Andy’s Blog: Is There Such a Thing As Society?

Is There Such a Thing As Society?

By Andy Driscoll

David’s Strom’s paean to Voter ID requirements bears scrutiny of the most probing kind.

“Conservatives” (quotes indicate a lack of sincerity) have this issue with trusting people - and of inclusion. Perhaps that’s normal for the right, but it should never be adopted as public principle in a democracy.

This Hobsian view that everyone but themselves must be a grasping undeserving cheat in the marketplace of ideas and human rights also assumes that no one who is hurting deserves to vote, to be taken care of, or that certain human rights and services should forever be denied those who have offended society by committing crime, for which they’ve already paid dearly, or who can’t afford to pay for life’s necessities entirely out their own pockets.

They see nothing about the Constitution as guaranteeing all citizens the right to vote. Where does this come from? Except a belief that those who should be deprived of that right (an inalienable one, I might add) are those who can’t show a piece of paper proving they are qualified by birth or naturalization or freedom from all offensive behavior to society should never again participate in the most fundamental of our rights? This is hogwash, pure and simple - and the fact that they clearly believe the people they wish to excise from the role of citizen are more likely to vote against their cherished candidates and issues. This may work in other countries. It should never take root here.

Such are also denizens of the segment of this war-torn society of increasing class disparity that insist such basic elements of a civilized nation such as nutritional food, clothing, adequate and reasonably priced health care, clean sources of air to breathe and water to drink and a general freedom to travel and vote are not also basic rights – as well as basic needs.

“Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher is again quoted in today’s papers as saying "There’s no such thing as society.” That comes about as close as anything to defining the chasm between the far right - the only label I’m willing to put on this nonsensical creed – and our left. The latter assumes (or should) that society as an abstraction, if not a reality, does indeed exist (read that old Constitution again, if you please), and that the fundamental pretext of the concept of society is that we assure each other the well-being of all others - the common welfare. Such provisions inscribed by those nasty lefties that penned our Declaration and Constitution - neither of which is perfect, but both of which, created by compromise, on either end of the political spectrum are wont to cite as the basis for their beliefs. It remains a basic tenet of democracy, which holds no truck, in principle, with elitism masquerading as stewardship.

The common welfare - or the commons, in short – is a mandate of this nation’s founding - and to suggest that anyone should be deprived of exercising the fundamental franchise – the vote – granted all of us by our citizenship, therefore a voice in the governance of our public institutions - is to invoke the worst form of dictatorship and class war.

Shame on all those who would deny the vote to anyone - and I include inmates and those having served their terms, let alone the masses who have no driver’s licenses and other forms of intrusive identification requirements. Voter ID – is based on racism and classicism – its own class war, if you will – pure and simple – because not a shred of evidence exists to justify denying any citizen the franchise – including the necessity of IDs in other, less Constitutionally mandated uses for commerce and security.