Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Get Your Outrage Faces On, Ladies

     ...because I’m about to tell you something you don’t want to hear.

     I’ve argued in the past – and I have not been refuted – that there is no “right” to vote. No such “right” can be justified on natural-law grounds. More, it is flatly contradicted by laws that limit who may vote and under what conditions – laws that have commanded near-universal acceptance since the earliest origins of voting.

     Today, our favorite Bookworm joins the fray:

     People are beginning to notice that the new leaders on the left are female. As a woman myself, some might think that I would find this a gratifying sign of progress in America. I don’t. I find it a worrisome thing because these women are driven by pure emotionalism, which has been channeled over the last few decades, especially at colleges, into a sense of perpetual victimhood and a deep hatred for America and her constitutionally-based institutions.

     My theory is that the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, was a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake when women were given weren’t so angry but for the last few years, thanks to academia, and its evil spawn in K-12 education, the media, and Hollywood, women have marinated in anger. For those who embraced that toxic marinade and emerged as Democrats, Progressives, Democrat-Socialists, or whatever name they give their leftism, it’s destroyed them.

     These modern leftist women are not the people who got the vote 100 years ago. They have become a different creature altogether, and not the kind that should be trusted anywhere near power.

     Bookworm’s argument is a utilitarian one. Even if I find her logic questionable, it is qualitatively appropriate. If the franchise is an awarded privilege rather than a right – a position I think she and I commonly hold – then awarding or withholding it on utilitarian grounds is appropriate. It’s been treated that way for centuries. Indeed, it’s the only way to treat the matter.

     However, the question of what utilitarian grounds are appropriate remains to be addressed. Let us frame the question in Constitutional terms:

What basis for awarding the franchise would best serve the purposes set forth in the Constitution of the United States?

     We begin.

     Let’s start from the Preamble to Constitution:

     We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

     (I went to some effort to preserve the links in the above. No, they don’t appear on the parchment of the original Constitution; the Founders’ grasp of HTML was exceedingly weak. All the same, please follow them.)

     While it was acknowledged that the preservation of the consent of the governed required that the officials of the United States should largely be chosen through an electoral process (NB: Not necessarily purely by popular vote, as was made plain in the segments concerning the election of federal Senators and of the President and Vice-President), it was also agreed that there had to be limits on the use of the vote: both as regards which citizens may vote and for what purposes the vote could be used. Imperative statements in the Constitution, both in its original text and as amended, are immune to repeal or modification by popular vote; they can only be addressed through the amendment procedure set out in Article V. This applies both to direct attempts to change the terms of the Constitution and to indirect attempts via popular referenda. The Constitution could not validly be deemed “the supreme Law of the Land” (Article VI) were its terms vulnerable to the franchise.

     Under the federalist conception of American government, the federal government’s powers were defined by the Constitution. The several states were expected to produce subsidiary constitutions, which in time all of them did. Again, the powers of the state governments were supposed to be defined by those charters. To define, as I have said before, is to limit: That which conforms to the terms of the definition is separated from that which is outside its terms – and in constitutional practice any powers other than those defined are reserved, as Amendment X plainly states.

     Hearkening back to the Preamble’s statement of purposes, it can credibly be argued that extensions of the franchise that have occurred since 1787 have been detrimental to those purposes. However, I would not limit us to the extension of the franchise to women as granted under Amendment XIX. I would go much, much further.

     The vote is a form of authority. Robert A. Heinlein has compared it to the Rods and the Axe of Roman heritage:

     Major Reid paused to touch the face of an old-fashioned watch, "reading" its hands. "The period is almost over and we have yet to determine the moral reason for our success in governing ourselves. Now continued success is never a matter of chance. Bear in mind that this is science, not wishful thinking; the universe is what it is, not what we want it to be. To vote is to wield authority; it is the supreme authority from which all other authority derives—such as mine to make your lives miserable once a day. Force, if you will! -- the franchise is force, naked and raw, the Power of the Rods and the Ax. Whether it is exerted by ten men or by ten billion, political authority is force."
     "But this universe consists of paired dualities. What is the converse of authority? Mr. Rico."
     He had picked one I could answer. "Responsibility, sir."
     "Applause. Both for practical reasons and for mathematically verifiable moral reasons, authority and responsibility must be equal -- else a balancing takes place as surely as current ‘flows between points of unequal potential. To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy. The unlimited democracies were unstable because their citizens were not responsible for the fashion in which they exerted their sovereign authority... other than through the tragic logic of history. The unique ‘poll tax' that we must pay was unheard of. No attempt was made to determine whether a voter was socially responsible to the extent of his literally unlimited authority. If he voted the impossible, the disastrous possible happened instead -- and responsibility was then forced on him willy-nilly and destroyed both him and his foundationless temple."

     Applause, indeed. If the voter cannot be held responsible for his use of the franchise, he must not have it. But how could any republic enforce those terms upon millions of voters?

     The Founders decided to leave the problem to the state governments, each of which enacted requirements for wielding the franchise. As far as I can tell from my research, they arrived at a single solution.

     The original conception of the franchise was that it should apply solely to persons with a substantial tie to the locale in which they live: i.e., the ownership of real property. It was wisely conceived and worked well, absent any laws against non-whites owning real property. Here’s the great Isabel Paterson on the subject:

     To form a true and workable federation, the component states must cede the attribute of sovereignty of the border. But they must retain a legitimate control over admission to the state's body politic, to preserve their political entities. This is the power to admit to the franchise. Race, color, or previous condition of servitude are irrelevant. They ought not to be considered disqualifications. The correct qualifications lie in local residence and allegiance and real property. Only in these requirements can a moral principle be found. If the franchise calls for qualification at all, it is clearly conditional, not absolute. So far as the conditions are practical, they must relate to the function of the instrument. The action is that of measured extension from a permanent base, so it must be attached to immovable local property. Liquid capital will not do. These qualifications are moral as well as material, being all within the competence of the individual; a responsible person can fulfill them by his own choice and efforts. But it is absolutely necessary that the power to designate qualifications should also be in the state. If the Federal government has power to fix or alter any particular, even negatively, it has the ultimate full power of fixing all requirements by particulars. And a defect running through the whole structure is much more grave than a localized error. [Emphasis added by FWP.]

     Miss Paterson regarded federal interference in the states’ power to award or withhold the franchise as a supremely grave error. She notes in particular the pernicious effects of Amendment XVI:

     Interference in this manner is by decomposition. It was forty years before the decomposition of the bases became fully apparent; but it made the next attack possible, when a national function was nullified, by the income tax amendment. Previously no direct or personal tax could be laid except in proportion to the population. Then the action would be equated in every voter and representative. If a tax were proposed, each would know that he must pay a proportionate share; while if any region were to receive an extra share in expenditure (as in river or harbor works, etc.), its influence would be greatly outweighed by that of the other areas....But when the Federal government could mulct a wealthy state in taxes disproportionate to the population, to buy out a poor state by expenditures disproportionate to the population, the equation vanished. The mass-inertia veto was lost. (The weight, the interest, thereafter took effect in unbalance, as uncompartmented liquid ballast surging from side to side, dislocated mass.)

     [FWP: Note that Miss Paterson’s reasoning applies equally well to every form of income taxation, whether implemented at the federal, state, or any other level. But that’s a discussion for another time.]

     Reimplemented for the 21st Century, a franchise founded on the ownership of real property might work thus: your franchise is tied to the name on the receipt for your property taxes. If you paid property taxes on your residence during the current year, you’ll be mailed a ballot -- one ballot; otherwise, not. This would avoid all questions about the enfranchisement of men versus women, white versus black, and so forth, while simultaneously eliminating the voting power of the non-self-supporting and transients of every kind. It would also tend to exclude persons on welfare or other forms of government-provided support, as such persons are unlikely to own real property.

     Is it normally the case that the payer of residential property taxes is a man – i.e., a male human being? Why yes, it is. So what? If he were so inclined, he could give the ballot to his wife, his ten year old daughter, or his dog. The point is that the franchise has been limited to persons who have invested in the district and would therefore bear the consequences of any decisions made by its elected officials. Escaping those consequences would require him to change his residence, a protracted procedure fraught with several complexities and difficulties.

     I can see no valid arguments for the enfranchisement of persons without that substantial tie to the district which would be affected by their votes. As for persons who rent rather than buy their homes: Sorry, dude. You want a say in how things will be run around here? Buy some land. What’s that? You say you can’t afford it? Well, then we who have committed ourselves to the financial support of the district through our property taxes are indisposed to afford you any say in local affairs.

     I could go on, but I think I’ve established my position clearly enough. Let the arguments begin – and no slinging of insults, or I’ll put you on the banned list. Only evidence and reason will pass muster in the comments section here.




Apropos nothing in this post, but I don't know your email address, I just sent this email to the founder of granitegrok about an encounter I had in the local post office:

Just had an encounter with a Karen at the post office who not only was upset at my not wearing a mask, she had the
lingo down pat. I.e., "You're being selfish"... doubtless she also thought I was a threat to her well being because
I didn't have one.

She cited the Nashua rule, and went to the counter to complain as well. I called her a Nazi which didn't phase her
at all.

Now I know how Hitler succeeded. He so PROGRAMMED people to hate Jews as a threat to them, just like this woman was
PROGRAMMED to view anyone not wearing a mask as a threat. I have ZERO DOUBT in my mind that, had she had time, she'd
have called the cops on me and felt virtuous in seeing me cuffed. And, honestly, I have ZERO DOUBT she'd cheerfully
see me sent off to a camp.

How the hell do we get this stupidity rolled back?

Linda Fox said...

We don't, in the short term. It's probably easier to use the mask - AND, to use the general irritation at using them to start recruiting allies.
Strike up a conversation with that gentleman/lady balling it up in their fist as they exit the stores - "They're a pain to have to wear, aren't they?" Their answer, "Hey, what are you, a hater?" or, more likely, and embarrassed grin, and "Yeah, I can't wait until this is over!"
The second answer identifies that person as someone to select to explore their social/political thinking in more depth. If you meet a standard Lefty, be polite, and put them low on the list of likelies.
But, some will want to vent their dissatisfaction with current events. Those are ones who you might mention where you can be found, if they should happen to want to talk further. Coffee? Local club? Regular attendance at local events?
We have from now until the election (what is it? 98 days?) If we just take these opportunities over the next few months, and try to make 3-4 contacts a week, that's a lot of people in that time who might be open to voting with us - or, should everything go to hell, standing with us as we face the rampaging hordes.
It's not about the virus; it's not about Trump. It's about building local coalitions that can be counted on to resist the Leftist authority.

Col. B. Bunny said...

An excellent post, Fran. The extent of the franchise is but one of many fundamental questions that need to be addressed but aren't. The process of incremental change through the political process as we know it has worked to further partisanship, race privilege, oppression, cultural madness, national disintegration, chaos, theft, and lunatic monetary and fiscal policies.

Clearly this is a revolutionary time and there is nothing good about it. At a time when when insightful political leadership is sorely needed there is none, though here's a shout out to a few heroes who dot the landscape. It is a particularly vile curse that has been visited on us that we have a political class that is arrogant, blind, moronic, and vicious.

Another thing that needs to be addressed is the nature of the citizen's responsibility in other areas. Singapore has harsh remedies for residents who choose to flaunt simple but fundamental moral limits. They have apparently concluded that only so much inner control can be expected from the populace. Here, the notion that when one emerges from prison one has "paid his debt to society" is silly. What the former prisoner has achieved is simply a return to person liberty. Since we know very well that DOES NOT mean a sure determination to refrain from criminal conduct in the future the former prisoner must be saddled with severe civil and criminal liabilities such that, for example, even peripheral involvement in criminal behavior or civil disturbance takes place with a conclusive presumption against the convicted felon of malice aforethought. An expansion of the castle doctrine, loosely speaking. Equality before the law ought to be premised on demonstrated willingness to conform to minimal standards.

Paul Bonneau said...

This goes under the subject of "improving democracy" and there are many possible ways to do that. One important method is to restrict the franchise to people who have skin in the game. Heinlein's idea in "Starship Troopers" is a good example. Or it could be restricted to those who pay taxes (on net - although that might be difficult to figure out). Another is to raise the age of voting. Yet another is to look at different voting methods (Condorcet, etc.). Personally, I think excluding women would have been a good idea before they had the franchise; but now that they have it, it looks pretty impractical.

BTW did you know the first state that gave the vote to women was Wyoming? I guess they had a shortage of women in those days, and may have passed this law in order to attract more of them. Rather short-sighted...

As an anarcho-capitalist, more or less, I don't want to give anybody power over me, which is what voting does. I would not want to tie voting to the property tax, because I want to eliminate the property tax (do we really need unionized leftists to teach our kids? Do we need cops, which enables gun control? etc.).


On women in politics, I concur in general with the idea that women have shifted the debate. Now, alternative views are not a bad idea, but...

Have you seen this video?

How Women Weaken Nations (and why men let them)

I concur 100% with the idea that in an discussion regarding taxes (and spending, which influences taxes) one must have a skin in the game of paying taxes. (There's a Bill Whittle video about him as a young and liberal man - saying "I was in favor of raising taxes, because I wasn't paying any". Speaking of, anyone seen that video making the rounds of the black kid seeing how much is taken out of his first check?


One other thought, for Linda.

Some good ideas. In the case of this Karen, there was no discussion - she ATTACKED right away.

In other venues I've had luck.

Also, there is a new website that I've found:


I know one of the principles - leading a strong fight up in Canada.

Brenda said...

Personally, as a woman I don't think women should vote. All the women I know are an emotional mess or vote on looks or have no interest in politics or vote like their feminist friends tell them to vote or any combination. I don't know of any women that don't go by emotion first then logic if they have any. Feminism has ruined this nation.

Linda Fox said...

Perhaps we could have a special voting qualification for women - can they solve a quadratic equation (with or without a graphing calculator)? Identify the logical flaws in an argument? Show how they have been supporting themselves without resorting to government assistance or leaning on a man?

Hey, come to think of it, these aren't bad qualifications for MEN, either!

Or, we could just return to the rule that only landowners can vote. That's been suggested by several people lately - many of them would limit that vote to one per household. I'm against that idea, as it would not generate the results you might think. There are a lot of female homeowners.

Plus, home ownership would disenfranchise many who never own a home, whether from lack of money/credit, or because they are active military.

I'd settle for knowledge of the Constitution, evidence of good character (no felonies in recent history, has a job history , not dependent on government assistance, or, if temporarily unemployed, provides services to community, such as volunteer firefighter, church volunteer, or neighborhood watch), and an ID with picture.