This has got to be one of the most insane opinion pieces ever published by a newspaper:
Yes, that's right. The article in question, written by journalist Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, says you shouldn't need to be a citizen to vote.
Let's dive down the rabbit hole of this nonsense, shall we?
Washingtonians love to complain about taxation without representation. But for me and my fellow noncitizens, it is a fact of political life that we submit to unquestioningly year after year, primary after primary, presidential election after presidential election. Nearly 15 million people living legally in the United States, most of whom contribute as much as any natural-born American to this country's civic, cultural and economic life, don't have a say in matters of politics and policy because we — resident foreign nationals, or "aliens" as we are sometimes called — cannot vote.
I get what's she's trying to say. It also makes no sense. Try flipping the script and arguing that an American working in a place like Lebanon should be able to vote simply because they are there legally.
Or imagine how a country like China might use such a provision to turn American elections in their favor by using their own expats as a voting bloc.
These things don't matter though. What does matter are feelings.
Oh, and calling Republicans racists.
Considering the Supreme Court's recent decision undermining voting rights, and Republicans' efforts to suppress, redistrict and manipulate their way to electoral security, it's time for Democrats to radically expand the electorate.
Translation: Stack the deck so that conservatives have no control of the nation ever again.
Is the wide-open southern border starting to make sense yet?
Expanding the franchise in this way would give American democracy new life, restore immigrants' trust in government and send a powerful message of inclusion to the rest of the world.
It would also be the end of the thing called "America," but yay for inclusion points!
She then makes a case that this is a just and moral plan because only those EVIL WHITE LANDOWNING MEN used to be able to vote in yesteryear:
Early in the United States' history, voting was a function not of national citizenship but of gender, race and class. As a result, white male landowners of all nationalities were encouraged to play an active role in shaping American democracy, while women and poor, Indigenous and enslaved people could not. That wholesale discrimination is unquestionably worse than excluding resident foreigners from the polls, but the point is that history shows how readily voting laws can be altered — and that restrictive ones tend not to age well.
Note that these two things are drastically different. On one hand, you are talking about the debate over which citizens should be allowed as the best way to preserve and run a Republic.
On the other, you are talking about citizens of other sovereign nations voting for how to run a country that is not their own.
Again, I think Atossa would take serious issue with me, as one of the aforementioned evil white men, moving to Egypt, Kenya, Taiwan, or Indonesia and getting a work visa so that I could influence their elections.
One might even call that a form of the dreaded "colonialism."
Another misconception is that citizen voting rights have always been the prerogative of the federal government. In fact, states have largely decided who had a say in local, state and national elections. Arkansas was the last state to eliminate noncitizen voting in 1926, and it wasn't until 1996 that Congress doubled down with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, which made voting in federal elections while foreign — already not permitted because of state-level rules — a criminal, and deportable, offense.
It's almost like this has become a major issue over the last century, with one party in particular trying to stay in power by shuttle-busing new desperate voters into the nation by whatever means necessary.
Who could have possibly guessed that legislation would be passed to stop such a thing??
The strongest case for noncitizen voting today is representation: The more voters show up to the polls, the more accurately elections reflect peoples' desires.
This is perhaps the deepest distinction between what we call "Republicans" and "Democrats." One believes that society should be ordered with a moral code and a system of checks and balances that PROTECT against the desires of people, understanding that people's whims and passions are often evil and selfish.
The other believes that unbridled desire should be unchained and allowed to run wild in as many ways as possible.
The latter hasn't worked well for any nation in history.
Still, if anyone can vote because they feel like it, I think it's only fair that anyone can decide not to pay taxes. I'm sure the Left would agree, right??
Corporations enjoy free speech and legal personhood — and they're not even people. Would it be such a stretch to give noncitizen residents a say in who gets elected to their state legislature, Congress or the White House?
Answer: Yes it would.
There's a detachment that comes with not being able to vote in the place where you live.
Here, Atossa talks about the insane levels of red tape we have to become a citizen, and how it should be easier to get said citizenship.
That, my friends, is the issue we should be focusing on. Instead of the garbage idea that we allow everyone to vote willy nilly, make it easier for people to commit themselves as Americans, understanding the ramifications, privileges, creeds, and consequences that come with the title.
Instead of making an argument to reform that process, however, she shrugs her shoulders and says our only solution is to just let everybody vote.
It shouldn't be this onerous to emigrate. But given that it is, it would make much more sense to make residents provide proof of voter registration as a requirement for naturalization, rather than the other way around.
This is like arguing that because your toilet is clogged, you're just going to start taking a dump in the street.
It doesn't fix the actual problem and it makes new problems for you and everybody else!
Atossa says this would definitely benefit Democrats, but that Republicans could benefit too if they joined the Dark Side.
I hope that Democrats seize their chance, and realize the power and the enthusiasm of their potential constituents. They — and we — will not regret it.
Fix the dang system by throttling the bureaucracies and burning away their red tape. Don't add to problems by making elections less secure and destroying the country.