I guess it should come as no surprise, but in a recent study, it turns out that convicted felons, if they were allowed to vote, would overwhelmingly vote Democrat, by a margin of 6-to-1. This is not an insignificant result and it betrays a serious difference in the way the two parties look at crime and punishment.
It’s also why the Democrats desperately want to change the laws forbidding felons from voting. In those states where felons are legally able to vote, the results speak for themselves. In New Mexico, which actively encourages felons to get into the voting booth, the state is 51.9% registered Democrat. In New York, 61.5 Democrat, 9% Republican. In North Carolina, 54.6 Democrat, 10.2 Republican. It’s difficult to say just how many Americans are convicted felons, there aren’t any numbers that are easily accessible to rely on. Michigan has been tracking their convicted felons since the 1920s and their data is shocking. In 2003, they reported 500,000 living in Michigan. By 2004, that number was up to 700,000 and by 2005, nearly 900,000. This is around 7% of the total population of Michigan. That’s a truly massive number of potential Democratic voters.
But why is this? I was talking to a friend about this very issue and he told me about a speech he once saw. Around 2002, Stanford Professor Pamela Karlan presented the William Howard Taft Lecture at the University of Cincinnati Law School. Professor Karlan noted she was running a project designed to re-enfranchise felons and she noted that if felons could have voted in Florida, Al Gore would have easily won that state in 2000 because her research indicated that the vast majority of felons will vote Democrat if they could vote.
This really isn’t surprising, the demographics between criminals and Democrats coincide quite closely. The Democrats are the party of the poor and the poor are much more likely to go to prison for major crimes. Professor Karlan pointed out six reasons why she felt that ex-felons would be more likely to vote Democrat than Republican.
In general, she said, Democrats:
1) hold belief that they are entitled to the wealth of others.
2) pursue short term gratification.
3) think that long standing rules and law should be ignored if it benefits them to do so.
4) are convinced that others are responsible for their failures.
5) argue that the public should be disarmed.
These seem to be very amenable to ex-cons who almost certainly think the same thing. Whereas conservatives, in general, tend to be very law-and-order kind of people, liberals are not. Liberals, again in general, tend to be for drug legalization, opening the borders to illegal aliens and otherwise weakening the law, not to mention reducing the penalties for committing serious crimes. While I’m not saying these are not strong planks in their platform, it also seems oddly convenient that these same planks are more likely to draw more voters into the fold from these very areas that they support.
We were founded as a nation of laws for a reason. There needs to be at least a modicum of control among the people, at least a minimum standard of behavior that everyone needs to be held accountable to. I’ll be the first one to admit that in many areas, we’ve overdone it, we’ve imposed far too much control, to the point where the people are stifled by the law, there has to be a middle ground between no laws and too many laws and we’re too far in one direction by a few orders of magnitude. We need to find that balance again and we cannot do that when one party (and let’s be honest, it’s both) is doing whatever they can to tear down the legal systems, just to wring a few more votes for their side out of the resulting chaos.