Facing South

Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'makes a lot of sense'

Judson Phillips.jpgWhen critics charged that tea party groups like True the Vote may have been trying to disenfranchise voters with their aggressive tactics in the 2010 elections, the allegations were often waved off as a hysterical exaggeration.

But at least some leaders of the national tea party movement openly question the idea of widely-accessible voting rights -- even embracing a time in U.S. history when suffrage was denied to renters and others who didn't own property.

On his November 17 internet radio program, Judson Philips -- president of the Nashville-based company Tea Party Nation -- defended the original U.S. laws that allowed only the landed elite to vote, making these comments:

The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote. It wasn't you were just a citizen and you got to vote. Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today. But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you're not a property owner, you know, I'm sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

Currently, one-third of U.S. residents do not own their homes and would presumably be denied the franchise under such a system.

But Phillips' discussion of changes to the U.S. Constitution didn't stop there. Also on the program was David DeGerolamo, a North Carolina tea party leader and founder of NC Freedom, a state-wide tea party umbrella group.

DeGerolamo went even further on the program, calling for complete repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment -- a broad-ranging amendment which outlines basic rights of citizenship, due process and equal protection.

Here's a transcript of the discussion between Philips and DeGerolamo:

Judson Phillips: "Of course, when people talk, three Amendments that really are the only ones that seriously get talked about getting repealed: the 16th Amendment, for the income tax, and we can only hope that happens; the 17th Amendment for having the appointment of Senators got back to state legislatures; and the 26th Amendment, I believe it is. Do you know which one that is, David?"
David DeGerolamo: "No, but I know which one I want repealed."
Judson Phillips: "Which one is that?"
David DeGerolamo: "I want the 14th Amendment repealed."
Judson Phillips: "At least modified, but yeah..."

Listen to the audio here.

Even Phillips appeared to be caught off-guard by DeGerolamo's statement, which goes beyond the demands of some Republicans to modify the 14th amendment's granting of so-called "birthright citizenship" to anyone born on U.S. soil.

But DeGerolamo's statement is in line with a far-right school of thought that opposes all "Reconstruction Amendments" -- those added to the U.S. Constitution after freed African-Americans were able to hold leadership roles in government after the Civil War.

As the Tea Party Nationalism website documents, DeGerolamo's group NC Freedom has previously promoted the idea that such laws are invalid:

NC Freedom publicized a series of seminars conducted by a group calling itself the North-Carolina American Republic. These workshops, entitled "Restore our Republics," promoted the notion that individuals can declare themselves citizens of the North-Carolina Republic--the "real government" that was taken away by the Reconstruction Acts after the Civil War.

In North Carolina, groups like Americans for Prosperity -- backed by conservative millionaire Art Pope -- have coordinated tea party events with DeGerolamo and NC Freedom.


People Referenced:


re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

So I suppose all the renters won't have a voice. Sounds great. Does that mean without the ability to pick their representative, we won't have to pay taxes either? After all, NO taxation *without* representation.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

And so the Tea Party reveals itself to be made up of plutocratic wolves is democratic sheep's clothing. Can't say that I am surprised.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

The 14th Amendment was enacted to give citizenship to the children of slaves who had been brought to the US against their will. It was never intended to cover the children of people who voluntarily and illegally entered the country. Or for that matter, to children of legal guests (non-citiznes) who happen to be in the US when they give birth. No other country hands over its citizenship privileges so freely. Why should we? The amendment has outlived its purpose.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

What if you were a landowner, but lost your house to foreclosure? Can you vote then?

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

What would be the point of this fallacy? IQ and wisdom has nothing to do with how and where you live. If logic was to be used for this concern, than one should push for a pass of civics and reading and comprehension exam to register to vote. This would engaged on every American regardless of ethnicity, class, income, and/or education.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

I would say that the only thing the NAZI had on these people are the gas chambers and it is to early to rule that out from them. Time to stand up and fight back, keep these people out of public office!!!!!!!!!

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

So here's another idea. Why not limit voting to people who can pass a basic citizenship literacy test demonstrating knowledge of our constitutional democratic republic's govermnent. Part of that test would also require at least an average knowledge of current events.

Jefferson and Madison both felt very strongly that an educated and informed citizenry must be a condition precedent to their participation in democratic self-governance. My hunch is that many, perhaps most, Tea Pots would be barred if this were actually enforced in the manner proposed above.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Being the history buffs they are, what they really meant was that only white christian slave holders should be able to vote.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

If only property owners could vote, what if a married couple's home is held in only one person's name, not both? Would that mean only one, not both, could vote?
And, if the 14th Amendment was repealed, would that mean a return to segregation and an end to equal rights and equal protection under the law?
But then limiting the vote to property owners could be seen as a violation of equal protection under the 14th Amendment. So that amendment would have to go in order to deny the vote to non-property owners.
Jerry DeMuth

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Or if you're still paying off your mortgage, since the bank is the actual owner.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

As someone who has spent most of my adult life living in Army barracks, at forward operating bases, or renting apartments off-base because I knew I was going to get orders to either deploy or transfer to a new brigade in a few years, I say this:

F***. You.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Can someone say,"KKK"? Wow, Tea Party... Let us know how you all really feel! Wake up America.. There's a new form of Klansmen in town better known as The Tea Party!

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Of course not. The real purpose of all this is to restrict voting rights to the rich, who will then run everything. One hopes that they might throw us serfs a crumb now and then, but don't hold your breath.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

OK, so we've established that the Tea Party is undemocratic in it's basic world view. Limiting voting to "property owners"? These American idiots believe that they "own" their homes. Nothing could be further from the truth for a vast majority of homeowners in America. The bank owns their home and the bank will evict them in a few weeks if they don't pay their rent...um, I mean mortgage payment. Private property (defined by Marxists as specifically real estate and investments)is stolen property one way or another. In the national election of 1787 only around 2% of the population were allowed to vote. 2 freakin percent! That's not a democracy. That's not even a democratic republic in any modern sense. What the Teajadhists want is a more extreme dictatorship of the rich then we currently are faced with. They are useful idiots who still believe America is the shining city on a hill. What they ignore is that the foundation of their great edifice called "America" is made up of genocide, war, theft, slavery, racism and every other imaginable form of violence and oppression one can think of. Their "dream" is rotten to the core, totally sold-out and ready for imminent collapse...thus their panic and violent reaction. Fuk 'em!

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Are our legislators and members of the Tea Party on drugs? Drugs of power and stupidity? Maybe it should be stupidity first and then power. I own a home and there are more intelligent, politically savvy people renting than I am. Some of our smartest adults are young adults who have not accummulated enough money to buy a house because they are paying off student loans. It is really simple, if you are not a citizen, whether by being born in America or by becoming a citizen through the normal process, you should not be able to vote. Just because you live in America should not give you the right to vote or receive any other benefits. You need to pass the requirements to become a citizen. It is that simple. Why do politicians try to make everything complicated. It is just a matter of logical thinking.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Great, so let me get this straight. The banks who are run by millionaires and that we taxpayers bailed out, are rushing to foreclose on millions of mortgages creating a huge wave of renters. Now these morons want to take away the rights of these people to vote. WTF?

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

It is a fact of life that simple people tend to seek simple ways to blame complicated problems on people different from themselves.

Our founding fathers lived in a time when citizenship and borders were informal; before direct sales and income taxes when taxes were generally only levied on import/exported goods, property and deeds and voting; when most people were not literate nor knew anything about those running for office; when elections could be corrupted by simple bribery or booze; when they were dramatically outnumbered by Native Americans, newly arrived immigrants, slaves, indentured servants, women and children – at this time when these white English-speaking men were contemplating giving their new government the right to tax, it seems pretty obvious why they gave the right to vote only to people like themselves.

Now, we live in a time when every adult pays taxes regardless of citizenship, literacy is widespread, access to information on issues is easily accessible, and governments impact on each of our lives is much more widespread. The suggestion of denying the right to vote to anyone who lives here is insulting to us all.

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Would this mean you get a vote for each piece of property that you own?

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Tea anyone?

Judson Phillips is a fool, so all our military personnel, firemen, policemen and elderly who don’t own property can’t vote?

How about all people who have filed bankruptcy can’t vote (like Judson Phillips), or those who fail to answer questions about our country history can’t run for public office (like Sarah Palin or Christine O’donnell), how about that, please.

So what do you think these losers want next, SLAVES?

re: Tea party leader: Denying vote to those without property 'ma

Get rid of workers rights, get rid of women's rights, already have most of the men of color in prison; of course making slavery legal again is on the agenda. You can't expect out masters to pay us a minimum age. The ultimate goal is to become Iran, only Christian.