When the United States was founded, it was a white male patrician society: only white men of property were permitted to vote in a majority of states, which prevented poor people, freedmen former slaves, Native Americans, and women from voting.
Following small “r” republican logic, citizens were believed to need an economic stake in society in order to be trusted to vote wisely [i.e., the “right way”]. If a voter lacked economic independence, then it seemed that those who controlled his livelihood could easily manipulate his vote. It was an elitist view.
The presidential election in 1828 was the first in which non-property-holding white males could vote in the vast majority of states. The last state to abolish property qualification for white men was North Carolina in 1856.
White patrician elitist Rep. John Kavanagh would like to return to the not-so-good old days. The Hill reports, Arizona House Republican says party thinks ‘everybody shouldn’t be voting’:
Arizona House Rep. John Kavanagh (R) told CNN that Republican lawmakers are concerned ballots sent without being requested [PEVL] to people who have died or moved could contribute to voter fraud [for which Republican legislators have never presented any credible evidence], while accusing Democrats of being “willing to risk fraud” to get more votes.
“There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “Democrats value as many people as possible voting [democracy!], and they’re willing to risk fraud [false!]. Republicans are more concerned about [nonexistent] fraud [Debunking the Voter Fraud Myth], so we don’t mind putting
security [voter suppression] measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting.”
“Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues,” he said. “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.“
“We can’t have poor people and minorities who tend to vote for Democrats voting! The unwashed masses are a mob who resent us wealthy white patrician landowners, and don’t vote the “right way” – we can’t have a democracy!”
“We’re talking human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”
And “totally uninformed on the issues?” Seriously, John? Have you met your Republican Caucus in the Arizona Legislature? You guys comprise a collection of the most ignorant, uninformed dumbasses I have ever encountered in my life. And I’ve done work in the Texas legislature!
Kavanagh also called out Democratic efforts to register voters and get those who haven’t turned in their ballots to do so [i..e “ballot harvesting, a pejorative], saying “you can greatly influence the outcome of the election if one side pays people to actively and aggressively go out and retrieve those ballots.”
Do you mean this actual case of voter fraud by a Republican operative in North Carolina? North Carolina Republican operative charged in election fraud scheme, the only known case of large-scale voter fraud by a ballot harvesting scheme of which you complain actually occurring? Maybe Republicans should stop their illegal conduct.
And that goes double for Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, and potentially Mark Meadows (according to a new Wall Street Journal report). Fulton DA’s investigation into Trump heads to grand jury. I anticipate RICO counts for conspiracy to commit criminal election fraud coming.
What this is really all about: Donald Trump told Fox & Friends, “They had things, levels of voting [in the bill] that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
Kavanagh’s remarks come as the Republican-majority legislatures in Arizona and other states are considering [Jim Crow] bills that would institute voting restrictions after former President Trump has claimed falsely that widespread voter fraud tainted the 2020 election.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University found in late February that more than 250 bills that would restrict voting are in circulation across the country, including almost two dozen in Arizona.
Among the bills in Arizona is legislation that passed the state Senate that would mandate voters to include identification paperwork with mail-in ballots. Another, approved by a state House committee, would drop voters from the permanent early voting list if they miss consecutive election cycles.
Arizona Rep. Athena Salman (D) told CNN that she believes Republicans are pursuing the [voter suppression] bills because it’s the party’s “only way” of winning after the state broke for President Biden and Democratic senators in recent elections. Arizona hadn’t broken for a Democratic presidential candidate in more than 20 years.
“They are trying to make it harder for everyone to vote based on the hope and desire that the people who it harms more and who it disenfranchises more are the people less likely to vote Republican,” she said.
Rep. John Kavanagh deserves to be dragged for his patrician elitism and his blatant lies in letters to the editor and in social media posts. It is long past time for this embarrassment to Arizona to go.
UPDATE 3/13/21 @4:45pm:
Ed.- Mike Bryan, here. Just wanted to add this video commentary about Kavanaugh’s admission from one of my favorite ex-military contractor, redneck, Florida man, yet very liberal journalists, Beau of the Fifth Column:
Representative John Kavanaugh has been making national news for his accidentally a-bit-too-honest revelations of Republican electoral philosophy. Follow @BlogForArizona for the latest news out of Arizona, including continuing coverage of Kavanaugh’s revealing comments.
BTW, I know you read this blog regularly, John, and I see you have commented on this post claiming that your comments were twisted out of context to create a false impression of your beliefs.
You weren’t misquoted; you were revealed.
I call bullshit on your party’s whole “fraud” song and dance. Show us clear evidence of the fraud you claim is occurring. You won’t, because you can’t. Your claims about electoral fraud in mail-in voting are either entirely fictive or wild speculation.
You seek to justify voter suppression of those who won’t vote for Republicans with vapid and baseless conspiracy theories about fraud. It just doesn’t happen like you claim… at least not by Democrats (see AZBlueMeanie’s link about the criminal acts of North Carolina Republicans above).
Your comments have gone viral because they are honestly revelatory of how you, and those like you, actually feel about average voters; we all know that you really DO think that anyone who disagrees with your so-called “conservative” views should have a tougher time getting their votes to count. It’s very kind of you to confirm that for us in your own words.
Voter suppression is what your caucus is engaged in right now across the nation (over 250 bills narrowing voting rights and procedures) and in the AZ legislature (with over 20 bills) attempting to make it marginally harder to vote in all sorts of ways for those who tend not to vote for Republicans.
You really should be ashamed of your own behavior, but you are perhaps too far gone in motivated reasoning and increasingly implausible self-justifications to every see this issue from OUR viewpoint. Ask yourself, just once, if Democrats were trying to disproportionately disadvantage demographic groups who are known to vote Republican at higher rates, what motive would you assign to their actions, however they might justify them?