Matthew Vadum of American Thinker posted a column in September that shouldn’t surprise anyone these days. The post is just more vitriol spewed at the poor for being in their condition. It is as if he believes we are not in a great recession, jobs aren’t stagnant and the unemployment rate isn’t at 16 percent. That’s the problem with people like Vadum, they blamed Obama from 2008-10 about not having jobs, then they turn around and tell the jobless to go find a job.
His column was titled “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.” He characterizes the poor as “open to demagoguery and bribery,” and compares registering them to vote to “handing out burglary tools to criminals.”
So according to Vadum, the poor are too dumb to vote for their own interest because they are easily manipulated. And they’re criminals if the tax dollars that they pay are used to help them in any way.
This is where Vadum shows his true colors. He only talks about the poor voting and being manipulated by the left, ACORN and the Obama administration. He and his commenters continue to bring up the NAACP and the Black Panthers for obvious reasons. They know that ACORN made a concerted effort not only to help the poor afford housing and to vote, but they aimed their work towards those races who have a higher poverty rate: blacks and Hispanics.
However, Vadum and his followers feel as though blacks and Hispanics (i.e., minorities) are the only poor in this country. Here is what commenter RBDLA posted on Sept. 1, 2011 at 9:32 a.m.—And this post is not an outlier:
If a citizen doesn’t have a stake in a society, an economy, i.e. own property or a business, they don’t have an interest in seeing that the government has a pro-business outlook. If there is a pro-business outlook, things should be getting better for all. People will have jobs. They will spend their money at the businesses of others spreading the wealth around in a healty way that creates more jobs, and eventually more property and business owners. Having said that, I believe that the vote should be limited to people that own property or a business. Of course, if a citizen owns several tracts of land or several businesses, he/she is still limited to one vote. Ownership is obtainable for all here in the U.S., it just requires work and savings.
Besides the fact that this post is discriminatory towards those without property (i.e., minorities and poor) and reminiscent of Jim Crow, they fail to realize that poor whites account for 42.4% of people in poverty (scroll to p. 17 for the stats). Blacks and Hispanics have higher proportions of their race in poverty, but don’t account for high numbers like whites do.
He also fails to realize that in states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and other southern states, there are high numbers of poor rural whites and these states usually vote red. According to the 2010 Census, the South was the only region to have the amount (number) and percentage of (rate) poor increase (information can be found on p. 18 under “Region”). So if he doesn’t want the poor to vote, this should apply for whites and minorities. He just doesn’t want poor minorities to vote because they usually vote Democrat and that’s not in his interest. Average, everyday people outnumber rich, lunatics like himself and that makes him uncomfortable.
After the backlash Vadum received for the obvious prejudice his post exuded, he tried to backpedal—somewhat— at a conference. Here are the important parts of his defense for being prejudice towards the poor and unfortunate:
How else can you justify a law that mandates that welfare recipients be encouraged to vote when they’re there in the cheese line picking up their check? […] We shouldnt be encouraging people to destroy the country. We shouldn’t be encouraging people [welfare recipients and the poor] to vote by using tax dollars to encourage them to vote […] And this is pathological to go to people who have no stake in the society and to use tax dollars to encourage them to vote themselves more benefits […] And this is not to say anybody should be discouraged from going to the polls […] but the government should not be encouraging this kind of behavior […] using tax dollars to register the vote is a bad idea.
People like Vadum will always show their true colors. They feel as though the poor are scum and shouldn’t be given any rights us normal people have. They feel as if the government only works for people like him, but for not the less fortunate among us. People like Vadum always point to the fact that the poor (and some middle-class citizens) don’t pay an income tax, as if that means they pay no taxes at all. They think that any program aimed to helping the poor is taking from their hard-earned money, again, as if the poor don’t pay taxes and support the government like all Americans.
Even though the poor are growing as a direct result of the fraud and practices by corrupt members of Wall Street and the federal government, Vadum will never see that. By denying the poor the vote, siphoning money away from poor communities into more affluent ones and by standing idly by the fraudulent practices of Wall Street and the federal government, Vadum will only help to perpetuate the population of the poor in this country. He’s too busy hating them to see that.