As highlighted earlier today by Sister Tolja, the CNN town hall produced some very silly moments from 2020’s Democratic candidates, though one of the sillier ones involved a moment with Sen. Bernie Sanders who said he believed felons should get to vote.
“But, I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy,” said Sanders, just getting warmed up. “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘That guy committed a terrible crime, not gonna let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not gonna let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope. So, I believe that people who commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right the vote, but I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”
Naturally, many considered this to be a step too far. Those who abandon societies rules in such a massive way shouldn’t be able to help decide how society operates. They surely didn’t.
A conversation could be had about what kind of felons should be allowed to vote — a great deal of non-violent drug offenders come to mind — but Sanders made it clear that even the most terrible people still serving time should get the opportunity to help decide how our society should operate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham didn’t take this lightly as not long ago, a young man shot up a church filled with people in Charleston South Carolina, Graham’s own state. The shooter left nine dead in his wake. Graham publicly pointed out who Sanders was supporting getting the vote on Twitter.
“[Bernie Sanders] supports allowing rapists, murderers, and terrorists – like the Boston bomber and Dylan Roof, the individual who massacred 9 church-goers in Charleston, to vote from prison,” tweeted Graham.
Graham wanted an explanation from Sanders.
I look forward to hearing his explanation — in South Carolina — why Dylan Roof should be allowed to vote in the upcoming elections.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 23, 2019
Sanders did indeed answer Graham but answered a question Graham never asked. Instead of directly addressing Graham’s point, Sanders went on about a social justice issue involving incarceration rates for black people, voter suppression, and prison population.
None of which had anything to do with answering why someone like the Charleston shooter should get to vote.
“South Carolina has a higher incarceration rate than any country on Earth. African Americans are 27% of the state population but 60% of the prison population. Our racist criminal justice system disenfranchises millions. This is quite simply voter suppression,” tweeted Sanders.
South Carolina has a higher incarceration rate than any country on Earth. African Americans are 27% of the state population but 60% of the prison population. Our racist criminal justice system disenfranchises millions. This is quite simply voter suppression. https://t.co/2AxNzPgb6M
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 23, 2019
Criminal justice reform is definitely necessary, but Sanders offered nothing of the sort. What he did offer, however, was a nice fat chunk of potential voters to support him.
At this time, there are currently 2.3 million people in prison. Far too many, to be sure, but imagine what would happen if the left managed to court all those people into voting for them. While not all of them are as horrible as the Charleston shooter, a great many of them are people who have zero compunction to live in a functioning society where they, hardened criminals, don’t benefit.
Sanders either doesn’t seem to have thought about this, or he has thought about it and he’s just looking for votes regardless of what kind of decisions they would make if hardened criminals could become voters.
In that light, he’s either irresponsibly short-sighted or he doesn’t care about you and this country, and just wants power for himself.