Tea Party Nation President Says It ‘Makes A Lot Of Sense’ To Restrict Voting Only To Property Owners
November 30th, 2010
Every week, the Tea Party Nation hosts a weekly radio program, calling itself a “home for conservatives.” Two weeks ago, Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips hosted the program and discussed changes that he felt should be made to voting rights in the United States. He explained that the founders of the country originally put “certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote.” He continued, “One of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.”
Phillips is advocating a policy of voter disenfranchisement that has its roots in the 18th century. When the United States was first founded, ownership of property was one of the requirements to vote in most elections. Many of these restrictions were phased out by the 1820s and replaced with requirements that the voter pays taxes. By 1850, these requirements, too, were phased out. Nashville Scene blogger Betsy Phillips calls the Tea Party Nation president’s idea a “frivolous proposal designed to stoke intergenerational antagonism — as if the people who are older and can afford a home are somehow better citizens than the 18-year-olds who are going off to war to die for our country.”
Unfortunately, numerous major conservatives have advocated for rolling back the voting rights of Americans. Supreme Court justice Anthony Scalia, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), and Sen.-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) have all advocated for repealing the 17th Amendment, which would end direct election of U.S. Senators and return Senate elections to the purview of state legislatures.