Ryan J. Reilly TPM | September 2, 2011
Updated: September 2, 2011, 5:05 PM
Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum is just going to come right out and say it: registering the poor to vote is un-American and “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.”
“It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote,” Vadum, the author of a book published by World Net Daily that attacks the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, writes in a column for the American Thinker.
“Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor,” Vadum writes. “It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money. It’s about raw so-called social justice. It’s about moving America ever farther away from the small-government ideals of the Founding Fathers.”
Most conservative criticism of voter registration drives aimed at poor and minority communities has been under the guise of worries about voter fraud. Vadum’s column is notable because he isn’t just pretending to be worried about the nearly non-existent threat of in-person voter fraud — he just doesn’t think poor people should be voting.
Late Update: Responding to what he says are misrepresentations of his view, Vadum writes that of course he thinks poor people have the right to vote, he just doesn’t want anybody to help them since their votes “could lead to the destruction of the republic.”
Vadum clarifies that it is “destructive to register welfare recipients to vote so that they can vote themselves more government benefits. It is even worse that our tax dollars are used to register welfare recipients at welfare offices. It is a policy that would cause the Founding Fathers to roll over in their graves.”
But, he adds: “Of course those who are legally qualified to vote should be allowed to vote but our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to underwrite the destruction of the republic.”