Comments about ‘Letters: Change voting laws’

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Published: Friday, July 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Heber City, UT

If we want to hold any hope for saving our republic from self destruction, we must enact legislation that prohibits those running for office from receiving unlimited anonymous donations.

It is a total conflict of interest to allow those who make laws not disclose that those laws benefit their wealthy campaign contributors. This doesn't work.

All the unscrupulous politicians have to do is give the tiny, but very wealthy, slice of the population entitlements and/or tax exemptions, and they are guaranteed power forever. Unfortunately, we are already there. Anyone can see this is an irreversible situation, which will ultimately collapse. We must call on our legislators to use a common-sense approach to this very serious problem and change campaign finance laws.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I was amazed when I read this exact same letter in the Salt Lake Tribune. I continue to be amazed at the Dnews publishing it.

It's just amazing to me on so many levels. More trampling all over the Constitution by the right wing.

Centerville, UT

Maybe we could give each of them 3/5 of a vote?

Seriously, would this mean no one receiving Social Security could vote? Students receiving student loans or Pell grants? That seems like a bad idea.

Salt Lake City, UT

Can I assume that Mr. Green would also include CEOs of businesses that receive corporate welfare from the taxpayers? Probably not...individuals are so much easier to single out. Seems like I remember this commentator quoting the Constitution in the past, but now seems to forget it. Voting is the most fundamental right of a citizen. The idea of removing such a basic guarantee when the person could have been forced to ask for assistance by illness or loss of job, is abhorrent. He probably would be willing though to volunteer his time to decide which recipients are "worthy" to vote and those in the slacker category.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm frustrated too James! I find it really disgusting how many people fail to accept the will of the American people and self-righteously claim to know better! I voted for an amazing leader who tried to include a bipartisan approach to governing. He ran into no-good, do-nothing obstructionists who got our country into the messes in the first place.

Sandy, UT

Only in America can someone seriously be jealous of someone on welfare.

Dietrich, ID

Ezra Taft Benson did mention people that elect someone to vote for what is not theres to give I read.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Be careful. The last published information I saw indicated 25% of military families are on food stamps. Also, that $100 million worth of food stamps were redeemed at military commissaries (which includes veterans as well as active military).

The poor or struggling are not always who we imagine they are.

Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you, Mr. Green, for demonstrating so beautifully why most of America regards the Tea Party as a sad joke.

To my friends in the GOP - pay attention. These guys have become your base, and it's why you're failing.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I see your logic James, but in a Democracy EVERY Citizen needs to have a vote. So what you suggest is never going to happen (and probably shouldn't).

But your logic is correct. Many scholars when studying democracy point out the exact flaw you have touched on. That the downfall of every democracy will be when the majority discovers it can use it's vote to TAKE what they want from the minority (the proverbial 99% taking from the 1% in America's case).

Scottish Lawyer Alexander Fraser Tyler is the one most famous for pointing this out (in the early 1700s). But I'm sure Aristotle, Socrates, etc, who studied human nature also understood and talked and wrote about it.

Tyler's jist is...
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy"

But IMO this is a human character flaw. Not a Democracy flaw.

West Jordan, UT

With over 100 million on food stamps alone I think it's safe to say the economic collapse is here. It's hard however to put the blame on those trying to feed their families. Policy decisions in Washington are the foundational cause of all the entitlement i.e. high unemployment, O'bamacare cause and effect,etc. Unfortunately, it 's also true, the longer people remain on entitlement programs the more comfortable they become with it. How sad it is to watch a once great nation slide into such mediocrity.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tyler's exact quote is...
"It is not, perhaps, unreasonable to conclude, that a pure and perfect democracy is a thing not attainable by man, constituted as he is of contending elements of vice and virtue, and ever mainly influenced by the predominant principle of self-interest. It may, indeed, be confidently asserted, that there never was that government called a republic, which was not ultimately ruled by a single will, and, therefore, (however bold may seem the paradox,) virtually and substantially a monarchy."

So some wise people agree with you. And history agrees with you. But I'm pretty sure SOME people are going to just cover their eyes and ears and be willingly blind to reality and just hammer you.

Eugene, OR

So I'm guessing that farm subsidies would also count as "welfare"? How would telling a sizable portion of the West that they could no longer vote play? Or are Mitt Romney and his friends the only people "self-sufficient" enough to vote?

Obama won. Twice. Get over it.

Salt Lake City, UT

...because it ALWAYS a good idea to disenfranchise whole segments or classes of the citizenry...

In terms of addressing an admittedly serious issue that calls for discussion, debate, collaboration, and our brightest and most innovative minds to engage in finding a solution, Mr. Green's proposal is roughly the equivalent of swatting a fly with a sledgehammer.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Why does the Left always go after Farmers?

Farmers seem like good people to me. And I'm glad they are out there. I like eating food. I'd rather have one farmer around than a hundred pimple-faced desk workers (or Mitt Romneys).

I don't know how many farmers get supsidies. I don't follow that closely. But Farming should be self sufficient. I mean we have very few people providing the food for millions of people. You would think we could pay them enough to live on... right? I mean we DIE without them... right?

I don't know if doing away with farm-subsidies would mean a sizable portion of the west couldnt vote. I live in the West and just looking around... I don't think everybody out here's a farmer. I would guess maybe 5% of the population in Western States are farmers.

I don't know that IF we did away with farm subsidies... most of the west couldn't vote. But I'm pretty sure if we put farmers out of business... most of the East wouldn't be able to eat or survive very long.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Seems to me that the founding fathers of this nation were guided by the notion that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belong to a person by the mere fact of being born. That no one had to earn those rights.

If a person is deprived of being able to influence his government, those rights have been erased.

There is no one in America that does not in some way, large or small, benefit our nation. It doesn’t matter if we are old or young, black, white, red or brown or any other color. We are all consumers of the products and services of other Americans.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

This letter is just another ridiculous twist on Romney's infamous 47 percent faux pas (or was it a faux pas?). The conservative approach to saving our country is to allow wealth to accumulate at the top so that an increasing percentage of the population can't make ends meet without government assistance or charity. Then pass laws to punish people for not being wealthy.

Of course, the letter writer's theory breaks down when exposed to the light of reality (which is something the conservatives have only a distant acquaintance with). In Utah, many people who receive government assistance voted for Romney. Apparently, they didn't get the memo.


It is encouraging to see that James stands alone on his vindictive, short-sighted proposal. There were dozens of responses to this letter in the other paper. And like 100 percent of those responding here, every single person thought this was the worst idea anyone ever had.

Salt Lake City, UT

I'm sure the writer thinks an exception is medicare/social security recipients since the elderly are Republicans most reliable voters after all.

Salt Lake City, UT

"(the proverbial 99% taking from the 1% in America's case)."

When adjusted for inflation over the past 30 years middle class income has been stagnant while the top 1% has skyrocketed. We had the most unequal wealth distribution in 2007 we've had since 1928 (interesting that both of these years were just before massive recessions/Great Depression).

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