect to get 100% of what they want all the time. A good way of explaining why *private individuals* won’t do things like build roads, schools etc. is that their benefits are too long term, and you can also look up the ‘free rider problem.’ Everybody wants a road but nobody wants to be the person who decided to pave the road others will drive on, therefore, no roads.

    I’ve also heard libertarians argue that demanding sex in exchange for employment isn’t coercion of force, since the prole can just choose to starve instead. Libertarianism is ‘freedom based on property rights’ meaning that those without property have no rights. If you’re disabled and can’t work, DIE or head to some ‘charity’ that is probably just out to get converts for some cult, but by no means shall people be allowed to levy taxes that will go to support the elderly and disabled.

    And no, paying taxes to things you might not agree with is the cost of living in a civilization with people who don’t agree with you 100%. It is not slavery. Slavery is someone who owns you and controls you 100% of the time. It’s not coercion or force either – it’s only that if you’re banned from participating in the political process.

  36. smrnda says

    To point out a factual error, if you rent you may have to sign a lease which might last an entire year. Own your own home? Any time you can sell you can leave, so Fischer is factually wrong about renters having greater mobility – no, you can be stuck on the lease and then you have to pass up a new job, you can’t split up with your partner easily since you’re *both on the lease* – renting causes huge obstacles to mobility.

  37. jeevmon says

    Look, this is hardly surprising. Fischer, like many conservatives, believes that the country has been going downhill because too many of the wrong kinds of people are voting, people the Founding Fathers (Hallowed Be Their Names) never intended to allow to vote. Remember, to them, the country was perfect at its founding and has only gone downhill since.

  38. eric says

    [P]eople that are not property owners – it’s like people that pay no taxes, they have no skin in the game.

    Coming from the political party that wants to essentially eliminate income taxes, this sounds a bit hypocritical.

  39. freehand says

    markmckee – the nature of the headline only indicates surprise, outrage, delight, or numerous other reactions that make it noteworthy. If Fischer had argued for the return to slavery, the headline might easily read “Fischer: Property Owned Should Include People” or somesuch.

    jameshanley: Apparently you missed the part of libertarianism where it opposes coercion and force.

    To ensure individual safety and property rights, yes? Well, where are the libertarians howling in outrage at the poisoning of the commons? Where are the demands that global warming be stopped, and paid for by the industries that caused it? Where are the property rights of my great-grandchildren – not yet born – and why is it OK if they are born into a hellhole? I am subsidizing the wealth of rich old white men with my heart, my lungs, and the lives and health of those born after me. No, we are all in this together, one tribe, no escaping responsibility. Well, not morally anyway.

    A libertarian should say that a corporation has no more right to dump poison into the rivers of West Virginia than I have to dump garbage on my neighbor’s front yard. But we both know which complaint the police and justice system will investigate and enforce.

  40. says

    Technically during the colonial period, the right to vote was restricted to white, male, land owning protestants. Which would probably fit in just peachy with Bryan Fischer and his ilk. Which is ironic that they would want to go back to the laws as required by English prior to the revolution. Only in America can patriot hate their own country.

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