Meet Oliver Hudson. Oliver is a junior at Brown University, where he is editor-in-chief of the campus’ conservative magazine the Brown Spectator, and writes a regular column in the Brown Daily Herald. Today, Oliver focused his writing on a topic he appears to be quite passionate about: voting rights.
“Most of us accept and celebrate our universal suffrage. But is it a good idea? In my view, no.”
Rather than allow every adult U.S. citizen to vote, Oliver argues, this “privilege” should be based on taxes. As he writes, “Restricting the right to vote to taxpayers is moral and practical.” Sounds like someone really dug that Ayn Rand seminar they took last semester.
If Oliver ran things around here, people wouldn’t just be voting wherever and whenever they pleased, no sir. Right now, the voting population is comprised of two groups: Those good hearted people who pay their taxes and give the government revenue, and another set of people who then take that money in the form of “benefits and programs” — or “stuff and things” — but may or may not pay their fair share. And for Oliver, if you don’t pay, you shouldn’t be voting, because a vote for a federal representative immediately decides where the government’s money goes.
The “logical” end to Oliver’s argument is this: “if person A contributes 100 times more than person B in income taxes, person A should have 100 times more voting power than person B.” Because, you know, the government is just like a private corporation, and votes are basically stock shares.
Oliver, let me leave you with this, from former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren’s 1964 majority opinion in Reynolds v. Sims:
“Legislators are elected by voters, not … economic interests. As long as ours is a representative form of government, the right to elect legislators in a free and unimpaired fashion is a bedrock of our political system.”
You might want to rethink that bit about, “We all own a portion of the government.” Doesn’t really seem to fit here in America.