June 17, 2010
Goodbye to One Man, One Vote
If you thought that "one man, one vote" reflected the full flowering of representative democracy, think again. In the village of Port Chester, N.Y., just a few towns north of my locality in Westchester County, there is a new system. It's "one (minority) man, six votes" -- brought to us courtesy of the U.S. Department of Injustice and a lunkhead of a federal judge named Stephen Robinson.
Here's the story: In 2006, the Injustice Department alleged that Port Chester's election system was "unfair." The problem? While the village is almost half Hispanic, no Hispanic had ever been elected as a trustee.
Now, how this hapless village got on the feds' radar screen, I have no idea. Were Hispanics intimidated into avoiding the polls? Were there literacy tests? Poll taxes? No, this story will not inspire a movie by the name of Port Chester Burning. Instead, it seems the problem Uncle Scam had was that the town's slim white majority -- who turn out to vote in greater numbers than their Latino neighbors (Hispanics also account for only about 20 percent of Port Chester's voting-age population), along with whatever Hispanics join them -- have thus far chosen to elect only white candidates. That pesky majority rule can be a real bummer, can't it?
So the Injustice Department -- using our tax money -- dragged Port Chester into court, which, presumably, cost the village tax money in litigation costs (ain't being a civil rights lawyer grand?). It's enough to make you wonder if the Injustice Department has too much time and money on its hands, except that it doesn't seem to have time to tackle real voter intimidation. Remember that this is the bureaucracy that refused to pursue the case against the Black Panthers who tried to scare white voters away from a polling place in Philadelphia.
This brings us to Federal Judge Stephen Robinson. He ruled -- get the Digitalis -- that the village's practice of having conventional at-large elections violated the Voting Rights Act. Now, let me put this in the simplest terms possible. The Voting Rights Act's purpose was to ensure that everyone would have the opportunity to vote. Yet this "judge" decreed that "one man, one vote," and the attendant majority rule, violate the act if they don't yield a politically correct result.
And the kicker is Robinson's remedy: He approved a plan to give every resident six votes, which they can apportion among the six trustees to be elected any way they wish. It's known as "cumulative voting." No, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto. Heck, I'm not even so sure we're in America.
What's the thinking? I suppose the idea is that many Hispanics will exhibit great ethnic patriotism and give all their votes to one Hispanic candidate, whereas whites don't vote as a block to the extent other groups do. Perhaps we're seeing an example of leftists nobly shouldering the Liberal White Man's Burden.
Judge Robinson also ruled that Port Chester must allow residents to show up on any one of five days to cast ballots, a system called "in-person early voting."
So first the left gave us quotas in schools and businesses, and now we have them in elections. I wonder, if there is a locality in which whites are almost half the population, with a black majority that has never elected a white candidate, will the feds roll into town and work the same voodoo? What if it's an area that's almost 50 percent female but that has never voted a woman into office? Maybe we should just mandate that public officials must reflect the demographic composition of their constituencies.
You could also say that this is the next step in the evolution of get-out-the-vote drives. It used to be that such endeavors were geared merely toward motivating the ignorant and apathetic to cast ballots, as we know that such people will make thoroughly stellar voting decisions if we can only somehow cajole them into the polling place. But this is so much simpler: Get out the vote by multiplying it. We don't need dead people in Chicago anymore -- we have deadheads in the Injustice Department.
Really, this scheme visited upon Port Chester is just another example of liberal bigotry. The leftist social engineers are again dividing people into groups, tacitly claiming that a person of one race cannot adequately represent a person of another, and changing the melting pot into a cauldron of ethnic tension.
So on Tuesday, June 15, there was an election in a village in New York. In preparation, the locality had six forums in English and six in Spanish to explain a new, federally mandated scheme to the voters. It created various ways of publicizing the election -- with tote bags, lawn signs, and tee shirts stating "Your voice, your vote, your village"; and reminders in the form of TV spots, brochures, and handouts given to schoolchildren, in both English and Spanish -- all of which had to be approved by the Department of Injustice. It also hired a "non-profit" election research and reform group called FairVote to provide consultation services (our tax money at work -- again). And when it came time to cast the votes, "federal observers" were on site...watching.
The left is Balkanizing us. I just wonder what their quota prescription will be when it comes time to partition the nation.